I am a novice independent publisher. Maybe when I’ve published ten novels, I’ll know all the ins and outs. Maybe not. I can be stubbornly stupid sometimes. Just ask anyone who knows me really well.
I did not order a proof copy of my first novel (“Millie’s Adventures in Time”). I had wanted to. But I couldn’t find the button. Most likely it was staring me right in the face, but I didn’t see it.
While getting ready to publish my second novel (“The Alien Visitation Chronicle”), I found the button. Or rather I should say it was there all the time. It was actually a bit of color-highlighted hypertext, which could explain why I didn’t see it the first time around. No excuse, really, though.
The proof copy of my second novel arrived a few days ago. It was very exciting to have it in my hands. I love the look and the feel of it. And the knowledge that this is something I created.
I started reading it secure in the knowledge that I would find only a couple of errors in it. After all, I’d read it forwards twice and backwards once. I’d corrected errors and edited along the way. I was sure that what I held in my hands was a well-completed work of art.
I’ve proofed only 49 pages so far and found 19 things I need to fix or would like to change. I have about 200 more pages to go. Oh my.
I can highly recommend ordering a proof copy of your work before publishing. Yes, you can fix things even after publishing. But there’s a good chance that a lot of your friends bought your book when you announced it was available and … well, let’s just say I’m a bit embarrassed about all the errors in my first novel. Once I get this second one launched, I’ll read my author copy of the first one and make notes about the errors.
The nice thing about the proof copy is that I feel fine marking it up and dog-earing the pages. I wouldn’t do that with my author copy. That would just be wrong.
So get your proof copy. Sit down with a fine-point red pen (mine is actually purple, I have a thing for the color purple) and get to work. You’ll have a better book when you are done. And that’s always a good thing.