Here’s my advice. If you can afford it, absolutely go with a professional proofreading service. Also, seriously consider having your novel professionally edited.
Most people advise that you have your manuscript edited first. Typically, editors have the power to change just about anything up to eliminating whole paragraphs. Ultimately, the final product is more readable than previously. This has always given me cause to pause and consider. When I make a piece of jewelry, I don’t want someone to come along and change something about it. I feel somewhat the same way about what I write. But, in reality, it’s a moot point for me.
In any case, proof reading is the final step that ensures a “perfect” document.
So, given all that …
A few days ago, I finished proof reading … again … “Millie’s Adventures in Time.” Then I had to go into the formatted digital copy and fix all the mistakes and make all the edits.
Because I was reading my author’s copy (I just love writing that I’m an author), and the print-on-demand version has a blank page (page 347) that I could not fix in the original version (hopefully, in the second edition that will magically fix itself but probably not) no matter what I did, the two versions don’t match up and I had to re-re-reread the digital version from page 347 on while trying to keep in mind the edits I wanted to make. Was not fun.
Once I did that, though, I went through the whole manuscript once more while looking at all the grammar snafus that the Microsoft Word program so conveniently underscores in green. Most of what it found was sentence fragments that, for the most part, I let stand.
I just finished that yesterday. I could have uploaded the new version (it has a note in the front matter that it is a second edition), but I am waiting to hear more from my sister. She is a wiz at grammar and found some uses of pronouns that I needed to correct. She said she would make note of any others that she found. She still works for a living and doesn’t have a lot of spare time so it might be a while.
It’s a convenient excuse.
Because I let go of it the first time before it was really ready, I have all sorts of worries about it not being ready this time either. Especially since I found a couple typos while looking through it for the grammar errors. Bummer.
This is why people hire professionals to do this. And why you should if you can afford it. Wish I had the money for that.
In any case, it should be out in its corrected, if not perfected, form before the end of July.