How to spot invisible typos when you write your book

You’ve read it and re-read it, you left it a day or so to see it with a fresh eye, you even got your partner to proofread it. And before that, you were responding to the red and green wiggly lines screaming at you from beneath your typing. But, you wonder, does it really matter?

So you publish it. It’s your latest blog or a new page on your website. Or it’s a novel that you’ve finally, FINALLY, managed to send to a publishing house.

And then the shame! The mortification!! You spot it yourself. You omitted the word “not” in a phrase and now the whole document is meaningless and humiliating.

bible typo1

Yes it does matter.

A wrongly placed apostrophe can label the writer as uneducated; a missing hyphen between two words can completely change their meaning. But not all of us absorbed those grammar rules in our early years. There were so many more exciting things to take in at the time – far more entertaining than copying out tedious exercises in our workbooks, choosing the correct word to fit a particular sentence structure, or questioning the difference between a colon and a semi-colon.

(Just before publishing this post, at the final review, I saw a potentially embarrassing poor choice of wording in the previous sentence. I decided that the word “questioning” was more appropriate than the word “probing” when used in the same sentence as “colon” – another very good reason for using a proofreader!)

But all of us have our particular pet hate – mine is numbers! It seems that while I adore playing with words, mental arithmetic is something of which I have absolutely no grasp. Even a spreadsheet (designed to make life easier, I am told) turns my brain to mush!

So do I do my own bookkeeping? Don’t be silly! I give that to an expert! Why waste brain cells and long hours when there is someone else who loves playing with numbers in the same way that I love playing with words?


Hiring a professional proofreader is the cheaper option

Read our next post to see what’s involved in the process, and why it’s worth paying for. And a few tips for proofreading your own article too!

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