Wednesday, July 9, 2014

LET'S EAT GRANDMA: The Importance of Proofreading



LET’S EAT GRANDMA
The Importance of Proofreading

by Kathy Ide


            Have you seen the plaques and T-shirts that say:

                        Let’s Eat Grandma.
                        Let’s Eat, Grandma.
                        Commas Save Lives.

            I love that! It shows how one tiny bit of punctuation can change the entire meaning and tone of a sentence.
            You may think that as long as you’ve got life-changing content in your nonfiction manuscript, or an intriguing story with lots of conflict and interesting characters in your fiction manuscript, that should be enough. And yes, content and story are extremely important. But no matter how good those things are, you’ll be running some pretty big risks if you don’t bother proofreading your manuscript carefully for typos, inaccuracies, and inconsistencies … and learning the industry-standard rules regarding punctuation, usage, grammar, and spelling.
            OK, you won’t be putting your grandmother’s life on the line or joining a tribe of cannibals. But tiny mistakes in your writing can have disastrous consequences. Here are my top ten:

1. Mechanical errors can decrease your chance of acceptance by a traditional publisher.

2. Mechanical errors can cause miscommunication.

3. Mechanical errors can cause confusion.

4. Mechanical errors can give an unprofessional appearance to publishers and readers.

5. Mechanical errors can be embarrassing.

6. Mechanical errors may cause readers to take you and your message less seriously.

7. Mechanical errors can affect the sales of your book.

8. Mechanical errors could cost you money.

9. Mechanical errors can be distracting.

10. Mechanical errors can give you a poor reputation.

Professionalism Is Key
            If you’re writing just for family and friends, it may not matter so much whether every comma is in exactly the right place or if you have a few typos here and there. But if you want to get your book published in today’s highly competitive commercial market, you need every edge you can get. If you expect people to buy what you write, you need to take the time to do it right.
If you have a hard time finding typos, inconsistencies, and “PUGS” errors in your writing, consider hiring a professional proofreader. If you go to www.ChristianEditor.com and fill out the form for Authors Seeking Editors, you’ll be connected with established, professional editors who can make your manuscript shine.

            A comma may not save Grandma’s life. But a careful proofread might make a life-or-death difference for your manuscript.


Bio
Kathy Ide, author of Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors, is a full-time freelance editor/mentor for new writers, established authors, and book publishers. She speaks at writers’ conferences across the country. She is the founder and director of The Christian PEN: Proofreaders and Editors Network and the Christian Editor Network. For more about Kathy, visit www.KathyIde.com.



Book Summary
Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors, by professional freelance author, editor, and proofreader Kathy Ide, is the essential go-to tool for aspiring and experienced writers and editors. This book includes all of the material from Ide’s popular Polishing the PUGS book (now out of print), with added PUGS guidelines and helpful tips from multi-published authors on how to catch typos and other common mistakes.

In Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors, Kathy Ide identifies the industry-standard references for books, magazines, and newspapers (which are different from the guidelines for other types of writing, such as college term papers). Using these official references, she highlights the most common mistakes writers make in the areas of punctuation, usage, grammar, and spelling (for which she uses the acronym PUGS). She also includes guidelines from The Christian Writer's Manual of Style for authors and editors who work in the inspirational market.