don’t trust your spell check

Books are beasts. Huge and often unwieldy. Novellas can range from 25,000 to 70,000 words; novels from 70,000 to north of 120,000 words. So there’s plenty of scope for missing mistakes when you write and self-publish one.

The bigger the word count, the greater the chance that you’ve made (and missed) errors such as misspelled words, missing words, duplicated words, inconsistencies and wayward formatting.

If you plan to self-publish a book on Amazon, Kobo, Smashwords, CreateSpace or any other platform, you might not have the luxury of working with an editor who can bang your manuscript into shape. You might not have the cash to hire a professional proofreader to give it a final polish. You’ll probably be doing all this yourself.

And that’s OK. You CAN do it yourself. Here are some of the ways that I’ve found to stamp out screw-ups in a book before you publish it. Maybe they can work for you…

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In the rush to publish, nobody noticed that the headline should have read 'Bradbury'.
When blogging or writing for the web, speedy content publishing is often critical.

So much so that it’s easy for bloggers and web writers to abandon proofreading to work with a ‘publish now, fix errors later’ strategy.

But it’s not ideal. You can get away with this approach if your website/blog is small and you don’t get much traffic.

But bigger brands and businesses demand more attention to detail. They can’t afford to have poor spelling and wayward grammar ruining the impact of valuable content.

You can improve the accuracy and effectiveness of your content by understanding why mistakes creep in and why you don’t spot them. See if any of these sound familiar…

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Spell check fail as news channel writes Prince of 'Whales'.

Word processors like Microsoft Word and OpenOffice have certainly made writing easier.

But they’ve also made writers lazier. Traditional proofreading is often an afterthought in a world of intelligent auto corrections and real-time grammar checking.

Consequently, it’s tempting to leave error-hunting to a spell checker. But effective proofreading isn’t as simple as a spell check, and running a spell check shouldn’t be a replacement for spending some time carefully re-reading text before you print or publish it.

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