Being paperless has proved to be extremely difficult at times; notably, on a Sunday when I like to read the paper. On the plus side, my other half has not joined me on my paperless twelve month quest and decided, after much thought (persuasion) that she would like to read the very same paper that I do on a Sunday.
What a relief!
During this long and arduous journey of paper-freeness, I have been reading books on my Kindle as well as visiting the library. However, I have one complaint at this. While I enjoy reading books of both media (as well as others, I am, after all, an artist and welcome all forms of media), I have become increasingly frustrated at the lack of proofreading that is being performed with published works. As the world of self-publishing grows, so too should the seriousness with which one takes their work. I have been guilty in the past and I am sure there will be the odd word or phrase that slips through as your mind plays tricks and you discover that you are indeed one of those people who can read things that are written badly during one of those ridiculous tests on Facebook. I can accept mistakes appearing on works, and do accept them if the book is 99p or if it is being given away. I am very much in favour of the voice being given a platform. But I recently took a book from the library, published by MX Publishing, which is a self-publishing house. The book itself looks professional, has a wonderful cover and the fact that it has been accepted into the local library should suggest that it has gone through some sort of process. But the mistakes, oh, the mistakes; words are missing; wrong words are put in; misspelling. These are simple mistakes that can be rectified if someone took the time to read the manuscript before it was printed; that is all it takes. Either the author can do it…or ask a friend. Because I am no proof-reader and yet each page greets me with another error and when you are reading a book it is EXTREMELY OFF-PUTTING!
Here’s an example from the book: “…put his hand over mind and shook his head.” I think the author is meaning ‘hand over mine’.
I have had to give up on the book, which is a shame because I was sort of enjoying it. I still do not understand how it made it into the library in the first place when my book can’t! Perhaps it is who you know.
Authors have a wonderful opportunity here to grab the reins for their work and take complete control. We are artists; we write pieces that we want people to read or hear. But it does not give us any favours when simple mistakes are made, for me this gives more power to the publishing houses. Surely, if you are wanting to produce your own work you would want to present it in the best possible way. This book, which I will not name publicly, had such an amazing work of art as its cover, it is a shame the author did not take as much care or attention as the artist.
Advice: PROOFREAD YOUR WORK BEFORE YOU RELEASE IT. THEN GIVE IT TO SOMEONE ELSE YOU KNOW TO PROOFREAD AGAIN.
You cannot do this enough times.