February 14, 2018 (Last Updated February 28, 2020)48 Hr Books
It’s important to have your book thoroughly edited before taking the next step to print and publish. As much as we want to believe our writing is perfect, it’s imperative to have a professional at least proofread your book for spelling errors, punctuation, sentence structure, and flow. It’s hard for the reader to view you as a credible source of information, or even a good storyteller, if mistakes are overlooked and end up printed for everyone to see. You want to be proud of the product you have worked so hard on!
A common mistake we have seen is using the spelling of “Forward” instead of “Foreword.” Spelling this heading incorrectly is telling of bad editing, which makes your book look less professional and makes you look less credible as a writer. This section is located at the beginning of your book, so spelling Foreword wrong is not a good way to set the tone of the reader’s experience.
If your book contains a table of contents section, make sure all of your page numbers align properly with each corresponding section or chapter. If there are errors in your table of contents, it inconveniences the reader and makes your book look less professional. If you ever make changes to your book, make sure you double check to make sure the changes do not result in changes to your table of contents. This step can often be overlooked by writers.
Just like editing, messy formatting is another common mistake that can make reading your book more of a labor. If you are formatting your book yourself, do some research beforehand to see if there’s a basic formula to follow based on the genre or content. For example, if your book contains a lot of dialogue, the formatting is going to be different compared to a normal body of text. A string of dialogue can be isolated on separate lines, rather than contained within a body of text.
A common formatting error we see is not justifying text. Text should be justified on both sides so that the edge of the text lines up smoothly, rather than left-aligned, which creates a ragged right. This is also important to follow on your back cover if you have text displayed.