Sunday, October 31, 2010

Just When You Think You're Ready

Last week, I finished going over the first set of proofs for my upcoming mystery The Opposite of Dark, due for release in March 2011. My job was to look at the copy editor’s suggested changes and make any last minute changes myself. This step in the production process is a culmination of input from myself, the publisher, and two editors. The copy editor made some great suggestions and I added a couple of small ones. But what struck me was that I still found three typos in the manuscript that none of us had noticed.

After thirty years of writing, proofreading is clearly a skill I still need to work on. It’s tremendously important and, based on the number of errors I’ve read in published novels this year, terribly overlooked by nearly every writer. I’ve noticed a few errors in traditionally published books from small and large houses, but the vast majority of them are coming from independently published books, which is a shame. I’ve read a lot of self-published stories these past couple of years with excellent premises and great characters, but the number of typos and missing words is distracting. Really, we all have to do better. People are paying for our books, and they deserve the best we’ve got to give.

On another note, I, Robin Spano, and Elizabeth Elwood will be at Black Bond Books in Ladner this Saturday, November 6th from 1 to 3 p.m. to discuss mysteries and mystery writing. So, please come join us for some fun at Black Bond Books, 5251 Ladner Trunk Road, Delta, BC.

My Vancouver-based, Alex Bellamy mysteries can be purchased at

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