As an author, you probably expect your novel to be error-free, especially after you’ve paid good money to have it looked at by a professional. That is natural, and to be commended, especially in this liberated age when the doors to self-publication have been thrown wide open. I’ve said it many times before, but I think independent authors should do whatever they can to present their best possible work to readers, thereby promoting indies as purveyors of quality, both in terms of storylines and standards of grammar.
However, is it possible to produce a book that is completely free of errors with just a single copy-edit or proofread? Unfortunately, the answer is probably no. That’s why traditionally published books will have been pored over by a developmental editor, then a line editor, copy-editor and proofreader, all under the watchful eye of a project manager – and the author.
Even the professional body to which I belong, the SfEP, would argue that no proofreader is going to catch everything, as outlined here. So it really is advisable to go through as many stages as you can before you publish, because each phase will iron out further errors, thereby getting as close to perfection as is possible. And if you can persuade friends or family to act as beta readers, that can also be helpful.
Do this and you will enhance the reading experience, which is surely your ultimate aim.
Having gone down the indie route myself and paid for the various stages of production, including a developmental edit while still in the writing phase, I am fully aware that cost can be an issue. And I sympathise, especially as you can’t avoid spending at least some money if you’re serious about maintaining high standards. All I can say is that I will do my utmost on your behalf to find and correct as many errors as possible, whether that’s as a copy-editor or proofreader, and that previous clients have been delighted with what I have done for them. I really enjoy this work, and I like to think that it shows in the final result.
Always remember that I’m on your side, and we want the same thing – error-free text that flows smoothly and effortlessly, and which will both satisfy and delight your readers.