My book, Tattle Tales: Tattoo Stories and Portraits, has been my first foray into the world of self-publishing. The learning curve has been huge, but I’ve learned so much from other people through social media platforms and blogs. While I don’t consider myself to be an expert by any stretch of the imagination, I like to use my blogs to discuss some of the challenges I faced and share what things have helped me. In this post, I’m going to explain the importance of a proofreader.
My book doesn’t have a lot of text. It’s mostly portraits, but there’s nearly 16,000 words in the whole book and most of that were from interview excerpts. Although I think it’s a good idea to have someone you trust look over your work and get their feedback as a reader, it’s absolutely crucial to use a proofreader. My eyes spent so many hours scrutinizing this book that I could easily overlook an obvious error. For me, it wasn’t an option to not use a proofreader. Even when a mistake is minor, it distracts the reader and takes away from the work. Plus, having a professional review your work takes some of the pressure off of you. I have a degree in English Literature, and I still have questions about grammar. There are a lot of great proofreaders out there so they are not hard to find. I worked with Beth Wojiski, and I was very impressed with the quality and turnaround time. She was very easy to work with, and she was approachable. I know that last detail may not seem that important, but I spent so much time working on this book that I thought of it as my baby. How people treat you and your work is important. I felt very comfortable having Beth review my work. She explained her corrections and suggestions really well, and I feel that I’ll carry that new knowledge to my next book.
Though I haven’t started the process of publishing my second book, I feel pretty confident that it won’t take nearly as long as the first. I had to start completely from scratch with Tattle Tales. I had to find a proof reader, hire a graphic design artist, identify a printer, learn about barcodes, ISBNs, and book marketing, and create my Amazon account. There were times where I felt like it was too much to manage, but I’m glad I didn’t cut any corners. The knowledge I have gained and the foundation I have created will make my future projects that much easier.