Checklist: Proofing Your eBook Before Pressing “Submit”

The internet has brought us plenty of good things: online shopping, ebooks, and this…

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But with the internet comes something we at DE call “insta-publish,” meaning people tend to send everything out into the void before checking it first. Back when everything was headed for the printing press, writers and publishers alike took a lot more time to double-check for any errors.

Just because your work is digital, that doesn’t mean it’s any less important to check your work. I know it’s tempting to hit that digital “submit” button and just get on with your life, but you’ll thank us in the end. Your reader will be easily distracted by formatting errors and spelling mistakes, and it will make your book seem less legitimate (a battle you are already fighting by being self-published).

For spelling and grammar, we always recommend hiring an outside proofreader. Your eyes have gone over your manuscript hundreds (if not thousands) of times. You need someone else’s fresh eyes to help you catch all the little mistakes.

At the very least, purchase a proper software, such as Grammarly, to help you find errors. It’s worth it, we promise!

In addition to the standard spelling and grammar check, here’s a checklist to get you started on your next eBook…

Nine items to check before you insta-publish:

  1. Make sure your digital copy doesn’t include double spaces between sentences. eBooks are designed to have only one space. By adding an extra, your formatting will look funky and off-balance.
  2. Verify that all of your links are actually linked to a destination. The best way to test this is by going into the pdf and clicking on each link to make sure your web browser is taken to the proper page.
  3. Ensure that your title is presented similarly on your cover, title page, and throughout the manuscript. Don’t capitalize “The” on the cover, and not on the title page.
  4. Double-check your ISBN’s on the copyright page. A single digit is easy to miss.
  5. Click through your table of contents to ensure you’re taken to the right place within the book.
  6. Make sure whoever formatted your book included page numbers and headings (with either your name, the chapter name, or the book name).
  7. Check any captions for proper alignment. They should also appear on the same page as the photo, and not run off to the next page.
  8. If your charts use color in important ways, make sure to include some sort of explanation for your grayscale readers.
  9. If you haven’t used a proper formatting software, make sure you have empty pages to represent the “backs” of certain pages. If you want all of your chapters to start on the right page, for example, you’ll likely need to insert blank pages throughout the manuscript to make sure this happens.

And there you have it!

If you’re interested in our proofreading or formatting services, contact us today!


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