The more e-books you produce for an Author, the more you become familiar with their “voice”. The words they are apt to use, the punctuation, the italics. This makes proofreading a joy and so much less stressful.
I’m doing the whole “clambake” (it used to be “enchilada” but I’m no longer in Texas, sigh) for an Author, 13 books from scan to finished e-book. Not only are her books romantic and exciting but her “voice” is very clear. That doesn’t mean “predictable” though. Every book is different with snappy dialogue, romantic scenes and races to safety or into harm. I’m starting to anticipate the flow of words, the dialogue, the emphasis. And when something isn’t right (a scanning/OCR error) then it just jumps right out at me. I know she wouldn’t use those words. I know she wouldn’t stop at this point. I know she would emphasize this phrase, I say to myself. See, it makes my job easier. And with so many books in my queue to process, I need “easier”.
So I guess my tip for today is . . . listen to the voices. Creepy, huh? But if you pay attention to the flow of words which makes up the voice, then the final product, the e-book, will be perfect, or as perfect as 3 proofing passes will make it.
Yes, I proof 2 times, sometimes 3. The first pass is a word for word read, formatting as I read. The second pass is via Word Spell/Grammar Check which catches lines with too many spaces between words, missing punctuation and misspelled words that slipped by me on the first pass. Quite often though, Word just overlooks missing periods . . . I don’t know why . . . so often I turn off (in Word Options) the paragraph return symbol and look at the doc again. That usually catches all the missing end periods. Then I look at the doc in “2 page view” from the View tab. With this view I can quickly see if all the scene changes are formatted correctly, all the paragraphs are correct (without extra para returns) and that I’ve bookmarked all the Chapter Headings and Hyperlinked all the Table of Contents.
Wow, what a ride! I love getting up in the morning because I know my day will be filled with BOOKS! And I get paid for this? What a perfect job.
I think my next blog is going to be about Bookmarks and Hyperlinks, the Whole Ugly Story.