Not wishing to tempt fate, but 2017 has kicked off encouragingly for me. In early January, I was contacted on social media by a publisher of crime thrillers who asked me if I’d be interested in proofreading three books a month for them. They publish six books a month. I’ve already read and proofread three edited books for them over the past two weeks. I found many errors in the three edited books, and have been swiftly paid for my work. I am now free to write my own books for the next two weeks before I receive three more books in February to proofread. I’m currently writing the third book of The Hostile series. I’m looking forward to enjoying the three crime thrillers a month that the publisher will hopefully be sending me to proofread. They seem happy with my work.
The books the publisher has recently sent me to proofread are all on the brink of publication and were all five-star reads. I would have happily purchased them, as I enjoy reading crime thrillers more than any other genre. This new dream job as proofreader came about because of my recent habit of marking typos on my kindle while reading books I’ve purchased on Amazon. If I know the author on social media, I’ve sent them a list of the errors, so they can make their books as perfect as possible. I don’t set out to find errors but can’t ignore them if they spring out at me. Each author I’ve approached has been grateful I sent them the list of errors the editor had missed. One author happened to be the publisher of crime thrillers who now uses my services.
Only one book out of the scores of books I’ve read in 2016 had no typos. Most had well over a dozen errors, several had over a hundred and one had more than 450! All had been ‘professionally’ edited, which makes my blood boil. Aren’t editors supposed to eliminate typos? I suspect some editors had merely run a spellcheck through the document. There is no excuse for such negligence. Yes, I’m sure there are meticulous editors out there, but they seem to be few and far between. It’s one reason I am happy to continue self-editing my books. I no longer trust editors to do a perfect job.
This new dream job came about because of my habit of marking typos on my Kindle while reading books I have purchased. If I know the author on social media, I send them a list of the errors, so they can make their books as perfect as possible. I know hundreds of authors on social media, some in the real world, so I have spent a great deal of time sending free lists of typos in books that have been professionally edited. Two of the books had hundreds of errors in them, even though the authors had paid hundreds of pounds to the editor. One editor apologised and reimbursed the author after my list of errors was sent to them by the author. I ended up editing his book, despite never having edited a book for payment before, and despite being busy with my own writing and marketing. I didn’t set out to be an editor or paid proofreader as well as being an author; it was a happy accident.
I’m not saying I’m perfect, far from it. As I’ve self-edited my own nine books, I dare say there may be the odd typo in one or two of them. If there is an error, I would hope that some kind reader would tell me about it, as I can easily rectify the problem. As an indie author, I can swiftly amend and republish on Amazon.
In other news. Two weeks from now, I’ll be at Oldham Coliseum talking about my books, particularly my non-fiction Living with Postcards, in front of an over-fifties group. I’ll be the only author talking at this event, unlike my talk at Oldham Library a few months ago where I shared the platform with four other local authors. I am not too nervous because I’ve prepared my speech. What’s the worst that could happen? Don’t answer that.