Tips for Catching Typos

I just got the manuscript for book 3 in The Samantha Project series back from my proofreader. The pages were pretty clean so that was good. But as I put the changes in, I noticed a few typos that weren’t marked, such as Colin’s name spelled Coin (oops!). It’s a good reminder that even after your book has been professionally proofread, you can still find errors.

Last week, I finished reading a new adult romance book that is at the top of the sales charts and I couldn’t believe all the typos! The author thanked her proofreader in the acknowledgments so she had the book proofread, but the person missed a lot of stuff. About halfway through the book, the typos were so bad that I was finding several on a single Kindle page. It was a great book overall, but the typos really distracted from the reading experience.

If you’re working on a book or plan to write one in the future, I have some tips for getting rid of typos. You may still miss one or two, but that’s a lot better than 40 or 50, which is what I’ve seen in some ebooks I’ve read recently.

Tips for catching typos . . .

  • Read your book backwards. Start at the end of the book and read paragraph by paragraph. This helps your mind from getting lost in the story and puts the focus on the words.
  • Print the book. It’s often easier to catch typos and missing words when you read on paper instead of the computer.
  • Ask someone else to read it. After the proofread stage, ask a few friends or family members to do a final read of your book. When I worked in publishing, we used to call this a “fresh eye” read. If they don’t want to commit to reading the whole book, assign just a few chapters to each reader.
  • Read your book out loud. This gives your voice a workout, but is a great way to find missing words.
  • Transfer your book to your Kindle, Nook, or iPad. I bought the cheap versions of both the Kindle and Nook during the holiday sales. I always read my books on both devices right before publishing them. I don’t know if it’s the smaller screen or what, but I catch tons of typos when I do this.

Hope that helps! If you have any other tips, please share them!