The Importance of Proof Reading

Proof reading and proof readers occupy a very interesting place

  1. Proof Readers don’t do something that is very VISIBLE and in your face. They don’t design covers which you see right on your book page every time you open the page
  2. Proof Readers are not like Sales and Marketing which gets you book sales – that sweet rush of someone buying your book
  3. Proof Readers are not the Book Store – which connects you with readers and thereby occupies such an obviously critical place as the bridge between you and your audience

Proof Readers occupy an almost invisible and yet extremely critical position – they ensure that your book is well polished and fit for sale. They ensure that when readers buy and read your book, they can enjoy it to the fullest, and are likely to love it and leave a review and buy your other books

Because of their role as this ‘hidden gamechanger’ most new authors, and even a significant part of not-so-now authors, greatly underestimate the importance of a good proofreading. In this post let’s go over the Importance of Proof Reading

Which Book would You Buy?

Here is Book 1 (that has not been proof read, except by the author)

  1. Book Description has 2 spelling mistakes, one error in placements of Quotes, and 1 grammatical mistake
  2. First Page has 3 errors and 1 grammatical mistake
  3. First Chapter has 17 errors and mistakes

Here is Book 2 (proof read by a professional proof reader)

  1. Book Description has zero errors
  2. First Page has no errors
  3. First Chapter has 3 errors

It should come as no shock that very few people will buy the first book. A few people might buy it by mistake or might overlook the errors. However, the vast majority will not buy the book because all those spelling mistakes and grammatical errors suggest the author does not care about the book (so why should the reader?)

They also suggest that the reader will not be able to enjoy the book – with the errors constantly breaking the flow of the story

Bad Proof Reading or Missing Proof Reading means your book does not even get a chance

If your book is not proof read well, people never even look at the CORE of the book i.e. the story

They never even give it a chance

Just the fact that you could not be bothered to have your book proof read suggests to the reader that it is not worth reading. The fact that you don’t respect readers’ time or their hard earned money, means readers will just bypass your book

It is not just ‘Selling’ which gets affected by bad proof reading

If you do a lot of marketing and promotion, even a book without proof reading will sell to an extent

However, that is a pyrrhic victory

  1. When readers start reading the book they will run into typographical errors, grammatical mistakes, and other errors
  2. This will lead to bad reviews
  3. Now you have a book that is even tougher to sell because the bad reviews scare off readers

Hopefully you get what the cost of skipping on proof reading is

  1. The First Battle of Getting Readers to Buy the Book is very hard to win if you don’t have a well proof read book. People are very reluctant to buy if they see even one error in the book sample
  2. Even if you throw a lot of marketing at the book and win the Battle to get Sales, a lack of proof reading will lose you the war. Because when readers actually read the book, the errors they run into, will make it hard for them to enjoy it and will cause them to leave bad reviews
  3. Those bad reviews will make it tougher to sell the book

So, sooner or later, the lack of proof reading will sink your book

The Importance of Proof Reading is that without Proof Reading you cannot find Success

You can get a great cover and do a lot of marketing and get sales, even without your book being proof read

However, you cannot find long term sustained success because the product itself is flawed

It is like a Phone whose battery keeps draining in half an hour

No matter how good the phone itself is, the battery issues will kill the phone. Even if it sells at the start, it will stop selling because no one can enjoy the phone due to the battery issues

We have seen a lot of authors try to force their way to success. Skipping on proof reading because they think ‘readers don’t care about a spelling mistake or two’. Their books sell slowly, accumulate bad reviews, and die out. We cannot point to a single author who has had sustained success with books that are not proof read. Not a single author from 11 years of curating between 50 to 300 books a day

There are things more important than proof reading (editing, covers, strong story, great writing, etc). However, missing one of those does not prevent success. Proof reading is neither glamorous nor a top 5 priority – However, because a lack of proof reading leads to errors and totally kills reader satisfaction, proof reading is the broken horse shoe because of which the entire kingdom is lost. It kills your chances of success because your customers (readers) cannot enjoy the product (your book) and that kills any chance of success

If you do not get a professional proof reader, you are killing your chances of success

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