Don’t Press Publish: The Importance of a Proof Copy

The Reckoning
The Reckoning A collection of dark tales by Stephanie Ellis

The hours were ticking by last night, my last night after a 6-week summer break from the day job, and the return to school looming. On my ‘To Do’ list for the break was an order to finally gather and publish my collection of dark verse AND gather some of my short stories together. A few weeks back I managed a Kindle version of Dark is my Playground but had to play around with the cover before the print copy was up-to-scratch.

Additionally, I had asked Tim Youster to create a cover for my short story collection, The Reckoning, and although that appeared a week or so back, I still had to wait for my proof copy from amazon before I pressed Publish. His cover is fantastic by the way. Find him on twitter @TimYouster.

In the case of both books, I ordered proof copies before publication, tempting though it was to press Publish straightaway and I am glad I did. Dark is my Playground had only one or two edits needed but the cover was a let down. This was a DIY cover by the way, still not perfect but it fitted the purpose. The second proof showed me that everything was at last ok – almost. I had to update my webpage name in the About the Author bit.

The Reckoning was almost perfect. No issues with cover, a couple of page number glitches and that was all – or so I thought. BUT reading through I found a few typos which had been missed on previous publication in whichever anthology they first appeared in. Worst of all however was finding the apparent merger of 2 stories. Actually that didn’t turn out to be as bad as expected and consisted of a heading and page break having been deleted at some unfortunate point and just needed reinsertion and an update of the TOC. I would have been mortified, however if that had been shown to the world. The other side of reading through was discovering I wasn’t cringing at my earlier works – a surprisingly pleasant bonus.

The moral here is, and with KDP being so easy, resist the temptation to press that Publish buttons straightaway, ALWAYS get a proof copy. (I dare say there might still be something amiss in there, you never know – I’ve noticed errors in books published by the big companies. If there is, just let me know, but I hope I’ve pretty much picked up everything).

It was very late by the time I sorted things out but it was done. So much for a school night, now to get on with a few other things on my ‘To Do’ list – you see, the summer holidays just weren’t long enough.

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