So here’s my dummies guide to proof reading…
Take a book, start at the beginning, read slowly until the end and make a note of every mistake you find.
Except… It’s really, really difficult when it’s a book you’ve written!
At some point I’m going to have to start paying a professional to proof read my novels. Until then there is no other option but to rely on the kindness of friends who have an eye for punctuation and grammar and spelling; and also to pick up my own book… Again and again and again until I’ve read it so many times that it’s almost stopped being my story and just become words on a page.
Tell you what though, the advice to start at the back of your book and read each page in reverse order does help.
Also, getting a physical proof copy printed up makes a big difference. I noticed a space where it had no right to be, fifty pages in. I must have read that passage a dozen times on screen, but seeing it there on a physical page, it stood out like a… Well, like a space invader… Please don’t shoot me 😉
I’ve heard that reading your book out loud is also a good technique. I’m not quite there yet with that one, but for some passages it has been useful.
How do you ensure your book is as free as possible from those irritating typos?