3 Unusual Ways a Self-Publisher Can Minimize Typos in their Manuscript

Photo by  Daniela Holzer

Even the most successful writers have typos in their writing.

It’s nothing to be ashamed of.

After all, we are not robots.

Writing is an “iterative” process after all, and so is product development. The product you’re developing just happens to be a book.

However – publishing a book free of typos is a good goal!

Typos can hurt our credibility, so of course it is worthwhile for this reason to be diligent about seeking out and correcting them.

Please note: I’m assuming here that you have already done the obvious steps required to minimize typos (spell checking and having the book edited/proofread). If not, consider doing those things first!

Here are 3 unusual ways to minimize typos in your manuscript, especially after you think it’s already perfect!

1) $5 Challenge

Years ago when I worked as a proofreader for a financial newswire service, the company paid $5 per typo to anyone on staff who could find a real (unambiguous) mistake in the final text.

I recommend you try this after you are already super confident that your manuscript is typo free.

Because you’re so close to having a perfect draft, offering this small incentive could be money well spent. And – believe me – for those of us nerds who like this sort of thing, your text will be squeaky clean!

2) Hire a Book Designer Who is also a Writer

This person will be worth their weight in gold for quality control as the manuscript transforms into a book. Under their nimble fingers, they are taking your words into a new, elevated environment where – inevitably – they will see many, many things that were overlooked in the original document.

Speaking form experience, I have corrected thousands of typos during layout in so-called “clean” manuscripts.

3) Listen to your Manuscript: Text to Speech

Here’s a great idea I got from author John Chapman:

“One of the proofreading steps I go through is to get a text to speech program to read the text aloud as I follow along. I used to use TextAloud for this but MS Word now does this quite well.”

John gives a wealth of other amazing writing tips here on this blog post!

Here are the instructions on how to set up MS Office to read your text!

That’s it for now! Hope this is helpful!

x Andrea

PS – I deliberately left a typo in this post! Can you find it? Write below if you find it : ) It’s actually one of the most common typos.