Wednesday, June 19, 2013

"But Ma! I don't need a proofreader -- I am a proofreader!"

My favorite rebuke of 3L Publishing's editorial services comes from professional journalists, English teachers or editors who swear in stone they don't need our editorial services. This declaration always leaves me smiling like the all-knowing publisher that I am. Let me entertain you now with true confessions: I (the publisher and professional editor) NEED a proofreader! Shock! Awe! No ... you? Yes, me. Let me take this a step further: I don't care if you're a Pulitzer Prize winner for literature, guess what? You still need a proofreader.

I have said this in the past to help laypeople understand how hard it is to proofread, so I will use the analogy again: Imagine taking a huge jar of 100,000 black jellybeans. Now take those black jellybeans and spill them on a white table. Now go look for the flawed beans. You will find you have to pick each one up, look at it, and put it back, and so on. Friends, THAT is how difficult it is to perfect a manuscript with 100,000 black words on a white page. And then there will this massively deformed jellybean you swear up and down you NEVER saw despite the fact that it's large, ugly, and shaped like a square. I call this "editorial blindness," which is akin to being snow blind.

Yes, I respect professionals who in all likelihood know their business. Reality and knowledge clash. Unless you have proofed as many books as I have over the years then you aren't going to be aware that even with the longest gaze through knowledgable, experienced eyes, you still miss mistakes. I have two clients who swore to me an editor looked at their books and they didn't need our services. If you were to go back to them after their process of editing their books through 3L, they will have to admit, "Yes, we found A LOT of mistakes." These ladies know their stuff, too. It's no knock on your knowledge by any means.

Here is the rule and it's simple: ALL MANUSCRIPTS NEED A FINAL PROOF.

And here is another absolute: 3L PUBLISHING WILL NOT PUT ITS LOGO ON ANY BOOK THAT WE DID NOT PROOF. It's not because we are eagerly trying to make an extra dollar -- not at all. It's because we strive for excellence. And a book loaded even with a small handful of mistakes doesn't reflect that excellence.

Are you ready to publish? Want your book to reflect that aforementioned excellence? For more information, call 916-300-8012 or send an email to

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