The Book Shelf


Proof Reading

Your book is almost ready to be published, but wait! Have you checked it for any sneaky typos or formatting errors? If not, it’s time for proofreading.

Get in touch

What is proofreading?

There can be a lot of confusion around what proofreading is and isn’t, but in simple terms, it’s checking the final version of a file for typos and errors before it goes to print. The proofreader “marks up” the file to show the changes needed, which might be in PDF format or in Word using “tracked changes”.

Proofreading is ideal for you as an author if you:

  • Have finished editing and just want final checks before publishing.
  • Skipped copy editing and believe there may be typos in the book.
  • Want a professional finish.
  • Have spent money on coaching, critique, and editing, and don’t want to be let down by a book full of errors and typos.

Editing vs. proofreading

Proofreading is the last step in the pre-publishing process and is done after editing, and sometimes after design. It doesn’t involve making substantial changes or improving the wording of a document; it’s simply checking for typos, errors, formatting issues, etc. Think of your proofreader as the final sieve for errors.

Does proofreading mean there will be no typos?

While it’s tempting to say that your book will be typo-free after proofreading, there’s probably not a book in the world without a typo or two. Even books published by Penguin that have been checked by a team of proofreaders will have the occasional error. Why? Because proofreaders are only human, and the human brain isn’t designed to pick up errors (you can find out why here). Machine attempts at proofreading (such as Grammarly) are even worse. However, experienced proofreaders eliminate numerous errors and typos, even if a few slip through the net, so it’s well worth having an eagle-eyed proofreader check your final file.

What you’ll get after proofreading:

Our expert proofreader can proof in Word or PDF, so you’ll get either:

  • A manuscript marked up using “tracked changes” in Word or
  • A manuscript marked up in PDF format for a designer to implement the changes

How do you know which to go for? If you think there are only a handful of errors, then PDF proofing is fine. But if there are likely to be changes on every page and tens or hundreds of errors, it’s often better to proof in Word, then do a final check of the PDF to catch any last-minute errors.*

*Why? Because the designer has to make each change in the PDF, so PDF proofreading involves the proofreader’s time and the designer’s time, meaning it’s more expensive and time-consuming.

The Book Shelf

The legal bit

If you’d like to record the call for future reference, feel free to do so, but please don’t share it with anyone. 

We take our authors’ privacy seriously, so rest assured we won’t share your documents, details, or the content of our discussions with anyone. 

We delete all files after the project’s completion aside from those used for marketing purposes. 

You can see our privacy policy here.

The Book Shelf

Our experience

At The Book Shelf, we specialise in nonfiction books that make the world better. We empower our authors to write life-changing books for their readers. We’ve worked on over 500 books with authors around the globe—from first-timers to New York Times bestsellers to non-native speakers and everyone in between. If you want to change your readers’ lives, we want to help you achieve that.

Our specialist areas are:

  • Business: This might include entrepreneurship, leadership, getting out of the rat race, or building a business. It might relate to your particular business, teaching the reader a skill or sharing expertise on your subject matter (such as property development or animation).
  • Personal development: This includes books on how to make the reader’s life better, such as how to become happier. It might also mean teaching them individual skills such as goal-setting or nutrition. It often includes aspects of psychology, health, and wellbeing.
  • Philosophy: This can be any area of philosophy from ethical theories to ways of life, metaphysics to morality. It may be an analysis of traditional philosophy or proposing a new approach for readers.

What our clients say about our coaching services

"I am a writer of English as a second language and the most important reason I sought help was to get quality professional editing for my book. Ameesha's editing made a 'night to day' change in my book's present-ability (and value) to the public."

James Shaw, author of "What Is Happiness?", Jan 2021

"Excellent job. Ameesha is really precise, helpful, and patient to help you express what you really want to express and to make your project professional. Thank you Ameesha."

Samba Lékouye, author of "Everythink", 2020
406 x The Book Shelf on The Book Shelf
58 x The Book Shelf on The Book Shelf

Sign up to our newsletter below to get writing and publishing tips and tricks.