Why am I writing on this?
Am I publisher?…. No!
Am I an author? … well I have not written a book before (but am writing this article)
But I do believe I have the rights to talk about this, why?
Am a proofreader
But most importantly, am a consumer, a reader.
And having read all sorts of books from various authors across the globe, I just cant keep quiet anymore at the level of negligence by my very own ‘naija’ authors.
You see, English is not our mother tongue in Nigeria but then, it is our lingua franca and that goes for most countries of the world. So whatever makes you decide to publish a book, please do it well, even if the content is not related to grammar.
So, what are these mistakes?
There, I said it.
It didn’t take me long to discover that it is easier to make mistakes while writing English than while speaking. Moreso, since the writings are streaming directly from you, you may not be able to even see the mistakes. Just like a lamp cant illuminate its own base.
So what do you do?
Invite a second party after you have put everything down to look at it and help make necessary adjustments. It doesn’t really cost a fortune.
Now this is when you don’t get lazy.
After your writing has been proofread the first time, you have to go over it again.
See, this work is originally yours, you put it down straight from you so its possible there are some ideas or part of the content that the proofreader have bent slightly.
For instance, lets say you intentionally inserted the name of a brand that is really unfamiliar and the proofreader thought it was a misspelt word or a joke that the proofreader didn’t get.
You need to make sure its still as intact and at least be your own first reader. See if you can enjoy the write up the way you intend your potential readers to.
Tidy it up, after which you still proofread again, before the publisher comes in. Yes, its hardwork.
Every book should be copyedited and proofread — ideally more than once.
Ok, I literally don’t mean you should take out money and pay yourself before touching your book… well, you might as well, what stops you.
What I mean rather is that, you should not just go, give the publisher all the specifications, designs and styles and sit down waiting for the boxes of books to be delivered. Nope.
Let the printer get you just a copy first, so that you can peruse that. Make necessary corrections as to the size, the design, the cover, the layout and all that, before you delve into mass production, so that the errors and resource wastage will be reduced.
Okay, I will share more later.
But for now, please, if you are a Nigerian and planning to publish your next writings, do consider it and represent excellence with every word.