I have made an amazing discovery. I have found the best kind of proofer. Professional editor? English literature professor? Publisher?…
No- someone who has never read a book in their life. That’s right. If you are at the stage where your book needs a really good reading and you have exhausted your “industry” resources, then find someone who is capable of reading but is just generally uninterested.
I stumbled upon this pearl when my husband, who has read two books in his life (both by force at school), offered to proof my book. At first I was horrified and I admit, somewhat snobbish about it. First of all, do I want someone who has no concept of storyline, plot or characterisation critiquing my book? Secondly- THE PRESSURE! “Welcome to books, non-book-reader man. Try this one as the very first book you’ve read in your adult life and then openly hate it- not because it sucks, but just because you clearly dang-well hate books.”
Anyway, I eventually swallowed my pride and my husband got to reading. By this stage, the book (Ruthless) had been proof read by:
2 professional editors
An English teacher
Approx 5 friends and…
me (like 200 times already).
Mr Reading-is-new-to-me actually found more typos and missing words then any of these people combined. It was mind blowing! The only way I can explain it is that he reads every single word and doesn’t assume anything. I on the other hand, now know that I read words that are only in my head. I make assumptions and fill in the gaps when I read.
A valuable lesson learned. If you haven’t got any non-reader friends then start looking. I suggest attending a “The film was better” club and buttering up a book basher. Suggest that they read your book so they can accurately argue with those misguided book-readers, much like atheists who read the bible. It’s a winner.