Book Review: Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors by Kathy Ide

proofreading secretsLearn how best-selling authors proofread their manuscripts to avoid typos, inconsistencies, inaccuracies, and errors in punctuation, usage, grammar, and spelling.

Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors, by professional freelance author, editor, and proofreader Kathy Ide, is the essential go-to tool for aspiring and experienced writers and editors. This book includes all of the material from Ide’s popular Polishing the PUGS book (now out of print), with added PUGS guidelines and helpful tips from multi-published authors on how to catch typos and other common mistakes.

In Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors, Kathy Ide identifies the industry-standard references for books, magazines, and newspapers (which are different from the guidelines for other types of writing, such as college term papers). Using these official references, she highlights the most common mistakes writers make in the areas of punctuation, usage, grammar, and spelling (for which she uses the acronym PUGS). She also includes guidelines from The Christian Writer’s Manual of Style for authors and editors who work in the inspirational market.

Do you know the difference between a hyphen, en dash, and em dash? Did you know quotation marks come in two variations-straight and curly-and they aren’t interchangeable? If not, then you need this book.

Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors offers everything that it promises, and is also an easy, enjoyable read. Kathy does all of the leg work for you. Not only does she identify the basics (and most frequently misused) grammar and punctuation issues, she also leaves room at the end of each section for the reader to make notes about his or her most-referred-to topics. She also notes each rule from the Chicago Manual of Style, Christian Writer’s Manual of Style, and The AP Stylebook, so any writer or editor can double check. On top of all of that, Kathy also points out recent changes to the style guides, citing past acceptable rules and how they’ve changed for the current market.

Kathy’s new book is easy to use, fun to read, and completely portable (a great bonus for the writer who moves her office to-and-from the coffee shop). I honestly don’t know how I survived without this quick-reference for so long. It has found a home on my desk and will remain within easy reach from now on. A definite “must have” for every writer and editor.


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