It's weird to think that fifteen years ago, there were no cell phones, kindles, and almost no indie author, self published books. Fast forward to today and an estimated 30-34% of all book sales are from self published authors. In actuality, this number is probably much higher due to lack of reporting and sales outside "official" reported markets. For added success in this ever growing market you need to have a book that stands out. One with formatting that doesn't distract, editing that lets the story flow, and flawless proofreading.
Proofreading can make or break a book. Grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes can be the difference between a reader finishing a book, providing a five star review, and reading other books by the same author. Proofreading should be the final step following editing and copy editing and should never be skipped or skimped. After the blood, sweat, and tears it took to create your story make sure you send it to your readers ready and in its cleanest copy.
Romance readers are fickle. Reviewers can be brutal. Too many story inconsistencies can turn off a reader which could make any possible success into considerably less. A great copy edit will make sure even the most careful reader will be able to follow a story without question or confusion. A good proofreader will include a light copy edit. Any questions in story flow, characterization, setting, or plot will be brought to your attention. Any formatting, spacing, or style differences within the text will be notated.
I love books. I am a voracious reader, especially in the romance genre! I read well over 200 books a year. The biggest turnoff in a book, the thing that will ultimately distract me from great settings, perfect characters, and an unbelievable plot, is proofreading mistakes. I can't stand misspelled words, missing or incorrect punctuation, or uneven spacing between words and paragraphs. Beautiful conversation can be ruined by weirdly places commas and repetitive word use. I find myself noticing these mistakes more and more often and I want to help authors tell their story. Not create it mind you (I wish so badly I had a story or two rattling around in my mind) but help make sure your story has the best possible proofreading so your readers don't even see your punctuation or spacing. All they will see is the imagery you create with your words.
Is proofreading worth the money? You tell me. Is it worth it if you get more readers and sell more books? Is it worth it if reviewers on Goodreads, Instagram, Blogs, and Facebook tout the perfection of your writing and recommend your book? Amazon will penalize authors who have to many editing and proofreading mistakes. Would an Amazon penalty affect your current and future book sales?
I believe a well written, edited, proofread book will sell better and garner more attention. Attention is everything in the self publishing world. Thus, worth the cost. Any cost.
Proofread - Starting price $.002/word
Proofread/copyedit - Starting $.003/word