Proofreading Season

Proofreading season is upon us at Ooligan Press. Really, that’s a bit of a misnomer—it’s not every year that all of the proofreading tasks align the way they have this winter. But align they have; we are rereleasing the ebook editions of Tony Wolk’s Abe Lincoln Trilogy just in time for Presidents’ Day, which means we have all three books that need to be proofread. We are also proofreading the ebook version of 50 Hikes (which publishes March 1!) and have just wrapped up on a proofread of Three Sides Water.

But what’s next for Three Sides Water, you ask? Why, an ebook proofread, of course!

With so much proofreading in such a short time, the editing team has been in need of a lot of help. That’s the best part about working at Ooligan, though—there is so much talent and so many eager volunteers that even with such a heavy workload we are getting things done quickly and efficiently. No less than twelve people volunteered for the Abe Lincoln Trilogy alone. That’s about a fifth of the press!

People not familiar with the inner workings of publishing houses may be curious about the purpose of an additional proofread for a book that has already been released. There are actually many reasons why it is important to give the copy another look before it appears back in online stores, but here are the two most common:

1.) Just in case.

The most straightforward purpose for an additional ebook proofread is to potentially catch any errors that slipped through the first time. Believe it or not, this happens all of the time. Have you ever been reading a favorite book and noticed that something was misspelled, or punctuation was missing, or there just simply the wrong word used? That’s not because the editor wasn’t doing their job, but because—sadly—we’re only human, and things get missed. Even huge releases, like Brandon Sanderson’s Oathbringer, which was released this past November, can have errors. If you got a first edition, note that in your table of contents, Oathbringer is listed as book two of the series.

2.) Technology Updates.

Technology changes happen so quickly now that every few years code should probably be re-examined for updates and areas of improvement. Since Wolk’s Abe Lincoln Trilogy was originally released in 2004, it would definitely be time for an update—if it had even had prior coding. This particular set of books was never released as an ebook, which poses an even larger challenge. Things like making sure that the text appears normally on all screen sizes and functions the way it is supposed to as an ebook come into play. These are the kinds of things that editors check for at this stage even if a book has been published as an ebook previously, but that need even more attention if it hasn’t.

So continual proofreading, especially before new printings or rereleases, is expected and even necessary in many cases. So if you’re excited to check out the Lincoln books this Presidents’ Day or looking forward to getting your hands on 50 Hikes this March, know that the editing team is hard at work making them as clean and error-free as (humanly) possible!