Any writer knows that it is almost impossible to proofread your own work. This is because, when it consists of thousands of words, you tend to read, not what is there, but what you think is there, and you do not recall yourself making any mistakes – if you had, you would have corrected them long ago. So you must enlist volunteer proofreaders unless you are wealthy or are going the big business route.
I used five. Three were known to me personally and two through social media.Yes, my motto for social media is that everyone online is a liar, but that is only a default opening assumption. Over time you can sort many of them out. How have my five deported themselves?
Persons that you would entrust with such a project – inviting commentary as well as mere proofreading – you are going to find are not just sitting on their hands, but are busy. This has proven to be the case.
One, an elder, excused himself almost from the getgo. Portions made him uncomfortable. I was surprised of it in his case, because he raved about Tom Irregardless and Me, but I was not surprised in the generic. The new book is unswervingly loyal to both Jehovah and his visible organization, but it does go in some places not routinely gone, and there will be some uneasy about that.
Another one, also an elder, got back to me two months later. He also loved Irregardless, more so even than the brother before, but he had been insanely busy chasing around doing many things. He said I should not give up on him. He would yet get to it.
A third, who said she reads voraciously, returned a couple of chapters promptly with both valuable observations and proofreading. She said she was a bit uncomfortable at how a few things were stated. I told her it was the first chapter and I was relating without comment how some others presented matters and that I would be addressing them later on. Afterwards, she sailed away (literally, almost) and said she would be willing to do more, but it would be a while.
A fourth, who has spent time in Russia, returned a chapter or two with good commentary, and I forwarded another. This one sat for a time, because, as with the others, he is extremely busy, but it just came back.
The final one, the most prolific, to whom I sent some of the most sensitive material, returned in good order three chapters, but then was distracted by a major personal event, and after attending to it she left the country on vacation.
I appreciate them all – I truly do. The one in Russia even helped me out with translating some phrases – some others I let AI handle because I liked the ‘Boris and Natashia’ flavor returned.
The book cannot be too far off, it really cannot. Final tweaking, removing redundancies, injecting new salient points, and shaping up the endnotes, but overall, not too far off.