Book Review: Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors

Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling AuthorsI’ve been a fan of Kathy Ide ever since I learned about the Christian Editor Network and The Christian PEN: Proofreaders and Editors Network, two organizations that were a tremendous help to me when I began editing from home in 2006.

Kathy was especially gracious in helping a newbie like me learn the ropes in the scary world of editing books from home. She even referred some projects to me, which helped me earn income to support my family. I’m saying all this in the interest of full disclosure before I talk about her new book, Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors.

What Is This Book About?

What a treasure this book is, especially for book editors like me. I refer to the online version of The Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) almost every day. If asked, my book editing buddies would probably agree with me that sometimes putting our fingers on the answer we need in the CMOS isn’t as simple as it should be.

That’s where Kathy’s new book enters the picture. Finding those evasive editing rules are so easy now. Finally, at  my fingertips I can find exactly what I need without pulling out my already-thinning hair. Here are some examples:

  • Should the word french in “french fries” be capitalized? (No.)
  • What about the word son? Is it supposed to be capitalized in “Hey, son, I got a joke for you”? (Yes.)
  • Or what about the use of the comma with the word because? Does a comma belong before because in “I love peanut butter because it makes my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth”? (Yes.)

Those are just a few examples of the great stuff packed into this book. This book is great—and not just for book editors. If you want your manuscript to be the best it can be before you shoot it off to a publisher or literary agent, this book will do what it says—spill the beans on the secrets that make best-selling manuscripts better than . . . well . . . the manuscripts that get rejected. With this book in tow, you just might turn in that manuscript that impresses agents and gets you that contract.

Why am I saying this? Not because Kathy is a good friend in the editing world but because I believe in this product. In the interest of full disclosure, I received a prepress copy of the book’s first half. I can hardly wait to get my hands on the whole deal. If you want your writing to sing, this is an indispensable resource to reach for.

Kathy IdeWho Is the Author of This Book?

Kathy Ide has written books, articles, short stories, devotionals, and curriculum. She is also a full-time freelance editor/proofreader/mentor for new writers, established authors, and book publishers.

She is the founder and coordinator The Christian PEN: Proofreaders and Editors Network and the Christian Editor Network. You can visit her website and read her blog at

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