SBPRA Reveals the Top Editing Mistakes Self-Publishing Authors Make that Sabotage Their Book’s Success

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Well-known indie publisher Strategic Book Publishing and Rights Agency (SBPRA) has developed a list of the Top Editing Mistakes made by authors who self-publish their works. These mistakes are behind most of the rejections and poor reviews these authors may receive.

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In today’s high-tech world, self-publishing has become increasingly popular. Publish-on-demand (POD) printing has forever changed the way authors approach book publishing. Gone are the days when large print runs were the norm. Now anyone can afford to publish their book; but ease of publishing doesn’t ensure the high standards that the industry expects.

Strategic Book Publishing and Rights Agency (SBPRA), an independent publishing company, has developed a list of the Top Editing Mistakes that prevent authors from having their books accepted by the publishing industry. SBPRA is making this list available to the public at no charge to help existing and future authors in their quest for publishing success. They list the following as the Top Editing Mistakes:

1. Neglecting to proofread the work before submitting.
2. Typographical, punctuation, and grammar errors.
3. Failure to obtain permission to use copyrighted material.
4. Failure to include all the material in a single file.
5. Failure to develop a professional and yet individual style.

Neglecting to Proofread the Work Before Submitting. Authors are urged to take a thorough look at their work before submission. They should go over it objectively, remembering that this is a marketable product. Authors should be aware of their propensity to use their favorite words and expressions repeatedly and take pains to avoid that. And finally, they should make sure manuscripts are not submitted with duplicate or missing chapters.

Typographical, Punctuation, and Grammar Errors. In actuality, this could be an endless list. Here are some of the most common mistakes.

  • It’s instead of its, and vice versa.
  • Misuse or omission of apostrophes (Bills dad is incorrect; so is Dad’s bill’s).
  • Using hyphens when dashes are required.
  • Inconsistent format of numbers, dates, times of day, and the like.
  • Capitalizing Every Word In A Title Or Subtitle. Standard publishing practice dictates the capitalization of only important words, not articles and short prepositions.
  • Confusing the spelling of homophones, like lightning and lightening, or complimentary and complementary.
  • Inconsistent capitalization, such as capitalizing “Bible” in some places and making it lower-case in other places.
  • Inconsistent hyphenation, such as hyphenating “well-dressed” in one sentence and not hyphenating “well behaved” in another.
  • Using US and UK spellings and style in the same manuscript, resulting in humor and color in some places and humour and colour elsewhere. It’s either one or the other!
  • Overuse or underuse of commas. It seems nowadays that the prevailing error is under use rather than overuse of commas, perhaps because writers feel unsure of where a comma is appropriate or required.
  • Using “that” instead of “who” when referring to people.

Failure to Obtain Permission to Use Copyrighted Material. It is the author’s responsibility to ensure that permission is obtained for the use of all materials included in the book (not just text, but illustrations, charts, graphs, and the like). It is also incumbent upon the author to ensure that all citations from other works are correctly quoted and that the sources are correctly cited.

Failure to Include All Material in a Single File. Not only the text proper, but the “front matter” (title page, copyright page, epigraph, dedication, table of contents, preface, foreword, and introduction) as well as the “back matter” (bibliography, glossary, and endnotes or footnotes if used) should be included in the manuscript. Nobody will ever know if the author intended to include this material if it is not supplied as part of the manuscript, and adding it after the page layout has been completed is time-consuming, inefficient, and potentially expensive for the author.

Failure to Develop a Professional Yet Individual Style. This is a really big one. So many authors don’t make the effort to learn how to write effectively. To compensate, they interlard their prose with “filler” phrases like “It is important to remember” or “I want to take this opportunity to say” instead of just beginning with the essential statement. Or they try to appear up-to-date by using slang like “What’s up with that?” or “homeboy”—clichés that are bound to sound dated a few years after the book is published.

Do you want to find out more about getting your book published? Then please visit The Strategic Book Publishing and Rights Agency (SBPRA).

Media Contact:
Attn: Media Relations
Houston, TX

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Ellen Green
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