A good proofreader is worth their weight in, well, books. I was contacted on Friday by Penguin Canada (my publisher) with a list of questions the proofreader had about my second book, The Poisoned Pawn.
And sure enough, along with the usual amount of minor quibbles, the proofreader had found a major structural problem. I had Inspector Ramirez leaving Cuba on January 2nd, 2007 but behind his desk in Havana on January 3rd. That wasn’t the only question (or mistake) but probably the most serious. It meant going back through the book and tweaking a number of points where he talks about leaving for Canada or returning: tedious, but necessary.
In some instances, the proofreader just wanted to make sure I’d meant what I said. (Is the gun in Ellis’s holster or in Sloan’s? Is Vodun the same as Yoruba and Santeria?)
And how great that is to have someone who is completely apart from the writing/editing process read through a book, flagging possible points of confusion, and laying them out. Penguin hasn’t told me who the proofreader was, but whoever you are, good eye and great job! Love knowing I have that kind of support when it comes to getting published.