- Find a Proofreader
- Face the Red Ink
- Second Draft Edited
- Final Draft Edited
Everyone makes mistakes. This is a fact of writing. What's worse is it's very difficult for writers to see their own mistakes. You've been staring at these pages for months now and your imagination is washing over the little things you missed. Now is the time to see what your book looks like through someone else's eyes.
You need a proofreader.
Find a Proofreader
The more eyes you can get on your book, the better. Professional proofreaders are the very best but just about anyone you find to read and review your comic will help you find mistakes.
Friends and Family
Now that you have a print-ready PDF, you can load it on a USB drive and swing by a copy shop to print a few hard copies. While you're at it, buy a pack of red pens and binder clips. Congratulations, you have created a review draft.
Ask everyone you know if they'll take a shot at reviewing your book.
Sicaga is here to help!
We're a good place to start! Post your work or a request for feedback to our social media ( ). The gang will do their best to give your comic a once-over. You can also bring your draft in to one of our events. We love to see what folks are working on!
Sicaga isn't the only artist/writer club out there, either. If you're not in Seattle, take a look around your community. Check meetup.com or the cork board at your local art supply store or indie book store.
There are people in the world who edit books professionally. You will need to add this to your budget, but hiring a professional will be an amazing load off your mind. You can count on a professional editor to give you exactly the feedback you request.
Identify Feedback Types
As you hand your draft to a proofreader, you should be clear what you're asking the proofreader to critique.
Spelling, Grammar and Typos
This is your top priority. Typos and written mistakes are the most visible errors in a finished work. A typo in your final print will haunt you for years to come. It does happen, even in industry printing, but we're going to do our best to mitigate it.
It's easy to overlook little details that didn't make it from your head to your paper. When you have folks read your book, pay attention to the places they get lost or confused. Often, issues like this can be fixed with a little rewording.
Like writing, there will be images you may not be totally clear to readers. It is less common for people to notice image hiccups writing hiccups, but it does happen. Most comic readers are quite forgiving of the visual art, especially after the first four pages. I wouldn't expect a lot of confusion over your art but pay attention to feedback.
This is your lowest priority, but still important. Pay attention to feedback but be careful not to fall into the FIX EVERYTHING trap. You are always improving as an artist, so it's more effective to carry your new skills into your next project. At this phase, remember love your accomplishment and keep the fixes to a minimum.
Face the Red Ink
It can be terrifying when edits come back. This book is your baby, it's hard to face the changes you'll need to make. This is yet another exercise is facing your apprehension. The edits are there to help you, so don't be afraid of them.
Most of the edits will be harmless corrections. Focus on fixing the little stuff. When more critical feedback comes in, take it in stride. Your reviewers may have very good suggestions, but you're still the artist and this is still your project. Take it all in and decide what you'd like to change.
Edit Your Draft
If you're receiving feedback from multiple editors, you'll likely create a draft per red-inked-draft. If you have to rely on one editor, try to get at least two drafts out of your editor.
Remember to credit your editors. You're on a budget so it may be tricky to pay them but favors make the world go round. It's not too late to slip their names into the masthead.
You've either finished sending your book through the crucible or you're still waiting for your comic to drown in red ink. Either way, you've reached the bottom of the page so you're ready to design your cover!