The written, comic, a graphic portions of my book about stuttering are complete and all laid out which means the next step begins. And that’s printing this first draft and having a look. There are two reasons why it’s important that you print out a rough draft instead of proofing on a screen.

First, you miss a lot of mistakes on a screen. For some reason, it’s easier to catch the littlest of details on paper than on a screen. I wonder if it is related to the fact that we tend to scan when reading a web page. Plus, you will be able to make your corrections and notes directly on the print out (I recommend using a red pen).

Secondly, you need to know how things will look in the final product. Since in this case the final product will be a book, I need to proof it in that state.

“But I don’t want to kill trees”

I’m all for conserving, but those trees are already dead. And you can always use recycled paper (and recycle your rough draft once you’re through with it).

You can also check to see if your printer has an option to print in rough draft mode. It uses less ink.

You can also check to see if your printer can print multiple pages on one sheet (you may need to use a magnifying glass though).

And you can always turn the sheets over to print on the other side of your printer doesn’t do that automatically.

“Isn’t reading on a tablet the same thing as reading a book?”

I wonder about this. Does reading on a tablet produce the same affect as reading, I mean, scanning on a laptop? While I haven’t conducted research or checked to see if anyone has but I’d like to be safe. After all, it’s a printed book I’m working on. I want to avoid finding errors after hundreds of copies have been printed.

Besides, my hunch is we still scan and miss things on a tablet. There’s something about the tactile nature of paper that makes proofreading effective.

Remember, we live in a society that demands perfection and seems to think everything will work out right without hard work. Don’t worry, you won’t be accused of being stuck in the past for printing things out. You want to ensure that you don’t miss any mistakes or the dreaded auto-correct mistakes and typos like using “you” instead of “your”.

“Um, have you ever heard of the Kindle? People have been reading books on them for quite some time now”

I have thought about ebooks. My guess is we read them with a different mind and speed than proofing.  Of course, I could be wrong, but then again, I am not an expert and quite frankly, I haven’t included any citations to back my claims.

Which brings me to my question for you. What do you think? Do you find that you do or do not skip items when reading on a tablet? Have you stumbled across research about effective proofreading on tablets?

Come to think of it, I don’t print out my blog posts to proof read. I proof it right on my laptop screen. Does this mean there is a difference between blog posts and the printed word? Is it a work ethic thing?