Why do I need a proofreader?

Proofreading is the final quality check, with the aim of highlighting any remaining errors before publication. It is difficult to proofread your own work: you read what should be there rather than what is there on the page. A fresh pair of eyes is needed. I am trained to find errors and inconsistencies that others may not see, especially if they have already been working on the text.

Spelling and grammar checkers will not spot all errors or inconsistencies. Here are some examples from rules I have proofread:

  • A word is spelled correctly but used incorrectly: form/from, of/on, stating/starting, lost/lots.
  • The text swaps from the present to the past or future tense.
  • Token on page 1 is then referred to as a marker on page 3: are they the same thing or different items?
  • Inconsistencies with use of spelling, numbers, etc.: three/3, Set-up/Setup. This can be distracting for the reader.
  • A game has 5 phases but the rules then mention step 1: should this be phase 1 or is a step something different?
  • A command is later referred to as an action.
  • An icon becomes a symbol later in the rules.
  • The year 1947 is stated in the rules but the card says 1945.

Publishers

The final proof needs to be accurate and consistent to be as professional and reader-friendly as possible. The reader will be confused or distracted by errors and inconsistencies and may be put off playing the game.

Designers

Rules need to read well and be accurate and consistent. Having your rules professionally proofread will help ensure that publishers are more likely to read them and will not be deterred by errors and inconsistencies.