Publishing literature in the technological age is immensely different than it was just a few years back. With just a click, anyone can be a published writer – anything is possible on the internet these days. The long process of book publication that once was might not completely be over, but it has been revolutionized.
That being said, without a professional editor or publication company, there has been an increase of poorly written books being published with a considerable amount of spelling and grammar mistakes. So, if you’re thinking about publishing one of your works online, you should make sure that your piece is free of these seemingly simple mistakes that many people unknowingly make.
For your convenience, you should invest in at least one (preferably all) of the following grammar guides:
1. The Chicago Manual of Style
2. Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style
3. Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
All of these books contain a vast amount of information concerning the world of grammar for the English language and will assist with any questions you may have while editing your work. As a writer, it’s important that you know all the complicated rules of citation along with the knowing the when to use the right “there”. So, always have one of these books in your bag as you work on a piece for publication, or just to practice using correct grammar.
In addition, it’s a good idea to invest in a copy of the Oxford English Dictionary, or subscribe to the OED’s online edition for when your word processor’s spell checker doesn’t have the answers to all of your spelling or grammar questions. Having an available dictionary will also expand your use of diction and altogether make you a more advanced writer.
Keep in mind, just having these references won’t help if you don’t use them. This is not to say that you should overuse them so they disrupt your workflow, but when you’re revising your piece and come across a grammatical problem that you are unsure about, these grammar guides will most likely have the answer. Also, a good piece of advice while revising is to get into the habit of reading your work aloud. If you notice that you’re stumbling over a sentence, there is probably a structural or grammatical error that needs to be fixed; it’s also a lot easier to find spelling mistakes when you read your work out loud.
So, before you click “publish,” remember to revise with the help of these grammar guides, because these days you don’t want to fall into the trap of making mistakes that can be easily avoided.