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Thursday, September 23, 2021

Authors Can Use the Editor and Read Aloud Features on Office 365 for Books

    There are millions of self-published books featured on Amazon by hundreds of thousands of independent authors. Competition for authors to get on Amazon’s bestseller’s list is fierce, and it’s also very difficult to gain some type of edge over other authors in today’s climate. A book filled with typos will kill book sales, so it’s extremely important for an author to present a polished body of work to the reading public. While hiring a proofreader may be essential, depending upon a author’s grammatical skill level in writing, it won’t guarantee that a book will be error-free.

    One affordable solution to this problem for about $100 is to buy a yearly subscription to Microsoft Office 365, and this software has many elements to help authors proofread their work. The two most notable components that I use under the Review section of Office 365 are the Editor and Read Aloud features, and these are great tools that writers can use to bring their manuscripts as close to perfection as humanly possible.


    Editor Link.

    Click on the Review link in the toolbar, and then click on the Editor link so that the editing options will pop up to the right of the page. It will show the Editor’s Score in percentages at the top of the page, and underneath the score is the option to choose Formal, Professional, or Casual writing. I always choose the Casual writing option because I’m a crime and urban fiction author and blogger whose audience isn’t the academia or business world, and I also feel that formal or professional writing are for nonfiction books or corporate websites, for example. Below the Editor Score box are the Corrections and Refinements boxes, which calculate errors such as spelling, grammar, clarity, and conciseness automatically in order to achieve 100%.

    Read Aloud Feature.

    Go to the first chapter of the book and click on the Read Aloud feature so that the Play/Pause, Forward/Backward, Reading Speed, and Voice Selection options pop up. Once the reading speed and voice selection are set up, press the play button. This feature helps to catch the errors that proofreading eyes might miss. It’s easier to listen for words or phrases that don’t sound correct as opposed to looking for typos, missing commas, or incorrect homonyms.

    It’s better to present a manuscript that’s 99.99% accurate to a proofreader or editor because it’s virtually impossible to correct a book riddled with grammatical errors. There’s nothing more frustrating than to publish a book that was supposedly edited by a freelance proofreader only to unpublish it because of more typos being discovered.

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