Your hard work is done. You've submitted your book and waited patiently. Finally, the day is here! Those boxes show up and you can't wait to get them open. VICTORY! As you crack the spine of this year's yearbook for the very first time, you're elated. It's beautiful! But wait...what's that? How could you have missed that!? A typo. A dreaded, horrible typo. A typo that everyone will see. EV-ER-Y-ONE that ordered a yearbook. (Sigh). Suddenly you're seeing pics of the typo being shared on everything from Facebook to Twitter. The horror!
Whether it's the heading that reads "Principle's Message" or a name spelled incorrectly (there are a LOT of ways to spell a LOT of names), the effect is the same. Disappointment: not just for you, but for the kids and parents that have worked so diligently with you on this project. Seeing a mistake in print (a few hundred copies worth) is demoralizing, to say the least. Nothing takes the wind out of your sails quite like finding a blemish on your masterpiece.
So, how do you avoid this?
1. Create a checklist. This will breakdown all the things you need to look for, i.e. spelling, grammar, punctuation, facts, stats, names, etc. And don't just include proofing the copy. You should also be looking for photos cut off or obstructed by another object (especially check those bleeds and gutters!), design that is too cluttered, copy that is illegible because the background is too dark/light/whatever. Be sure to include all aspects of what makes your book shine - the writing AND the design!
2. Work on one item at a time. Using your checklist, just tackle one item at a time. It will be much easier to spot a spelling mistake if that's all you're focused on for the time being. If something else jumps out at you, obviously address it, but keep your focus on one item at a time and you'll be less likely to miss things - and less likely to feel overwhelmed!
3. Take breaks. Don't tackle the proofing all in one sitting. For one, you're butt will get sore. For two, it's better on your eyes to break and leave it be for a while before coming back to it. You'll be sharper, fresher and less likely to get a neck cramp!