Checking headings can be a tedious part of writing. However, a chapter’s title is the first thing your reader’s going to see, so catching problems there is at least as important as in the rest of the text. I recently read a book with the following issue:
Errors like the one above stick out. In fact, they can stick out more than those in the main body of the text, because a heading is often on multiple pages. In the example above, ‘APPPENDIX’ appeared on nine seperate occasions. That makes it nine times more obvious than my misspelling of separate in the last sentence.
It’s a shame when things like this happen, because it undermines the quality of the book. It reminds me of the time I went to a restaurant. The waiter who served us was polite and made us feel welcome. He then went into the kitchen, and before the door swung shut, I heard him yell, ‘It’s a f*****g shambles in here!’
I don’t remember what the food was like, but I do remember the swearing waiter. Typos in your headings, given pride of place, perhaps displayed in bold and capitals, will stick in the minds of your readers just as easily. When I proofread a book, I always include checking contents pages and chapter titles on my checklist.
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How do you guard your titles against issues? Get in touch and let me know!