When someone asked this question online the other day, I had to add my two cents to the pot. Here's my response.
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Simple. Start at the beginning and end at the end.
Next question, please.
What? Too simple? Okay, maybe it's not as easy as that. But, your question is pretty obtuse. If you're asking how I personally proofread and edit a book, that's one thing. But, since you have directed your question to more than one respondent, I'm assuming you're using "you" in the generic and not the specific sense. As in "How do you people proofread and edit a book?"
Honestly, anyone who sets about proofreading and editing a book, and doing so properly, needs years of technical knowledge about writing, language, punctuation, and spelling. Sentence structure also comes into play. As does syntax, characterization, dialogue, general structure, construction, and all the other elements involved in writing a fiction or nonfiction book (you don't specify in your question). After that, the editor must have a keen eye to identify a problem area when he or she comes across one and, of course, know how to fix it. There's no "one way" to do it right. But there often is one "best" or, rather, "most effective" way to do so, subject to personal preference. Read More