This really isn’t a topic that needs a bunch of explanation. Short and sweet covers it.
Read your work. Set it aside. Read and edit again. When you are done that, if you want to go balls to the wall (and you should) read your work out loud. Why, you ask? Because your ear will hear the wrong word used when your eye supplies what it knows you meant. Your brain and your eyes are in cahoots and one will stick up for the other to a fault. Your ears are all rebellious and whatnot.
Your brain will show you, quite often, what you meant to type as opposed to what you wrote.
Case in point:
The other morning I typed an email to the man. I had had about three sips of coffee, there were two children arguing over the size of their bacon and who had more juice and a dog who kept standing between my feet because he thought he might also get some bacon.
This is a typical writing situation for me whether it’s an email or a chapter or a whole damn book. And I bet I’m not the only one! So here is what I meant to type:
We had a power issue last night after you went to bed…
I scanned my email and hit send, happy in my knowledge that I had done a good job explaining.
Two minutes later I got an email that said:
I reread my message and (sadly) I had actually written:
We had a pour issue last night after you went to bed…
Believe it or not, this happens more often than you think. You mean coffin and you sip your coffee and write coffee. You mean your and type you’re or vice versa. Your brain will often show you what you know you meant. So if you read your work aloud you catch those coffees, yours, and pours. Your eyes might tell you it’s fine but your ears are all: “Say what?”
After you do all that reading, what now? Have someone you trust read it if at all possible. And then when they’re done, you read it again.
That’s really not a hard step in the self publishing effort, but it’s one that’s often skimped on. Trust me, I’ve gotten to this point from being told about typos, mistakes and errors that have been missed. On books I was certain were clean!
And no, you probably will not catch them all. Hell, I have found doozies in books put out by huge publishing houses for huge authors. Books you just know had to filter through a dozen or more people. So doo-doo still happens, folks. But if you are vigilant and careful and thoughtful, there will be less doo-doo to deal with.
Which is always a good thing.