Proofreading

proofreading

What is proofreading?

Proofreading is the last check on your work. It’s done once all other critiquing and/or editing (e.g., line-editing, copy-editing, structural editing) have been done and you are completely happy with the content. My job is to catch any typos, punctuation errors, spelling mistakes, or grammar slip-ups that might have been missed on previous rounds of editing and rewriting.

I’m planning to self-publish. Do you take on self-published authors?

Yes! I’m very happy to work with independent authors.

What else do you proofread?

Pretty much anything: short stories, novels and novellas, non-fiction books, memoirs, essays, website copy, articles…you name it!

What will I get with a proofread?

Once I’ve finished working, I will send your work back to you marked up with suggested amendments using track changes; I will not simply make changes directly to your work. You will see my amendments in the margins, and you can then decide to either accept the changes I’ve made or ignore them. It’s always possible a mistake I’ve spotted was intentional, or I may make more than one suggestion.

Do I really need my work to be proofread?

After numerous rewrites, you become “blind” to your own mistakes, so having a fresh set of eyes look over your work is always a good idea; I can almost guarantee I’ll catch something that has slipped through, as I’ve been trained to “read” a piece of work in a particular way.

Will you catch every error? (You are called Perfectly Write, after all!)

No editor or proofreader can catch everything. I make every effort to hit 100% accuracy, but it’s more likely I’ll pick up 95–99% of the mistakes present, although it depends largely on the number of overall errors and if the work has been copy-edited first. This is why more than one round of editing – standard within traditional publishing – is vital.

Another important thing to note is that the English language is always evolving; the rules never stay the same! One editor may say a hyphen or a comma is needed somewhere, while another editor would disagree. These are “style” choices, and neither is wrong.

I live in the US. Are you familiar with American English?

I’m an American expat; I spent my first 24 years in the States, so I’m just as familiar with US conventions as I am with UK usage.

My work hasn’t been line-edited/copy-edited. Will you still proofread it?

If it’s a short story, yes, but I will need to have a look at it to determine whether a simple proofread will be appropriate or if it needs more work. I am happy to copy-edit your short story, but please bear two things in mind: 1) I don’t have as much experience with copy-editing as other editors; I will catch around 90% of your mistakes, and 2) It will cost more.

If your work is longer than 5,000 words, it really should undergo some copy-editing first with a more experienced editor (see links for suggestions). If that’s not possible, I’m happy to take a look at it to see if I can help.

Are there any genres you won’t critique or proofread?

I don’t critique poetry or scripts. I prefer not to read stories that are particularly gory, or where the violence is there for shock value. If I find a piece too difficult to work with, I will ask to be relieved of our agreement and process a full refund of the fees you’ve paid.

What formats do you accept?

I accept work in Microsoft Word, PDF, and Apple Pages.

How long will it take?

Turnaround time varies greatly depending upon word length. I aim to have work of 5000 words or fewer back within 2-3 days.

What are your rates?

I accept payment via PayPal or direct deposit. Proofreading costs £5/1000 words (£0.005/word).

Do I have to pay upfront?

If the quoted fees are £200 or more, you can pay half before work commences and the other half within 14 days of receiving the second invoice, which is sent the same day as the completed work (UK clients only; clients outside the UK must pay in full upfront), otherwise I request payment before starting work.

How do we get started?

If you’d like to work with me:

  1. Please send me an email at michelle@perfectlywrite.co.uk with your name, the title and genre of your work, the word count, and any relevant information. It is preferable that you also include the work itself (or the first 1000 words if the piece is longer than 10,000 words) as an attachment (Word, PDF, or Pages) so that I can take an initial look to make sure I’m able to help you.
  2. After I receive your email and take a peek at your work, I will reply with a price quote and an estimate of how long it will take.
  3. If you’re happy with this, please let me know how you’d prefer to pay.
  4. I will then send you either a PayPal invoice or details on how to make a direct deposit into my bank account. If you haven’t already done so, please send your work at this point. Once payment has cleared, I will begin working on the project.

Please note: by agreeing to the quote and paying the first invoice, you are agreeing to the terms & conditions.

I don’t like working electronically. Can we work on paper?

For proofreading, yes, as long as the work has been word processed and not handwritten. Please follow the steps above, including sending a sample of your work. Once we’ve ironed out the details, we can proceed in one of two ways:

•You can print out your work and post it to me (single-spaced, 3 cm margins, sent via recorded delivery).

or,

•I can print the work out for a fee of 2.5p per page.

I will also need to include a fee for return postage, which will depend upon the size of the manuscript. I will include a postage quote along with the quote for the proofreading.

Please ensure you read the terms & conditions prior to commissioning work.