Writing a book is only one part of the publishing journey. Before you even get to the point of publishing your stories or novel, it will need to pass through the hands of a proofreader and an editor. There is a big difference between proofreading and editing, but for this article, we are going to focus on proofreading. On Reedsy, there are a lot of great proofreaders to choose from, but knowing what to look for is important regardless of the platform you end up using. Here are some of our tips that will help you hire a professional proofreader that meets your needs.
Ask For A Sample
Proofreading takes a lot of intensive attention. In fact, many people who claim to offer proofreading services simply check for plot holes or check the flow of a story. Proofreading requires intimate attention to detail that allows a person to catch spelling, syntax, grammar, and other errors in the text. It is a good idea to pick a passage from your book and send that to potential proofreaders for review. Use the same passage or page for all proofreaders you are considering so that you can easily compare the resulting samples provided.
Pay Attention to Turn Around Times
Any proofreading service that offers an insanely quick turnaround time is likely not going to do a very good job. Proofreading is more than just reading through a book, it is analyzing each sentence line by line multiple times until no more errors can be found. It is common for 100k words to take as long as a month to be properly proofread, if you have technical texts or a longer manuscript, a complete proofreading job can take even longer.
Just like with any other product or service it is important to check a person’s reviews before handing over your whole book. Other clients feedback can provide great insight into their customer service and the quality of their services. Also, look for independent reviews if the only source you are given is reviews listed on their own website.
The price of proofreading can vary wildly from one place to the next. Some services may charge on a per-page basis while others may offer a flat fee based on the total number of words in your book. It is a good idea to steer clear of bottom-of-the-barrel rates no matter what your budget may be. It is well worth paying a little bit more to have your text proofread by a professional as opposed to hiring a subpar service that will allow mistakes to fall through the cracks. At the same time, the most expensive service will not always provide the best proofreaders for your buck. Compare prices between the vetted proofreaders that have completed your sample passage and then move on from there.
Only Hire A Proofreader Who Offers a Contract
With any service getting the details down on paper is the best way to ensure everyone is on the same page. The same goes for when you want to hire a professional proofreader. The contract should cover the scope of services you expect to be completed, the cost for those services, the number of words or pages in your manuscript that you would like proofed, and the cost & deadline expectations. It is also a good idea to toss in a confidentiality clause or a nondisclosure clause to ensure your work is not shared with anyone else while it is with the proofreader.
Finding The Perfect Proofreader
With our easy-to-follow tips, finding proofreaders will be easier than ever. Just make sure that your manuscript is actually ready for this part of the process before you take the plunge. Professional proofreaders are not always budget-friendly, so always go over your work on your own and complete all of your story revisions before you hire a proofreader to check your work.