How to Hire a Proofreader

Do you have a great idea for a book? Have you already written a story and you really like how it turned out? Either way, if you’re thinking about publishing your writing, before you do, you’re going to want to find a professional proofreader to check over your work before you start submitting it to publishing house or before you proceed with self-publishing. 

What is a proofreader? Why do you need a proofreader? How do you hire a professional proofreader? For the answers to these questions, keep on reading. 

What is a Proofreader? 

Put simply, a proofreader is someone who ensures that content is error-free before submitting it for publishing. This professional doesn’t revise or rewrite your writing, but rather, a proofreader will look over your final manuscript to make sure that your writing is free of the following errors: 

  • Grammatical
  • Spelling 
  • Typographical 
  • Punctuation 
  • Syntax
  • Formatting

As an example, a proofreader read through your writing and if they spot a “they’re” when it should be a “their” or a “there”, the professional will make the necessary adjustments. Proofreading focuses on tweaking the diction and syntax of your writing in order to ensure that it is fluid, reads correctly, and makes sense. In other words, a proofreader will make sure that your writing is all spruced up and is truly professional-looking before you have it published. 

Why is Proofreading Important? 

If you’re serious about becoming an author, before you send your manuscript out to a publisher (or publish it yourself), making sure that your manuscript is clean and free of errors is crucial. While you may have a firm grasp of the written language and you might have read over your writing numerous times, there’s a good chance that you could overlook something. Even a single, seemingly small error could be seriously detrimental to your writing; an extra word, a spelling error, the wrong punctuation mark, or a missing upper-case letter, for example. That’s why hiring a professional proofreader is so important, as they will act as an extra set of eyes that will overlook your writing for any errors and if any errors are spotted, they’ll let you know. In other words, a proofreader is important, as this professional will clean up your writing so that it – and you – are taken seriously. 

What to Look for in a Proofreader

When you’re looking for a professional proofreader, you’re going to want to speak with several candidates. Whether in-person or over-the-phone, there are some key questions that you should ask each prospective proofreader to help you determine which one will best meet your needs. Examples of some of the key questions you’ll want to ask include: 

  • What are your credentials? 
  • How long have you been proofreading? 
  • What types of writing have you proofread? 
  • How many titles have you proofread? 
  • What style guide do you use? 
  • Do you offer copyediting services, too? 
  • Can I see samples of your work? 
  • Do you have references I can contact? 
  • Is English your first language? 
  • How do you charge: by the word or by the page? 

Where to Find Professional Proofreaders

There are several places where you can find professional proofreaders, and thanks to the world wide web, the internet is most certainly the easiest way to find someone to proof your writing. There are several job board websites where proofreaders offer their service. Examples of some of the most reliable sites include: 

  • Reedsy
  • ProofReadingServices
  • EditorWorld
  • GetProofed

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