What to Look for When Finding a Proofreader

Are You Interested in a Proofreader for Your Business?

After finishing your manuscript, you want to find a proofreader.

You will probably need copyediting. Your goal is to enhance your writing skills by polishing your manuscript.

It is your duty as a writer to master the language of professionals. Proofreading, although the final step in editing, is a job for the publisher or the self-publisher.

The act of proofreading involves reading a galley or electronic version of a book to identify and fix production mistakes. Proofreaders read the printed proof of a book to look for typographical errors prior to printing. The proofreader does not work directly with the author. You should look for an editor if that is what you are looking for.

The steps of editing a manuscript

Understanding the different types of editing will help you polish your novel. The stages of each type are sequential and the “proofreading stage” is at the end.

You may wish to hire a line-editor to polish your writing before hiring a copyeditor or proofreader to correct mechanical errors like punctuation and capitalization. If this is your debut novel, or if you are unsure of the story’s overall structure, a developmental editor can help. They will look for any plot holes, redundancies and weak passages.

They help you to develop your story. The developmental editor can help with your story development, tension-building and stakes escalation. Some developmental editors guide writers through their first draft.

A line editor can help you make your prose shine once your manuscript is complete. The line editor focuses on your use of language in telling the story. Your language skills may be lacking, even if you have a great story. Line editors, also known as general editors, help match prose with a story. A line editor may point out:

  • Use of extraneous words or sentences
  • The run-on sentence
  • The same information is repeated multiple times.
  • You can tighten up the dialogue or paragraphs.
  • Clear and confusing scene action
  • Uncertain meaning
  • Unnatural tone and phrasing
  • The passages that are not well written
  • Narrative digressions that are confusing
  • Changes in the pace of work
  • Use words or phrases to clarify your message

The writer can get so absorbed in the story that they can miss important changes which can improve the experience of the reader.

Hiring an editor is often a costly endeavor. ProWritingAid helps you save time and money by helping you self-edit. ProWritingAid began as a tool to help writers complete their first (and subsequent) self-edits. Over 20 reports cover all the above areas and more.

ProWritingAid can be used to help identify the areas that need to be improved, prioritize the edits to improve your manuscript and make changes as quickly as possible.

You can hire a copyeditor once you’ve written a polished story and have excellent prose. The final step in editing is copyediting. This helps to eliminate mechanical mistakes. Copyediting is the final stage of editing to avoid mechanical errors.

  • The correct spelling of words, grammar, punctuation and syntax
  • Consistency is key in terms of spelling, punctuation, numbers, fonts and capitalization.
  • Mark ambiguous and factually inaccurate statements
  • Keep track of internal consistency in plot, character, and setting

Copyeditors are focused on the smallest details. If a character is marked on both the left and right cheeks on pages 40 and 230, the copyeditor will note the inconsistency.

This page-by-page and sentence-by-sentence review should be done at the late draft stage. If your manuscript has not been completed, there is no reason to hire a copyeditor.

What to do when you can’t find a copyeditor for your story:

Copyeditors are able to work with different types of manuscripts. Look for a copyeditor who is specialized in fiction. Not academic papers, journalism, blogs, or other articles. You want to hire a copyeditor that is experienced in your particular genre. A copyeditor who is familiar with crime fiction will be able to spot phrases like, “she pulled the big Beretta” as a Beretta, as far as handguns are concerned, is compact. The Beretta is not small, but neither is it large. This detail might be missed by a romance editor.

You and your editor will be working together to create your manuscript. You should therefore have a good rapport. The majority of editors will ask to see some of your work and offer you a free edit on a portion of it. You can each learn about the style of your counterpart.

Find out the editor’s schedule. Some editors have their schedules set months in advance. Copyediting takes about three to five weeks. Coordinate your publication date and the editor’s schedule. As you are working on line edits, start your search.

Most editors combine copyediting and line editing. You will be able to streamline the editing process if you do this. After you have worked on the line edits you can move onto copyediting.

Communication is the key to building a strong relationship with your editor. You should also be professional in your communication with the editor. You should establish compatibility from the start.

How to Find a Copyeditor

Do not wait to find an editor until your manuscript is finished. Set up a list of editors you are interested in, and make notes on their pricing, turnaround time, availability, etc.

Start with word of mouth. Writers can offer recommendations. These friends may also be able to steer you clear of a negative experience. If your friend is a Sci-Fi Fantasy writer and you are a Cozy Mysteries author, then the perfect match may not work for you. To ensure your copyeditor is familiar with your genre, make sure they are.

You can also search the Editorial Freelancers Association for a list of editors. Search for editors who specialize in copyediting or novel writing. You can also filter by preferred file formats, such as Microsoft Word and Google Docs. After you’ve filtered your choices, you will have an extensive list of editors that are likely to work well together.

NY book editors pairs writers with genres and editors. The information you provide about the book and genre will be used to match the editor with the writer. You will be matched with an editor. The request is not binding. You can then follow the suggested steps to determine if you and the editor are compatible.

Proofreading and editing service, USA provides writing service to independent authors. To find a copyeditor, you must join. You can then search for an editor in the Proofreading and editing service, USA Marketplace. You are responsible for initiating an inquiry.

Use Editcetera if you find it difficult to sort through the hundreds of editors and choose one that is right for your project. The group consists of more than 100 editing professionals who have been vetted. The group matches your project to the best editor. All references and the experience of each professional are checked. The Editcetera team will match you up with an editor who is best suited for your project after receiving a description of the job and submitting a sample. You can change editors if you don’t like your editor match.

Finding the perfect copyeditor to work on your manuscript will give you the final editing that your book deserves. You won’t lose your readers because of misspellings or inconsistencies. Your manuscript will be ready to submit for publication, or formatted for self-publishing.

The Modern Copyediting Process

Modern editing is easier with digital documents. Both you and your editor can work together on the document. Your editor may also add digital comments to the margin. Accepting or rejecting the suggestions of the editor is up to you. The editor will usually make professional suggestions that can benefit your manuscript.

After you have made all the necessary revisions to your manuscript, it is now ready for publication. Send it off to an editor or agent with confidence that you have avoided the most common mistakes that can prevent stories from being published. Indie authors can also convert the manuscript to a digital form for publication.

Congratulations on your professional treatment of the manuscript. You will be able to tell a better story, and your readers will love the book.


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