What is a proofread? A proofread happens once a manuscript has already been copy-edited. A proofreader aims to catch any errors or typos that may have been introduce into the manuscript during either the copy-edit or during the revisions after.
When should I hire a proofreader?Have you sent your story to a copy editor and completed all of the necessary revisions?
If the answer is yes, your story is ready for proofreading.
If the answer is no, the story must be copy-edited before it’s ready for proofreading.
Here's what you get:
One round of proofreading.
Silent (untracked) changes to remove extra spaces, unnecessary hard returns, or wonky formatting.
In-text edits using Track Changes within the manuscript to correct typos and errors.
A style sheet showing all of the decisions made about capitalization, spelling, hyphenation etc.
What’s covered? Detail-oriented topics, such as:
spelling and hyphenation,
ensuring that the text adheres to a style guide, either The Chicago Manual of Style, or Oxford/New Hart’s Rules.
What’s not covered? Big-picture issues or craft of writing issues, such as:
plot and structure,
point of view,
character development (arcs, motivation, and descriptions),
showing and telling,
setting and description.
Here’s what I do:
First, I check the manuscript for decisions about capitalization, spelling, hyphenation, names, dates, places etc.
I create a style sheet to refer to these decisions as I edit. (This helps me make sure that Mary isn’t ever Marry.)
Next, I read the manuscript. I look for grammatical errors, typos, strange formatting, remaining Tracked Changes,
I ensure consistency and accuracy of things such as the table of contents, page numbers, and headers or footers.
If any questions arise, I use comments to point out areas that might need revision.
I send a clean manuscript and the style sheet to the author who accepts the final changes and corrects any text with a comment or question.
I answer any questions that come up in the process.