First of all, why use a proofreader?
To answer this question we must look at exactly what is meant by ‘proofread’. As you will see in my header image, The Concise Oxford Dictionary defines it as:
proofread /’pru:fri:d/ v.tr. past and past part. -read /-red/) read (printer’s proofs) and mark any errors.
That sounds simple enough – after all, in this age of spelling and grammar checkers much of the laborious editing work is done by the PC’s own word-processing software … isn’t it?
The answer to that question is ‘yes, it does, but only to a degree’. If an incorrect word is used – one that is spelled correctly and does not flag a grammatical error – it slips by unnoticed. So will any instance where a word is omitted. Furthermore, many punctuation blunders will escape detection, layout errors will be unnoticed and style inconsistencies slip the net.
A careful read-through may spot some blunders but the human brain cleverly corrects errors whilst our eyes scan the material, allowing us to read what should be there rather than what is. This is especially true in the case of authors (even those who are also proofreaders themselves) who are often so familiar with their work that they only see what they had intended to write, overlooking their own typographical errors … hence the need for a fresh pair of eyes.
A Case in point:
When I was about to publish my own debut novel, ‘The Door to Caellfyon’, financial constraints prevented me from obtaining the services of an independent editor. I therefore proofread my own copy. Whilst I was very happy with the result, familiarity resulted in one or two boo-boos slipping by unnoticed. One such error is shown here.
- This small omission serves to highlight the need for a fresh pair of eyes if you wish your work to appear polished, your message clear and your facts correct. It can mean the difference between being taken seriously or … well, I’m sure you understand.
Standard Proofreading Service
This will include the checking and correction of the following, ensuring also that there is consistency throughout the work:
- Layout and formatting, including referencing, footnotes, headings and running heads
- Font inconsistencies
- Word-breaks, hyphenation, widows and orphans
- Conformance to house-styles and conventions
Proofread and Light Copy-Editing Service
In addition to those elements listed above, this service also includes:
- Ensuring writing style is correct for the intended readership
- Enhancing quality of text, rewriting sentences where appropriate
- Improving sentence flow, ensuring readability and clarity of argument.
Small Document Service (up to 1,000 words)
Not all proofreading work involves ‘War and Peace’ sized manuscripts. You may have an article for publication, a business report, tender document or flyer – all demanding accuracy and clarity. For these I’ve added the Small Document Service, in which I provide proofreading with light-brush copy-editing at a standard, fixed-fee.
- I’m able to provide these services using a variety of formats. My Procedure page has details of these. It also explains the way in which I’ll handle your project swiftly, efficiently and in complete confidentiality.
Perhaps you’d prefer a detailed quotation tailored to suit your specific needs? No problem. Here’s a Request for Quotation form to get things started.
… I understand that we all need assurances before making commitments – especially those involving money. I’ve therefore added a few clients’ testimonials to reflect the quality of service I provide. You may wish to know a little more about me before going any further. If that’s the case this link will take you to my About Me page. And, of course, should you have any other questions or concerns, please contact me. I’ve provided a form on my sidebar for you to use and, should you prefer, my contact information is shown at the foot of the page.