Often, you must turn your stylus to erase if you hope to write anything worth a second reading.
- Horace, Satires
With over 20 years of proofreading experience, I've had countless clients who, in the rush to publish, decided to skip proofreading — only to have their mistakes pointed out to them by the general public (or, worse, the specific prospect they'd been targeting).
I know that deadlines sometimes make it hard to take advantage of a proofreader's skills, but do you really feel your spell-check program is set up to catch everything? It's not! How many times have you yourself seen spelling mistakes in otherwise high-quality advertisements? Too many! This can absolutely ruin your intended effect.
But what can I actually do for you as a proofreader?
The official definition doesn’t exist, but my interpretation involves checking documents for spelling, grammar, and consistency.
There's actually a slightly higher level of proofreading, and it's called "copyediting" — kind of a mid-point between proofreading and editing. A copyeditor does your typical proofread, but also ensures your writing makes sense — with appropriate wording and sentence structure. For many of my clients, this is what they actually want.
I actually began my professional life as a proofreader/copyeditor, working for Encyclopaedia Britannica (see my credit on the 1998 CD-ROM version of the publication) and Douglas Press (a breakopen lottery ticket manufacturer). Since then, I have been the proofreader for literally hundreds of books and magazines, as well as copyeditor for dozens of clients. So you can trust me to provide eagle-eye service and hawk-swift turnaround.
The world needs more good proofreaders! And it needs them now! Click here for some recent news stories making that fairly obvious — a sort of proofreading blooper reel.
Contact me if you have questions about your project.
I have been working with Ross for several years now on every type of document, from academic articles to marketing. His work is thorough, his turnaround time is quick, and his changes are easy to understand. Ross makes sure that he fully comprehends the intention behind the words before executing any extensive rephrasing—which saves countless hours of review. I highly recommend him and I am grateful to have him on my team.
- Kate Siner Francis, Owner of Larger Visions