An Author’s Guide: 10 Things to Consider While Hiring a Proofreader


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Every author wants to put in the best efforts to ensure that their work stands out in the tough competition. Among several efforts, such as hiring an illustrator to send query letters to different publishers, one of the most important things is finding the right proofreader for your manuscript.

Finding a proofreader must be the first thing on any writer’s mind as soon as they drop the pen. While you may feel inclined to publish your book right away, being patient and hiring a proofreader to double-check spelling, grammar, punctuation, and more can do wonders for your journey as an author. 

Now that you are convinced to hire a proofreader, here are a few important things to consider.

1. Consider Their Experience 

Experience matters a lot when it comes to trusting someone for their proofreading skills. The best freelance proofreaders all over the world are gauged by their hands-on proofreading experience. You must not overlook this aspect while hiring proofreading professionals for your manuscript. 

More proofreading experience means that those professionals will be able to provide you with higher-quality work. Hence, you will feel more confident while sending your work out to literary agents and publishing houses.

2. Learn About their Expertise 

Just because a proofreader is known for their satisfying abilities to enhance any memoir does not mean that they will be able to provide the same level of satisfaction to fiction authors. Every genre has its own challenges and unique points. Hiring someone who understands these aspects is important.

Therefore, you must ask the proofreader about their experience in the genre of your book. It is always a better choice to hire someone who has some experience in the relevant genre. Otherwise, you may be compromising on the quality of proofreading for your work.

3. Inquire About Their Methods

Imagine paying a significant amount of money to someone who only relies on tools to proofread and edit your book. While there is nothing wrong with using tools, these mediums cannot match the human genius yet.

Instead of trusting the proofreader to be a decent person, you have the right to inquire about their editing methods. It is always a better idea to hire someone who can guarantee cohesiveness and correctness in your work by using a combination of tools and their own knowledge.

4. Ask About Their Qualifications

Although degrees and certifications are not a requirement for one to become a professional proofreader, they can be a good sign. Certifications and degrees show that the proofreader you are considering has worked towards shaping their career. It shows that they are passionate about proofreading.

Hence, you can rely on them to handle your work with care, not only to receive the charges for their service but also because they have a passion for bringing out the best in things. These certifications act as an assurance of their abilities to make you feel confident while working with them.

5. Inquire About Methods of Satisfaction

Just because a proofreader says that your work is ready to be published may not always be the most satisfying statement. How would you know what they have improved in your work, how much improvement has been made, or how they have improved it? 

Instead of staying in doubt, asking the potential proofreader about their methods to satisfy you can be a great approach. They may promise you a report of ways they improved your work or share a technique for you to find out the specifics and leave doubt behind.

6. Ask for Samples

The best way to be sure about the person you are about to choose as a proofreader for your book is to ask them for samples of their work. Samples give you a deeper insight into a proofreader’s methods, style, and quality of work.

You can get an idea of their potential, work ethic, and how much they bring to the table. This way, you will be able to see whether their service is worth your time and money. You will be able to make up your mind without any confusion.

7. Enquire About Their Turnaround Time

Every aspiring author is on the clock. They have a schedule that demands their manuscript to be read to be sent to literary agents. You must keep your well-managed schedule in mind while hiring a proofreader for your manuscript. 

You must convey your deadlines to your proofreader and ensure that they are available to proofread your work within the mentioned time frame. If there is a problem, you can either adjust or make changes to your schedule accordingly.

8. Question About the Rates

Every aspiring author has a budget which should not be overlooked at any stage of writing, preparing, or publishing your book. Understanding what a proofreader charges for their service can also help you  make a final call.

Before you hire a proofreader, make sure that you compare the rates they offer with other proofreaders in the industry. In addition, you can also see if they are ready to negotiate rates for their proofreading services.

9. Learn About Additional Services

If you have good experience working with a proofreader, you can consider working with them in the future. You do not need to hire them only when you need proofreading services. Instead, you can also ask them if they provide any additional services.

Many proofreaders also provide other services, such as editing, ghostwriting, or book formatting. You can hire them for additional services for the same project or form a partnership with them in the future.

10. Investigate About Management Methods

Some proofreaders provide their opinions by adding suggestions to your documents that can be easily accepted. However, some proofreaders may use a separate document to mark the issues and present alternatives. 

Different management methods may be suitable for different clients. You must inquire about a proofreader’s revision procedures to ensure that it aligns with your preferences. This way, you will be able to make the final decision with full confidence.

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