What Will A Proofreader Do For Me?
Proofreading is the final step in the editing process. It’s the ultimate polish on your final files before they go to publishing. Ensuring that your text has no tiny errors in spelling or punctuation brings your writing to a level of professionalism required in the competitive publishing world. Many authors even hire more than one proofreader to double check their work and to make sure that absolutely no mistakes get through!
Proofreading requires an eye for detail and a method in order to spot every subtle error and mistake.
What is The Difference Between Proofreading and The Other Types Of Editing?
The main difference between a proofreader and other types of editors is the mindset with which they approach the project. A proofreader will not focus on the overarching structure of the story, or the strength of the composition. They will look for unintentional errors in spelling, grammar, and mechanics. A proofreader will not add in or take away specific words or phrases, but instead, focus on small errors that ultimately make a big difference!
For books with photos, they are checking that photos are placed correctly and that the photos have a credit as well as their captions for style and accuracy. For print books, the proofreader is checking the aesthetics: typesetting and page design. For books with a table of contents, they are cross-checking numbers and chapter names.
Do I Need A Proofreader If I've Already Worked With An Editor?
A developmental editor may pick up small inaccuracies, this editorial phase is generally approached with the knowledge that a separate edit will address the minutiae details all too often missed. Your developmental editor will not focus solely on mistakes in spelling or formatting.
The copy editor will do that as part of their edit and usually leaves little for the proofreader to focus on. However, the difference between them is that the copy editor is reviewing the text before print and the proofreader is reviewing it as the book will appear in its final format. They will make sure that no errors were introduced in the production stage, either by the author adding revised text after copyediting or by the person responsible for printing.
Of course, the proofreader is also looking for any lingering errors in spelling, punctuation, grammar, and style that may have slipped by the copy editor. Spelling errors can still be found after several rounds of revising and proofreading, which is why many best-selling authors employ 4 to 5 different proofreaders on every one of their books!