You know when you handed in an assignment and then afterwards stupidly decided to have another read over that final version?

You always found a few little mistakes you didn’t pick up on before. Back when you  had already read the thing over so many times that you could almost recite it word for word without looking. Why you decided to check it again, you don’t know. You can’t fix it. You’ve already handed it in. The deadline has passed. Now all you can do is smack your forehead and hope your teacher doesn’t sweat the small stuff.

I can guarantee that your teacher was more forgiving than a reader who’s forked out actual money to read your work. A proofread by someone who’s not already intimately acquainted with your work, and therefore, has fresh eyes for finding mistakes, can avoid all that stress.

Perfect if:

  • you’re an author intending to self publish.
  • you’re an author intending to publish traditionally.
  • you’re a copywriter in need of a final check and polish of your work.

What stage should you be at?

  • Your manuscript has been through all stages of the editing process.
  • Your manuscript has been typeset or converted to ebook format and you’re in need of one final check.
  • Your copy is complete and in its final format but needs one final grammar, spelling and punctuation check.

You don’t need to tick all of the above but at the very least the first should be completed so you get the most out of the copyediting experience.

What does proofreading involve?

  • This is the final stage of the editing process and only performed after an edit and typeset (when your manuscript is ready for printing or has been converted to ebook format) has already been completed.
  • Proofreading is completed on a PDF using markup symbols.
  • A proofread will pick up those final little errors in spelling, grammar and punctuation as well as fixing mistakes in formatting, layout and design, and it will ensure the document adheres to house (or agreed upon) style.