When you get in touch with me, the first thing I will discuss with you is what it is you need: are you ready to publish and needing that final essential proofread? Or is this your first complete draft and what you need is an editor? Sometimes we ask for proofreading when really we mean something more intensive. Or perhaps that first draft is a little more messy than we would care to admit!
You may not know what you need – that’s quite all right. Currently, when someone contacts me about work, I will ask to see a sample of the work in question (up to 1000 words, but the percentage will depend on how long the project is – if it’s only 1000 words, for example, I might ask to see 100 words).
This gives me a sense of what you need and what you are looking for – the level of editing required and the time it will take me. A ‘hard edit’ will take considerably more work and time, for example. Even it is at the proofreading stage and has been extensively edited, some manuscripts are cleaner than others – where others are more afflicted by the dreaded typos! But if that’s you, don’t panic: that’s why I am here. I will look through your sample and do a provisional proofread for you at no cost, so you can see whether what I offer is what you want. I will then give you a quote based on this analysis.
You then decide whether you want to employ my services. I also reserve the right to decline the work if, for whatever reason, I sense I am not the right fit for you.
It is such a shame when a wonderful book is put down in the reading process because it’s been let down in the editing process! It can be an exciting time as you drive towards publication. It’s easy to want to rush towards that goal. An editor will look at your manuscript and work with your writing to make it as good as it can be while still respecting your voice. They will make suggestions as to things you might change to aid readability and clarity. A proofreader is your goalkeeper – the one who stops accidents and errors slipping past the net. Tiny as they may be, they affect how your work is received and respected. That extra bit of polish is worth it.