One of the “old faithfuls” of writing is that you never find your own mistakes. My first novel, Equivocal Destines, went through a number of proofreaders and editors and I still have a file of mistakes that made it into the printed edition. So far, I’ve found 4 post-publication mistakes. It happens to us all.
The sad truth is that if you don’t get someone else to proofread your manuscript – at the very least – then you’ll have errors. The sad truth is that this an cost a fortune, and so many indie authors forgo this step and publish their novels full of typos and grammar errors.
Amazon recently updated their Kindle service to allow readers to flag errors, and if the problems are grievous enough, Amazon will add a warning banner to the book’s page and may even drop the book. This is a disaster that should never happen.
My Free Proofreading Page
If you’re not sure what the difference is between proofreading and editing, have a look at my page on the topic. It’s quite long and includes my full procedure, so you can do it all, yourself – for free. Here it is: https://raymondclarkeauthor.wordpress.com/how-to-edit-proofread-a-novel/
I give away a lot of free information, including my proofreading and editing process. I also publish a lot of detail about my various marketing experiments, because indie authors need to help each other out. You should definitely try to edit your manuscript yourself. It’ll save you a lot of time and hassle in the end.
My Cheap Proofreading Service
At the end of the day though, can you do it all yourself? If you think you can, I honestly wish you the best of luck. No sarcasm, seriously. If you think you need help then, here’s why you should choose me:
- The language – I’m Australian, born and bred. This means I’m thoroughly versed in both British and US grammar, styles, vocabulary and spelling. I proofread to your style without trying to impose my own.
- The skills – I’ve lived in Poland for many years and have been employed for that whole time as a professional, business English teacher. Basically, I babysit 40yo children and attempt to crowbar English knowledge into their unwilling minds. This has given me close to a decade of active experience in not only using English grammar, but teaching it, explaining it, dissecting it and generally making it work in all its forms.
- The aptitude – Just ask my wife about how pedantic I am about getting English right. She’s Polish, so has to put up with my BS every day. Ask any of my 100+ individual students, who all benefit from my approach to getting English right. OK, so I’m being somewhat flippant, but it’s true.
- The attitude – Again, as an Australian who lives in a European country, my horizons are somewhat wider than many others. I therefore understand how important it is to proofread within the stylistic choices of the author. It’s my job to make your book error-free. It’s not my job to dictate with you regarding your writing choices. I work with the authors, not just for you, and most definitely not in opposition to your wishes.
- The price – OK, so this is everyone’s bugbear. It’s expensive to get someone to proofread or edit for you. I live in Poland, where the cost of living is significantly lower than almost all of the rest of the industrialised world. I’m in this for the altruistic (pedantic) desire to see Amazon et. al. free of junk books at least as much as the money, so I can pass these savings on to you. Here’s a breakdown of my pricing, including formatting requirements: Prices
- The experience – Not only do I have close to a decade of experience in the field of English grammar, style and construction in general, I’ve also proofread numerous books.
A Word about Genres
Most proofreaders specify the genres they’re interested in reviewing. I’m more open about genres than most. My job is to proofread your manuscript, not to judge its content. That said, I like to be entertained as I work too, so here’s my preferred genre list:
As you can see, it’s quite a list anyway.
I won’t take on another manuscript it’ll force me to deliver the proofread result in over 2 weeks. I always endeavor to return the finished product within 1 week.
All of This Comes AFTER Editing!
By the time you reach the proofreading stage of the process, I hope you’ve had your manuscript professionally edited. And I mean professionally! If not, head over to Michelle Dunbar’s site. I work with Michelle, as we provide complimentary services. She does a great job and has many satisfied customers.
And, as always, don’t forget my page for free advice on proofreading. I can’t tell you how to edit your manuscript yourself – it’s too complex a job for that – but there’s some help here anyway.
What about Formatting for Publishing?
Once your manuscript is professionally edited and proofread, it’s time to publish… nope.
I’ve seen many a good book that was badly formatted and just looked terrible on my Kindle software. Head on over to my Manuscript Formatting page for information about free information for formatting your manuscript for publishing, as well as my services here.
If you’re looking for a professional proofreader who’ll work with you to bring out the best in your manuscript, then send me a message. I’m not picky about the method, although I find Facebook to be very practical for updating authors and discussing the text as I work on it.