proofreading, light editing, clean-up, and formatting to bring your manuscript close to perfect
In a Nutshell
- Basic proofreading (typos, spelling, grammar) PLUS light editing, basic fact-checking, basic formatting, and structural clean-up
- Nonfiction only, any length — blog posts to book manuscripts
- Multi-step proofreading process using both automated and manual methods
- A fellow writer who will honor your writing idiosyncracies #Iamnotthegrammarpolice
- 4¢ per word (e.g., $800 for a 20,000-word manuscript)
- Completed in 1 to 4 weeks, depending
- Got questions? Ready to get started? CLICK HERE
Do You Need a Proofreader?
If you’ve written a manuscript — or a course or a blog post or a long essay or an even longer article — then you need a proofreader.
They say “It’s hard to read the label from inside the jar” and that’s especially true when it comes to your writing. After writing multiple drafts, editing, and then revising your manuscript, you’ve read through it at least a half dozen times. By then your words are all too familiar, and it’s difficult to bring fresh eyes to the delicate work of spotting an extra space, a misplaced comma, a misused word, an incorrect verb.
But it’s gotta be done, yeh? Spellcheck can spell, but it can’t read. Grammarly is smart, but it’s not clever. Automation is great for catching the low-hanging fruit but, in the end, your work needs to be read by another human being.
There’s a lot of benefit in an extra set of eyes, especially when they’re mine — all four of them! :-)
My Proofreading Plus service is ideal for perfecting your final draft for:
- Submission to an agent or a publisher
- A course or presentation you’re delivering
- Preparing a PDF as a freebie (or pink spoon) for your website
- Your marketing: blog posts, articles, email newsletter, social media campaigns, etc.
Say Hello to Your Proofreader
Hello! I’m Crys Wood. I’m well-versed in punctuation rules and picky by nature, and I excel in removing the eye-catching errors that distract readers and muddy your message. I’m not the grammar police, though. I’ll make sure your manuscript follows the rules without cramping your style.
What is Proofreading Plus?
Like all proofreaders, I will turn over every word in your manuscript and correct—
- Spelling errors
- Grammatical errors
- Capitalization errors
- Punctuation errors
- Formatting inconsistencies (hyphens, numbers, styles, etc.)
IN ADDITION, I will fact-check names of people, places, and products, as well as verify quotations as close to the source as I can using Google Books and Amazon’s Look Inside feature.
I WILL ALSO lightly edit as needed for clarity. That said, I am not an editor. I’m not going to reorder chapters or swap paragraphs or make other deep cuts to your work. What I will do is rearrange a sentence if it’s unclear, and then highlight it with a note so you can ensure the new sentence still meets your intention. If a sentence is particularly tricky, I’ll flag it with a note that it could use your clarification.
And, as or if needed, I’ll apply styles and add page numbers and a table of contents to prepare your manuscript for its next step, whether that’s ebook formatting or submission to a publisher. I will also clean up any structural issues to make your document sturdy for smoother transitions to PDF, Kindle MOBI, EPUB, and other document formats.
Through all of this, I will preserve your voice. I’m also a writer, so I know some prepositions are meant to dangle and some infinitives need splitting. I invent words and use incorrect grammar and intentional misspelling to make a point, so you can count on me to respect your writers’ rights!
I refer to the Chicago Manual of Style’s 16th edition for direction and guidance, but your writing style takes priority. As long as it’s consistent and doesn’t muddy your message, I’ll leave it be.
What Proofreading Plus Isn’t
Proofreading Plus isn’t substantive editing or line editing, which work with your book’s big picture, such as the suitability of the topic for your audience or the order of your chapters.
Proofreading Plus is the fine-tuning that takes place after you’ve finished your final draft.
If line editing or substantive editing is an ax that makes big changes to your work, then Proofreading Plus is a buffing that removes distracting and misleading errors from your writing and a polishing to make sure it looks its best and behaves itself — everything it needs to let your message shine through.
The Proofreading Plus Process
First, I read through your book from start to finish to get a feel for your voice and writing quirks. Common quirks:
- Invented words and creative punctuation
- Capitalization based on context
- Whether or not you use a comma before the last item in a list (a.k.a. The Oxford comma)
Next, I run spellcheck to catch obvious spelling errors and add names, places, and your invented words to a custom dictionary.
After that, I clean up obvious punctuation errors, such as double spaces after a sentence, stray spaces before the period, and a half dozen other things.
And now that your manuscript is somewhat familiar to me and I’ve removed the obvious, I will sit at my laptop to proofread your book, word by ever-lovin’ word to discover and correct the not-so-obvious.
Now, this next part may seem odd for our very digital world: I will print your book onto real paper and go through it page by page, marking changes with my trusty green pen. In my experience, typos and errors pop off a sheet of paper in an entirely different way.
I suspect many proofreaders don’t bother with this, but I consider it an essential step. This part is a chance to check my work and find what I may have missed in my onscreen proofreading and any errors I may have contributed as I made corrections. #onlyhuman
This printed copy is also a handy way to verify formatting consistency throughout your manuscript, as I can easily flip pages and compare. And, yes, I print on recycled paper and recycle the shredded draft when my work is done.
For the final steps, I will transfer the corrections from the printed manuscript to the digital one and, just in case, I do another round of spellcheck and a sweep for punctuation problems.
I’m not perfect, alas, but I am fiercely thorough!
In the end, I’ll send you your proofed and polished manuscript plus a document that displays every textual change I made. Both will include any comments and love notes I left for you.
How long does it take?
It will take at least 1 week to proofread your manuscript because of my process, which includes setting it aside for a day or two so I can bring fresher eyes to that printed read.
With that, and depending on the length and complexity of your manuscript as well as other work that has been scheduled, it may be 3 or 4 weeks before I return your polished work to you. We’ll agree on a due date before we sign our work order.
Please note that I don’t do rush jobs — precision takes time.
Also: I won’t bump your manuscript to the head of the line for a higher fee. Projects are scheduled as work orders are signed and nearly always in that sequence.
Proofreading Plus costs more than basic proofreading because its fact-checking, light editing, clean-up, and formatting take it a step beyond the norm. If you’ve shopped around, you’ve likely seen proofreading rates from 1¢ to 8¢ per word. Proofreading Plus costs more than some at 4¢ per word because I do more than most — and it’s worth every penny.
To get a price for your work, simply multiply its word count by .04. If a calculator isn’t handy, here’s a chart to give you a general idea—
|If your manuscript has:||Proofreading Plus will cost:|
Use the form below to send me your word count and due date or any questions you have. If you’re ready to get started, I’ll let you know if our calendars align. If they do, I’ll also request for a sample chapter from your work to confirm I’m the right person to help you and we’ll carry on from there.
- Here’s how to get a word count in Google Docs and Microsoft Word:
- Please tell me exactly when to get your manuscript back to you
“There’s no hurry” is never quite true and “In a month or two” is perilously vague. Please provide a calendar date.
Looking forward to hearing from you,