Home » Proofreading


red pencil proofreadingWhat is proofreading?

Proofreading is the final stage your manuscript or piece of work goes through before it goes to print or goes live online. It’s the last step in making sure your work looks and reads just as you intended.

Most people know that a proofreader looks for errors in spelling, grammar and punctuation. We also look at consistency in usage and presentation, as well as looking for any layout and stylistic errors. For instance, we’ll check headings, page numbers, tables and illustrations in addition to the main body of the text.

A proofreader aims to make as few changes as possible, as it costs money for the typesetter to make changes at this stage.

If your work is not going to be printed in hard copy but published digitally only, you may benefit from ‘proof-editing’, which is a sort of hybrid of proofreading and copy-editing where proofreading and some light editing are done at the same time. I’m happy to provide this service too.

My service

Before I start work, we will agree on a price and scope for the project. We will discuss your needs and make sure you are choosing the most appropriate service – proofreading, copy-editing or something else. We will also, of course, agree a deadline for me to get the proofread/edited document back to you.

If any issues or questions arise that affect the whole piece and that need to be resolved before I can move forward, I will raise these with you straight away.  You can decide how you want me to raise queries with you.

Once you receive the proofread/edited document, you are free to accept or reject my suggested changes as you see fit, as well as resolving any minor queries to your satisfaction. As per my terms and conditions, the total price includes a final swift run-through of the text to check these minor changes.

I usually work in Word with tracked changes, and this is my preferred method, but I can also mark up pdf files if required.

Contact me for a free, no-obligation quote.

Other services

Developmental editing

Developmental editing is different from copy-editing in that it tackles the over-arching areas of plot, characterisation, point of view, style, tone and so on. Copy-editing may pick up on some of these, such as major plot holes or a particular bit of dialogue that seems out of character, but developmental editing looks at the big picture with a wider lens. For instance, a developmental editor may suggest cutting an entire chapter, rearranging sections, rewriting large areas and so on. There is little point looking at the details of spelling and punctuation if whole sections of text are going to be cut or rewritten!

I have undertaken some training that covered elements of developmental editing, but I have less experience in this than in copy-editing and proofreading. I am happy to take on developmental editing projects in order to gain more experience, and my hourly rate would be reduced to reflect that. I am particularly interested in working on fantasy, sci fi, romance, horror and literary fiction. Please contact me to discuss. 


I’m familiar with Adobe InDesign, so if you’d like me to typeset your work I’d be happy to oblige – please contact me to discuss. This can be undertaken alongside copy-editing and/or proofreading, or completely separately with no obligation to purchase any other services.