Whether you are a student, a mechanic, a doctor, or a professional writer, you have come across book proofreading in some form or other. Most of the works which people do these days revolve around the written word. Even a minor mistake in their writing can Have a massive impact on their success – which is where proofreading comes in!
What is meant by proofreading?
Book proofreading is the process of reading written work and marking any errors; such errors most commonly involve spelling, grammar, punctuation, and consistency.
What is proof?
The term ‘proof’ in the ‘proofreader’ is derived from a publishing term that describes an early printed copy. Traditionally, typewriters used to arrange letter tiles into large plates which were later used to print pages of a book. But before they started churning out thousands of copies, a proof version was sent to the publisher for a final check.
With modern computerized printing methods and digital publishing, book proofreading is now performed on a computer. However, some proofreaders still believe in marking up physical copies.
How proofreading differs from editing?
In publishing, proofreading is performed at the end of the editorial process after the manuscript gets corrected by a copy editor. The main job of the proofreader is to comb through the document and look for minor mistakes that may have slipped through the cracks. No matter how meticulous the writer has been, there will be errors always when you are dealing with a book of 80000 words or more.
What is the importance of proofreading?
A manuscript peppered with typos, grammatical, intakes or contextual inconsistencies will jolt a reader out of the narration of the book. Instead of getting caught up in the thesis, the readers are suddenly forced to rectify the work’s mechanical mistakes. Thus book proofreading allows your narrative to shine through uninterrupted.
Besides, good book proofreading adds a level of professionalism that is necessary if you are looking to get publishers or readers on your side. So whether you are seeking out traditional representation for your book or publishing your own, editing and proofreading is a vital part of the publishing process.
Working with a professional proofreader
A professional proofreader does more than checking spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes. They also look for other issues that can hamper the reading experience. Such issues include:
- They ensure whether any web links go to the right web page.
- They check that the index matches the context.
- They confirm that the layout does not fluctuate throughout the work.
- They ensure whether the images have correct captions.
- They verify that the copy adheres to the author’s chosen style guide.
How much does a professional proofreader charge?
On average, English proofreading services cost about $10 per thousand words. However, this is only a ballpark figure, and the final amount depends on various other factors. For example, if a proofreader needs to cross-check the index, that would increase the cost. Similarly, a proofreader who owns a deep background in technical writing may choose to charge extra for their expertise checking. No matter what’s the cost, you can be sure that getting a professional proofreader is worth the price.
Proofreading your work by yourself
When it comes to a longer piece of writing, such as a book, there is nothing that can beat a trained professional. However, for other types of content, writers can proofread their work by themselves. In situations where your writing is not intended for a massive audience, you can make use of online spelling and grammar checkers to rectify any significant mistakes.