If you have good grammar, spelling skills with a keen eye and zero tolerance even to the slightest grammar errors, then starting a freelance career as a proofreader and editor might be right step to take. This is especially true if you pay attention to even the minute grammar details, and if you can easily catch errors while reading- things that most writers fail even to notice.
Who is a proofreader?
There’s a fine line between editing and proofreading. Often, the average person`s cannot differentiate between editing and proofreading. The two processes are different but equally important in the writing process. Editing happens before proofreading, and it entails restructuring the whole text; deleting unnecessary paragraphs, checking on clarity, sentence structure, and ensuring that there`s a smooth flow of ideas.
On the other hand, Proofreading is the final stage of writing an article. Unlike editing, proofreading is detail-oriented as it involves combing through the article to spot for grammar errors, typos, spelling mistakes and punctuation errors. Proofreading polishes the final draft.
How proofreading works
In the US alone, an excess of 200,000 books and journals are published each year. Before publication, each of these will have started out as an author`s manuscript full of grammar errors, typos, and spelling mistakes.
Authors can submit the books in proofreading websites where you can access the documents for proofreading, or authors can directly contact you for your proofreading purposes if you`re an established proofreader.
Whether you work offline or online news magazine or web portals, proofreading is an important job. Although there`s not set requirements for a career in proofreading, proofreaders should be knowledgeable and have 100% concentration on their work. A literature degree or experience in HR is, however, an added advantage as it adds value to your services.
Below are the basic requirements that a proofreader should have;
- Good command of the English language and vocabulary, and mastery of the written word
- Attention to detail; proofreaders should be able to spot typos, spelling mistakes, and ensure that every comma is correctly placed
- Teamwork. Often, proofreaders in major organizations such as newspapers work hand-in-hand with editors, authors, typists, and other proofreaders.
- Versatile; proofreaders should be able to work on any kind of documents pertaining any topic
- Ability to concentrate for long periods, as Proofreading involves checking of the minute details
There hundreds of places that you can find proofreading opportunities. As an experienced proofreader, you could build a reputation as a specialist in a certain field. The best part of proofreading is that it allows you to freelance, and can work from any location.
Below are some of the sites that you can find proofreading opportunities.
- Pure Content
- Resume Edge
- Proofread now
- Word Firm Inc.
- Cactus Communications
How much do proofreaders earn?
It all depends on the company you are working for, and level experience. Proofreaders, however, earn less than the writing partners. A certified proofreader earns approximately $1 per page. If you`re fast, you can earn even more than $20 per hour.
To increase the chances of a career progression, you can also join professional proofreading bodies such as Publisher`s Association, SfEP, and Women in Publishing.
How to get started
It’s never too late to join any venture. Click on any of the above companies, and you`ll be directed to their career pages.