Proofreaders Tips

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How do I keep track of my proofreading jobs?

How to Stay Organized as a Proofreader

There are plenty of jobs as proofreaders because there is a tremendous amount of copy in the business world. However, working on one or two jobs at once will likely not financially sustain you as a freelance proofreader. You'll need to juggle several jobs and deadlines to make steady income.

Creating a calendar of your work will help you remain organized. Mark when you received the work, when it is due, the date you invoiced the client and allow 30 days for the client to send payment to you. You may even wish to color code your jobs for easy reference.

   
Do I really need to hire a proofreader?

Why You Need a Proofreader

Sometimes proofreader jobs are overlooked to cut costs. Don't let your business make this mistake. Your audience, which is also your customer base, expects accuracy.

The words you use to advertise your business must be error free. Only a trained proofreader can ensure this. Your copy reflects your business and its standards. Sloppy copy means a sloppy business. Is that the message you want to send?

   
What is the difference between a proofreader and a copywriter?

The Difference Between a Copywriter and a Proofreader

If you are looking to become a freelance copywriter or proofreader, you should be aware of the differences between the two jobs.

A copywriter writes copy, especially for advertising. A proofreader reads copy to find errors and mark corrections.

Copywriters create effective and influential text. A copywriter could also be involved with the theme, tone and methods of the writing. A good copywriter knows how to lary the language and tone of messages based on the product and medium.

In contrast, a proofreader is more technical. A professional proofreader puts a mark (usually a line or caret) on each line of text with a grammatical or punctuation problem and writes the correction in the margin of the copy.

   
How can I become a freelance proofreader?

How to Start a Career as a Freelance Proofreader

Begin a career as a freelance proofreader by taking on volunteer proofreading work. Even if you only take on a few projects for a local newspaper or school journal, you may receive a small byline which is a great first step. A byline looks something like this: "Proofread by (insert your name here)."

It's also a good idea to begin a portfolio of your proofreading work. It will come in handy when you start looking for paid work!

   
How should I pay my proofreader?

Paying a Proofreader

Do I charge a proofreader by the hour or by the project? That is a question best answered by the needs of your project. For example, if your freelance proofreader is doing a one-shot deal for you, you may want to pay per project. An example of this would be proofreading a book or an article. However, if the work is ongoing, an hourly wage may be better. An example of this would be proofreading a newspaper or newsletter. The length of these pieces will vary, making it hard to pre-price them.

*Over time, you and your proofreader can progress toward developing a regular fee schedule.

   
What does a proofreader do?

Proofreading Overview

Proofreaders read printed copy, also called proofs, to find and mark errors. Sometimes proofreaders compare proofs to the original copy and mark any differences they find. In that type of proofreading, they may employ someone else to read the original copy aloud while they compare the proofs.

In another proofreading method, proofreaders read the copy without anything to compare it to. They mark errors in grammar, spelling and punctuation. In both cases, copy is marked with standard proofreader marks.

   
What can I expect from a proofreader?

What to Expect When You Hire a Freelance Proofreader

Freelance proofreaders will correct all spelling and grammatical errors in your text. You may also arrange to have your proofreader make the actual changes (which is easier if the copy is online or on disk). If you go this route, it's a good idea to have your proofreader send the original copy as well as the corrections to you so you can compare.

A very good proofreader will also act as an editor, reworking sentences to improve their content and flow. However, this is not a typical part of the job. So let your proofreader know what you expect the scope of his or her duties to be.

   
Which proofreading style should I use?

Styles of Proofreading

In general, proofreaders use the following guides: The Chicago Manual of Style, AP Style, AMA Style or a custom-created style sheet. The latter is based on specific needs of the client, which may include a combination of styles.

A useful tip: if you are ever in a pinch and do not know which style a client prefers, just check out the dictionary. The marks of a proofreader can be found all over it!

   
What is the difference between a proofreader and a copywriter?

The Difference Between a Copywriter and a Proofreader

If you are looking to become a freelance copywriter or proofreader, you should be aware of the differences between the two jobs.

A copywriter writes copy, especially for advertising. A proofreader reads copy to find errors and mark corrections.

Copywriters create effective and influential text. A copywriter could also be involved with the theme, tone and methods of the writing. A good copywriter knows how to lary the language and tone of messages based on the product and medium.

In contrast, a proofreader is more technical. A professional proofreader puts a mark (usually a line or caret) on each line of text with a grammatical or punctuation problem and writes the correction in the margin of the copy.

   
What tools to proofreaders use?

References For Proofreaders

Proofreaders often consult reference books or style sheets to do their work. For example, proofreaders consult dictionaries for proper word usage and spelling and grammar books for rules on punctuation.

In some cases, Proofreaders will create a style sheet for the copy they are reading. A style sheet typically includes such items as abbreviations, hyphenation and capitalization.

   
What is the difference between a proofreader and a copywriter?

The Difference Between a Copywriter and a Proofreader

If you are looking to become a freelance copywriter or proofreader, you should be aware of the differences between the two jobs.

A copywriter writes copy, especially for advertising. A proofreader reads copy to find errors and mark corrections.

Copywriters create effective and influential text. A copywriter could also be involved with the theme, tone and methods of the writing. A good copywriter knows how to lary the language and tone of messages based on the product and medium.

In contrast, a proofreader is more technical. A professional proofreader puts a mark (usually a line or caret) on each line of text with a grammatical or punctuation problem and writes the correction in the margin of the copy.

   
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