Monday, April 25, 2011

Guest Post by Diana Cox

A lot of writers have asked me who proofreads my manuscripts before I self-publish them.

My answer: Diana Cox at www.novelproofreading.com.

Here she is to talk about her proofreading business:

Not many people have careers they can honestly say they enjoy. Throughout my past fifteen years in accounting, I have constantly, in the back of my mind, wondered if there wasn't something I could do that would allow me to make a living doing something I truly enjoy. One of my favorite things to do is read. But who gets paid to read? I finally realized that I could put my OCD/perfectionist tendencies to use and get paid to read! Ever since I was in school and throughout my career, fellow students and co-workers have brought me writings and communications to check over. I already had my accounting bachelor's degree, so I started taking courses in proofreading and editing, as well as grammar and writing improvement. It was a perfect fit—I loved it and I was good at it! I find it very exciting and an honor to be part of the process that makes these great books available to the public. Although my part in the process is small, I feel my work puts the finishing touches on the book and represents both my work as well as the author’s—and I want us both to look exceptional!

Proofreading is necessary, even for authors who have excellent spelling and grammatical skills. It is not a matter of the author being capable of doing it himself; it is a matter of where the author needs to focus his energy. Plus, it is very difficult to proof one’s own work. The purpose of my service is to allow the author to do his job. Writers are very creative and they need to focus on that creativity rather than the small details. The author should be able to concentrate on the story and maintain momentum once he gets writing, not waste time and effort worrying about crossing every t and dotting every i. In order to compete with the traditionally published works, however, independent authors need to ensure their work is up to par and maintains the same standards set by the publishers.

Since my market is mainly independent authors, I try to keep my prices low. I know authors in this situation have to cover all the expenses themselves up front to get a book published. I want to help independent authors get published, not hinder them.

Joe has been gracious enough to give me this opportunity to introduce myself and provide some basic information on my proofreading services. I focus on novels and short stories. My rates are very reasonable—they start at $4.50 per 1,000 words for projects under 25,000 words, $3.50 per 1,000 words for 25,000 to 80,000 words, and $3.00 per 1,000 words for projects over 80,000 words. There is a $20.00 minimum charge for any project. Expected turnaround time for an average novel is three to four days. Requests for turnaround times of less than two days may incur additional charges, depending upon the project. I will do everything in my power to meet your deadline; however, that is not always possible. If there is any doubt in my capability to meet your deadline, I will let you know up front.

In an effort to build my client list, I am offering half off my first proofreading project for new clients. Please feel free to visit my website at www.novelproofreading.com. You may also e-mail me at support@novelproofreading.com.

Joe sez: Diana has proofed my last five or six projects. She's fast and thorough. She sends you a MS Word doc with her editing suggestions, which you can either approve of or reject directly on the manuscript.

I highly recommend her.