Friday, November 22, 2013

My Proofreader

Joe sez: Those of you paying attention may notice I have a new picture in my sidebar, linking to my proofreader. I released Haunted House earlier this year, in a rush to meet a deadline, and the published book had dozens of errors in it.


Since then, I've been using Chereese to vet my manuscripts, and have found her reliable, fast, and affordable.

Here she is to talk about what she does.

Chereese: We all make mistakes.

As an author you have whole worlds to create, characters to build, stories to tell, you can’t always remember to cross every “t”, dot every “i”, or make sure that the son your protagonist had on page four didn’t end up as a daughter on page one hundred and seven.

That’s where I can help. My name is Chereese and I can catch the things that may go unnoticed by you or your copy editor. I’ll do a first read-through of your manuscript to get a sense of your writing, and utilizing the Chicago Manual of Style I can help to make sure your work is in tip-top shape and ready for publishing.

Once you’ve completed the editing process, I can be one more set of eyes to help with:

Punctuation Marks
Grammatical Mistakes
Run-On Sentences
Subject-Verb agreement

Rates: I charge a flat fee of $1.50 per each double-spaced, 12 point font page. That way you’ll know exactly what the upfront cost will be. The goal is to find no mistakes, but whether I find one or a hundred, your rate will never increase.

Turnaround Time: Varies depending on scope of work. Estimated anywhere from two days to two weeks.

Method: Everything is handled through email. Most documents are proofread utilizing the Track Changes feature in MS Word. A hard-copy, red-lined version can be available upon request.

Payment: I bill through Paypal. Full payment will need to be received before a finalized version of your manuscript is emailed back to you.

Contact me:


w. adam mandelbaum esq. said...

For those wishing to do it themselves, the best way to find typos is to read the sentences BACKWARDS, not forwards. Learned that when I was a little intel squirrel working at NSA back in the '70s, reviewing reports and transcripts of various nefarious goings on. Sometimes a typo could make a heap of trouble in the real world.

AstroNerdBoy said...

Thanks for the recommendation. I'm not at the point of needed a proofreader yet (still writing my novel), but this very topic had been on my mind. One of my buddies recently self-published a book, and he told me that for his next one, he was going to spend the money to hire a proofreader to help catch those issues.

Anonymous said...

@w.adam mandelbaum esq

We knew the NSA was reading everything on the Internet, but to be the first commenter? lol

Steven M. Moore said...

Hmm...I thought what's being described IS copy editing. Isn't proofreading what's done on a galley or an ebook before the book is released?
I review many books as well as write them, and I agree that some people should hire help in the editing. As indie authors, we have the responsibility of putting the best product out.
Maybe pedantic but not NSA,

Paul Draker said...

Readers and reviewers care about typos.

A lot.

Anything that pops a reader out of the story, and breaks the immersion, is a fail.

Any more than 5-7 typos in a manuscript, and it's considered "typo-riddled" by many.

Sometimes, the things that readers stumble over aren't even actual typos--but should still be changed. For example, two reviewers pointed out a "typo" in "...the thump and plash of waves."

Plash is actually the intended word, and technically "correct," but it was a poor choice because many readers expected "splash" and hit a snag because of that.

As Joe points out, the initial release of Haunted House had more than it's share, and as an eager reader, I found they kept interrupting my enjoyment of an otherwise very-fun story. And he's Joe. If you are a newbie like me, you get zero slack from readers--don't abuse their patience.

One thing I'm still unclear about is the line between copy editing and proofing. Can someone explain the precise difference?

McVickers said...

"One thing I'm still unclear about is the line between copy editing and proofing. Can someone explain the precise difference?"

From my experience working with both types:

Copy-editors will not only fix your mistakes, but offer suggestions about how to improve the overall book in terms of story, plot, characters, etc. As a result, copy-editing costs more, takes more time, and requires more investment by the editor.

Proofreaders are your last line of defense against bad grammar, typos, etc. That's it. Which is why they're cheaper and can work faster. They aren't required to (and most of them don't) invest in your story to help improve it beyond the cosmetics.

Joe's proofreader actually charges a very medium-ish rate from my experience.

Again, from my experience, copy-editors usually cost twice as much as proofreaders for the same MS, taking into consideration the investment and time.

Paul Draker said...

Thanks, McVickers :)

Steven M. Moore said...

OK, my pedantic blood is flowing, so I'll give my definitions:
content editing = McVickers' person who makes suggestions etc. (I consider this part of my own writing and do it as I go. Trusting someone too much here makes your voice into their voice.)
copy editing = what needs to be done to an MS to eliminate typos and questionable grammar before you send it off to your ebook formatter or agent (many authors do this in two steps, once on their own and again with someone else, i.e. a second pair of eyes).
proof reading = reading proofs, i.e. taking a final look at that ebook file or galley/ARC/etc before you release it to the reading public (again, multiple pairs of eyes are useful)
An editor might do both content and copy editing, hence the confusion. The freedom of indie publishing is that you can do as much as you care or dare to. :-)

Steven M. Moore said...

BTW, I don't edit my blog comments very well--I probably made mistakes above. We're all friends here, right?

Vince Stead said...

I just got done reading your article, and really enjoyed it, thank you. You can see some fun self-published books at where they are in paperback, digital and audio also now. all of them are indie and self published, any questions or help, please ask me, I do this full time and would love to help anyone that needs help or advice, thank you, Vince Stead.

Michelle Stimpson said...

Thanks, Chereeze! I'll be contacting you!

A.P. Fuchs said...

Editing issues were the number one complaint against self-published books and still is. Most self-publishers have started to come around to the importance of it, at least, those with the aim to make a career out of this. Some writers, namely new ones, I suspect just don't know any better. I know I didn't way back when I did my first book via a subsidy press in 2003.

As not just a reader, but a professional writer and editor, I can attest to the importance of editing. Very critical. You might have the greatest story in the world, but if it isn't wearing it's Sunday Finest, it's going to fall flat.

The scary thought is that if a reader keeps reading messy books, it might turn them off of reading altogether in this day and age of visual media.

All of us need to do our part and ensure our books are as clean as possible before publishing them. And even if you have a traditional deal, that's no guarantee of a clean book. The writer still needs to make sure the publishing house does a good job.

Paul Draker: I agree. A half dozen or so errors is my personal standard in terms of "allowed" typos. 6 words out of, say, 80,000 is nothing.

Steven M. Moore said...

I guess it depends on the type of errors and possible mitigating circumstances. To continue my pedantic POV, as a reviewer I'm more critical of copy editing errors simply because they're easy to catch and fix (maybe not by the author, though). I'm more willing to forgive content editing errors because this is related to style and voice--my preferences here are more subjective.

Anonymous said...

And because I actually AM an editor (in my day job), allow me to point out to several posters here that "it's" is not the same as "its". And no spell checker in the world is ever going to tell you that. It takes an editor's eye and instinct.

For those who are confused:

'its' is the possessive, as in 'The alien licked its talon'.

'it's' is a contraction of 'it is'.

It is easy to know when to use one or the other: simply expand "it's" into "it is" and see if the sentence still makes sense.

CLF said...

Sometimes I think the difference between its and it's should be posted above every comment box on the Internet. It doesn't help that my autocorrect always changes its to it's, whether it's correct or not :(

Steven M. Moore said...

Anonymous and CLF,
I maintain a list of stupid errors to look for in both my writing and reviewing other authors. The difference between it's and its is on the list--also there and their.
It's funny how the human mind works, putting the sound of words above the meaning. I suppose some psychologist will know a reason for that.
Other things that slow a reader down: the overuse of people's names; anything more than X person said (the use of asked is redundant for a dialogue question); and the overuse of -ly adverbs--all in dialogue.
All these changes should be made before you send an MS to ANYONE.

Robert Pickering said...

Catch 22 for the indie author who is really just getting started. Couldn't agree more that an editor is really indispensable, even more so for the newbie writer, but we are also the ones least likely to be able to afford it. I'm not at all suggesting that those services should be less expensive since I know the editors need to make a living too, but it does put some of us in a spot.

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I've used Chereese many times and she's wonderful to work with.