There are so many factors to consider when you decide to hire a proofreader or editor for your work. Of course, especially in this day and age the price is a top consideration. However, there is a catch here. The less somebody charges, the less stable their professional reputation is likely to be. Now, that’s not a hard and fast rule, but how do you know if you hire somebody charging £8 per 1000 words that they aren’t a hard-pressed school child in the middle of their A-Levels? Or an undergraduate trying to make a few pence. While there are some skilled undergraduates out there, the process of proofreading and editing takes experience and knowledge that accumulates over years. You might be paying into a false economy, whereby you pay less but get sub-standard work.
Here at proofreading-editing.co.uk, I charge a stable rate, but I have promotions from time to time, which reflect the financial environment we are living in. I charge what I am worth based on my expertise and my experience of over 20 years. I charge what the service is worth, and, even though I have priced this competitively based on the average editorial charge, I also try to give a helping hand to my customers. That way, they are getting a top class service at an extremely reasonable price.
But even so, the price of proofreading and/or editing a novel manuscript, for example, can run into quadruple figures. This is why I offer the option to pay in interest free instalments to all my customers with a high word count. This has worked very well for those who do not have the spare cash to pay all at once. Again, this is not something that all proofreaders offer, and this represents my flexible approach to my customers’ needs.
Also, some proofreaders will ask for payment up front. I only ask for a deposit of 50% up front, unless the document is extremely short and worth £15 or less.
Time is another factor. Let’s say you’ve just finished the final draft of your novel, and want to get it checked over by a professional. You probably want it done yesterday so you can start submitting it to agents and publishers. But think about it. You took care and time writing your novel, getting it perfected. It undoubtedly wasn’t written in a week . . . unless you have a way to put brakes on the space time continuum! The same goes for the editing process. It takes time to do a good, thorough job. Editors are human beings, and therefore we, too miss things in our first overworking and have to go back over things again. And again, to dot every I and cross every T. You might find an editor who offers to ping back your 100,000 word document in a few days . . . but you can’t be sure that it will not contain a load of sloppy errors and you have been set back several hundred pounds for the favour. Here at proofreading-editing.co.uk, I do my best to accommodate clients’ wishes for speedy returns, but I am also realistic about the dangers of compromising on quality for the sake of swiftness.
Also, if you are an author, you will want to check that the editor you choose has an understanding of, or experience in your genre. Some editors specialise in specific genres of fiction. However, this is necessary only for a developmental edit, which is a type of edit that hones your story and structure to one that is more compatible with the book market, and is a very specialised area. Here at proofreading-editing.co.uk, I am not a developmental editor, although I can offer an objective eye on what does and doesn’t work in your book, and a more in-depth edit that takes this into consideration, which might mean chopping and changing things around to add more of a flourish to the finished product. For a proofread, I will get your document error free, and I also offer copyediting, which means that I can make it read better, cutting out, for example, chunks of unnecessary dialogue or repetition in the story, and flagging up anomalies that I notice. Here’s an example.
The stairs and landing were bare of artefacts. It was a stark contrast to the hall below that was crowded with furniture.
Then later in the book, the author writes,
John walked up the stairs slowly, brushing his leg against a lamp stand as he stepped off the top step.
Obviously, I would query why there’s a lamp stand there now, when previously it mentioned the area being bare.
Next, in your search for an editor, you will probably want to check the person’s reputation. This is not always an easy thing to do. No required industry specific qualification exists for proofreaders and editors, and individuals working in this field have a variety of experience and certifications. Nor is it a requirement to join a professional body. For proofreaders and editors, the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading is one of the recognised professional bodies for UK proofreaders and editors. But, although this is a rightly respected body, membership of such a body is not necessarily a factor in the quality of the person’s work. Such bodies check the background and qualifications of each applicant, and then charge a fee to join. There are many freelancers who, like others, struggle to fork out an extra few hundred pounds to join an organisation like this. Really what these organisations reflect is that their members, (who undoubtedly are skilled in what they do) are currently able to afford a membership. They cannot guarantee that their members are better than the professionals who have not joined such a body. It’s understandable though, that you as a client, want to be sure you are hiring a professional, not just somebody who woke up one morning and decided to advertise as a proofreader. This is a difficult conundrum. Here at proofreading-editing.co.uk, I have a First Class BA (Hons) degree in English Language and Linguistics, a Certificate in English Language Teaching for which I got the equivalent of a 2:1 in degree terms, a long background, over twenty years, in document correction, proofreading and writing, and have a variety of testimonials on my website that are from satisfied customers. I also offer the option to get a sample of your work done before the whole document. I work and communicate closely with my customers, and though I don’t display a phone number on my site, I am always happy to phone people up for a chat about their requirements. You only need to ask.
Lastly, you will want to work with somebody who is a good communicator, and who will be in dialogue with you to make sure your requirements are met. You need look no further for that. My previous clients have commented on my excellent customer service skills, that I am reliable, trustworthy, honest and straightforward. Each customer is unique, and brings a unique piece of work and set of expectations to the table. In order to make sure you get what you need, I will liaise with you closely throughout the process. When your document is ready, I will ask you if there are any more revisions that you need me to make, based on your original briefing.
Choosing the right proofreader or editor can be a difficult job, but it needn’t be a headache. Here at proofreading-editing.co.uk I do everything I can to give my customers a reliable, friendly and professional service, with very reasonable rates to boot. I hope that you choose me for your project, and I look forward to hearing from you soon!