Full-time or part-time - the choice is yours

Proofreading Qualities

Proofreading is the last stage of the checking process before publication. The proofreader's job is to 'winkle out' any remaining errors, perhaps missed by the copy-editor, or typeset incorrectly by the typesetter (don't worry if this sounds complicated - all will be fully explained in the course!). Therefore you must have a good eye for detail, and during the course you will learn how to spot errors that will almost literally jump out from the text you are reading and bite you!

You may wish to eventually add copy-editing to your range of services. Copy-editing is the stage before proofreading. A copy-editor will correct errors, but will also be on the lookout for inconsistencies and continuity errors in the text, such as:

  • making sure that Mr Brown with green eyes in Chapter 1 hasn't changed to Mr Green with brown eyes in Chapter 8;
  • making sure (in a novel set in the early 1800s, for example) that a character doesn't find out the time by looking at his wristwatch (which didn't come into existence until the 1880s!).

These sorts of errors can be likened to those sometimes seen on television. In a recent BBC period drama - long before the advent of transatlantic jet airliners - it was possible to see a vapour trail of an airliner in the sky in the background. The BBC have the equivalent of copy-editors and this should have been spotted! A book copy-editor has to keep his/her eyes open for this sort of thing in print.

To become a copy-editor, it is preferable (and indeed generally required by publishers) that the proofreader has a reasonable amount of proofreading experience before he/she undertakes a copy-editing job. Basic editing is covered in the course, but this course is, first and foremost, a proofreading course.

Part-time or full-time?

You will be a self-employed proofreader. This can be part-time, or full-time. The decision is yours. The vast majority of freelancers work from home, relishing the fact that they do not need to face the snow, rain and wind of a winter's day to go to work - they can just go and do their work on whatever table or desk is available in their home. On the flip side of the coin, they can look forward to the time when they can sit outside in the sunshine on a summer's day - and work at the same time!

How much will you earn?

The recommended rates for proofreaders are set by the NUJ (National Union of Journalists). Currently the recommended hourly rate is about £25, but realistically you can expect to be offered around £17 per hour. Put that down to the economic climate! But £17 per hour isn't bad for sitting at home, reading - which, put in its basic terms, is what proofreading boils down to!

Ron J Hebbs

Grange Bungalow ~ Old Bury Road ~ Palgrave ~ Diss ~ Norfolk ~ IP22 1AZ

Tel: 01379 783070

Email: mail@courseitsme.com


15 years of training proofreaders