Proofreading can be like the final polish to a book. A poorly proofread book can reflect negatively on the author, either in a professional setting or in the reviews of their book. Proofreaders like Caitlin Pyle are usually the last set of eyes that goes over a book to make sure it’s released with little to no errors that take away from the book’s overall method.
Editors and Proofreaders
The difference between a proofreader and an editor is an editor will move words and even sections around in a book for clarity, while a proofreader makes sure the spelling, grammar, and punctuation is correct. In the example given in the episode, an editor would be like a surgeon with the scalpel, while a proofreader is the one who cleans up the mess afterward.
Sure, writers can enlist friends and family to help with editing and proofreading when they are just getting started, however there’s no guarantee these people won’t just read the first chapter and then flake on the rest. This is why hiring a professional proofreader can come in handy.
If you’re worried about the money it takes, there are plenty of beginning proofreaders who are looking for experience or testimonials while they’re just getting their businesses started, many of whom are recent graduates of Caitlin’s course for proofreaders.
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Getting a second pair of eyes to proofread
A benefit of having a proofreader is a fresh set of eyes on your work. When you’re writing, it can be so easy to forget a word or misspell something, and even going over your own work later may reveal some mistakes, but not all. Some ways to cut down on mistakes is reading the copy out loud, but that takes some time. Hiring a proofreader can save you that time and make those changes for you.
Proofreaders also get to network with authors, which is why some authors proofread for others on the side. Not only does this give them a little extra money to help pay for publishing expenses, but they can also meet and work with authors in the same genre that can be beneficial to them later on. Another benefit to proofreading for others is to be able to see what others are doing in the space and get inspired from what they’ve done with their writing that you might want to try.
There's always going to be work and opportunity for the people who want it and the people who are willing to go and find it and make those relationship connections with people.
Bio of the Author in the Case Study:
Caitlin Pyle’s passion for proofreading started when she studied abroad in Germany for a year in college and would help students proofread their college essays. She loved using her grammar talent to catch errors and help others turn their writing into masterpieces.
She took her general proofreading skills to the next level when she got into proofreading transcripts for court reporters back in 2012. Because she was so passionate about proofreading, she started her Proofread Anywhere Course as a blog back in 2014, and it’s exploded since then.