E34 – What Is Proofreading?
In this episode, Miss Catherine M.H. and V.E. Griffith discuss proofreading – what is it, when to get it, what to expect, and how much it costs!
The Revision Wizards are at https://www.revisionwizards.com
V.E. Griffith’s website: https://www.vegriffith.com
Miss Catherine M.H.’s website: https://www.scribes-pen.com
Transcript at: https://revisionwizards.com/?p=2386
Miss Catherine M.H. 00:00:00
V.E. Griffith 00:00:00
Welcome to the Revision Wizards podcast. I’m Ve Griffith, and I’m joined by my fellow magician and co host, ms. Catherine MH.
Miss Catherine M.H. 00:00:08
This is episode 34, and this time we’re talking about the final stage of editing proofreading. So what is proofreading?
V.E. Griffith 00:00:18
Proofreading is the last professional look at your document at your manuscript, the before you hit publish. For me, it comes after developmental editing, it comes after line editing, it comes after beta reading. It’s the last check to make sure you don’t have any silly typos that your readers will find or that will pull your readers out of the manuscript.
Miss Catherine M.H. 00:00:43
So for me, proofreading is the final set of eyes that’s going to look over the book that I’ve written. So I will do a proofread of my story myself after I’ve had gone through all of these stuff. After I have my beta feedback, I will give it one more look, and then I hand it off to somebody else to be like, hey, read through, tell me if you spot anything. And for me, I’m really looking for someone only to spot a typo if they do it. So I would prefer a reader to go through it. So this is just someone who is reading through the book, and if something pulls them out, that’s when they mention it to me. But other than that, I’m not looking to get really nitty gritty. I don’t want them to go line by line. I want them to read the book as if they’re a reader, because readers read books very differently than writers read books. And while, yes, there are lots of writers who go out there and read books, we’re still not writing our book for the writer’s eyes. We’re writing them for readers who just will read a book.
V.E. Griffith 00:01:50
That’s how I feel about it, and I want a proofreader who’s going to go line by line to catch those missing periods, incorrectly capitalized words, that kind of thing. So it is a little bit of a difference in philosophy, but the end result is going to be a better manuscript. It’s going to be a cleaner manuscript. It’s going to be one that hopefully is free of mechanical errors that should have been caught three other times.
Miss Catherine M.H. 00:02:22
I feel like at this point, if the book gets published and it’s gone through my eyes on multiple times, it’s gone through my alpha reader, it’s gone through my beta readers, it’s gone through my editors, it’s gone through a proofreader. If there’s something left over, good for it. It deserves to be in the book. It has earned its place. It tried really hard to make sure that it got into this book and into the publication. So good for it. It made its way in, because for me, I very rarely notice them. And that’s because when I read a book, I’m reading it as a reader, I’m not reading it as a writer. So there are times where you really have to be missing something for my dyslexic brain to pick it up. And one of my best ones is my favorite author, her book, it’s The Word, and it always seems to be. And with this poor lady, because it’s in every other one that she writes, she either spells it wrong and misses an A, which is fine. I mean, I do that myself, but it’s just such like a funny typo to have missed, or she’s writing and was supposed to have continued the paragraph, and the paragraph just went down. Someone hit enter and the paragraph continues on. So it’s just and then space. And I’m like, yes. And those are the ones that always make me giggle, because I’m like, it should be so obvious. But honestly, when you are looking over a manuscript multiple times, you’re going to miss things. No book is 100% perfect, no matter how many eyeballs look over your book.
V.E. Griffith 00:04:04
I understand that no manuscript is perfect, and certainly I make typos as well. But those two strike me as ones that should have been caught by something like pro writing aid or grammarly or Autocrit.
Miss Catherine M.H. 00:04:20
Yeah, I mean, this was also the 90s when she published this book.
V.E. Griffith 00:04:24
Okay, yeah, okay, that can be forgiven. But still, those kinds of errors pull me out of the story. And so I want to make sure that my manuscripts, that my books are as completely free of that sort of stuff as possible.
Miss Catherine M.H. 00:04:41
Yeah, and you want your book to be as good as it can be, but don’t beat yourself up if you’ve missed three in your book, because, I mean, that’s a lot of words. And if you only have three wrong things still good for you. That is a lot of work you put into that book to only have three wrong.
V.E. Griffith 00:05:02
That’s true. It is sort of a telltale sign of a book that has been well edited that there are that few errors. I have been editing a manuscript and recently, and I have found, I believe, two line editing errors, a misspelled word and a missing period or something like that. So in an 80,000 word manuscript, that’s really pretty clean. And with self publishing today, we can fix those errors later and then republish in a new edition to correct those problems. And you can do it silently without having to change titles, or you can simply republish your manuscript under the same title and not lose your reviews. So it’s a problem that can be solved, but I like to get rid of it before anybody sees my manuscript.
Miss Catherine M.H. 00:06:02
So how do you go about finding a proofreader? For me, I am actually lucky that I have my older sister who has ripped my book apart before only the first chapter. I can now take criticism like a pro because of her, but she went to school because what she really wanted to do was be a proofreader. And who better to rip your books apart than your family members because they’re going to let you know what’s wrong with it. With her, I’m giving her a shot. We’ll see if we work out well. So I got lucky that my proofreader is going to be my sister who used to study this, really wants to do it as like, a job. How about you? How do you go about getting a proofreader or someone else? How would they go about it?
V.E. Griffith 00:06:50
The way I would do it is start at a place like Reedsy and look for people with experience who specifically offer proofreading as a service. It’s a service that I offer. The thing to remember about it is it’s going to be less expensive than something like a developmental edit or a line edit. But because it’s a last look, these people are not going to be looking for things like word choice or story holes, plot problems, missing scenes, extra scenes, that kind of thing. They’re simply going to be reading what you wrote and making sure that the I’s are crossed and the t’s are dotted and that everything like that is finished. But they’re not going to be looking for you don’t have a villain until Chapter 37.
Miss Catherine M.H. 00:07:38
Know that feeling. So, yeah, like I said, I’m lucky. It’s family. I’m not going to be paying. My sister, she has offered to do this because she wants to get a little bit of experience so she could put it onto her resume of, hey, I do proofreading. Here’s a book that I’ve proofread. So for me, I got lucky. I’m not going to have to pay for it. And you who do proofreading, how would you say the pricing is for those who are thinking about getting a proofreader?
V.E. Griffith 00:08:14
Well, like I said, it’s less expensive. And this is just my pricing. As of September 2023, when we’re recording this for a developmental edit or for a line edit, it’s going to be more expensive. For a line edit, I charge about two and a half cents a word for your manuscript, depending on the manuscript and some other factors for a proofread, it’s a much quicker thing for me to do. I’m only going to go through your manuscript once, so I’m charging a penny a word for that kind of thing. Now, for 100,000 word manuscript, that’s still relatively expensive, but if you’re asking people to pay for it, I still think that it’s worth doing if you feel like you’ve got a manuscript that needs that kind of thing. A lot of those kinds of errors can be caught in somewhere like Pro writing aid or one of the other AI tools. But occasionally things will fly past them and you need a last set of eyes. Not everybody does a proofread, but when you do, it can be very helpful.
Miss Catherine M.H. 00:09:23
Yeah, it definitely can. So I think that’s all for me with proofreading. Do you have anything else left to add for people.
V.E. Griffith 00:09:31
I think that’s all I’ve got for this episode.
Miss Catherine M.H. 00:09:33
Yeah. All righties. Well, with that, thanks for coming. Stay magical.
V.E. Griffith 00:09:39
We’ll see you next time. Bye.
Miss Catherine M.H. 00:09:42
Thank you so much for joining us.
Miss Catherine M.H. 00:09:43
For today’s episode, you can find every episode on your favorite podcast player and on YouTube. For transcripts, please visit our firstname.lastname@example.org. They go live the same day as our episodes.
V.E. Griffith 00:09:56
If you’d like to reach out to us separately, you can find me at Ve Griffith.com and Miss Catherine at Scribes Penn.com.
Miss Catherine M.H. 00:10:04