If you are a self-publishing author looking for someone to proofread your novel or short story, you can simply send me your final draft and I’ll let you know whether I can help you. If I can, I’ll give you a quote.
Proofreading fiction is of course a little different to proofreading other sorts of texts. As you probably already know, in the publishing industry proofreading is the last task in a long list of work that is done on a manuscript by editorial professionals. It is the final check on a text that has ideally been edited and then copy-edited.
I’m aware, however, that many self-publishers won’t have the resources to have gone through all the traditional stages. But I would expect that your manuscript has at least been copy-edited. If you are unsure of the differences between copy-editing and proofreading, have a look at the SfEP’s FAQs page, which you’ll find here: http://www.sfep.org.uk/about/faqs
Any quote I give you would include doing the following:
- Checking spelling, punctuation and grammar
- Checking that the syntax of sentences seems to work and that sentences make sense in context
- Checking that your writing is clear and reads fluently
- Checking that the style you have used is consistent, e.g. double or single quotation marks and that things like italics are used consistently
- Ensuring that any ambiguity or monotonous repetition is highlighted and possible solutions are suggested
- With regard to all of the above, being sensitive to your style of writing and bearing in mind that with fiction, standard grammar and/or punctuation rules can be broken if it seems to make sense in context to do so (I’d make a note about this to make you aware of your options)
- Noting formatting issues such as inconsistent paragraph spacing/margins (but not correcting those).
Ideally, as many people as possible should read your manuscript before you finalise it (it’s best to have a number of beta-readers read your work so that you can get useful feedback, but any friends or family who have analytical and crticital skills can provide useful feedback and spot errors too). I suggest you consider this even after my proofread, because you will be doing work on the text after that, and errors can creep in.
You can see testimonials from some of the clients who’ve been happy with my work. I have a love for fiction, a feel for language and an eye for detail, and would do my best to substantially improve the quality of your text. Please get in touch with me here, by email, via firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on (+44) (0)7503 845938.