In my experience proofreading is generally treated with disdain by many, a professional service that ‘surely isn’t necessary’ now that we all have spellcheckers and autocorrect. Indeed, in some cases we’re referred to as the ‘Grammar Police’, which is not used as a term of endearment! However a proofreader is highly respected by both authors and editors. Why is that?
Consistency is one of the most important elements in any writing, whether it’s a brochure, essay, newsletter, report and so forth. The larger the document, the easier it becomes to lose consistency of presentation, be that with the format of dates, use of upper- and lowercase letters and single or double quote marks, to name just three. An experienced proofreader is always alert to such inconsistencies, raising queries with authors and editors.
Of course, proofreaders are also on the look out for the classic misuse of similar words, such as it’s and its, your and you’re, or there, their, they’re.
In some cases, proofreading is still undertaken using the traditional method of coloured pen strokes on printed paper, but in my experience the majority of clients now prefer for changes to be marked on electronic files. I work with both Microsoft Office and Apple document types to provide a comprehensive service.
Fees for proofreading are quoted depending upon the length and nature of the document or documents and whether the client wishes to enter into an ongoing arrangement.