Why you need professional proofreader

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Have you ever thought of hiring a professional proofreader? Here’s why you should take the idea seriously….

I work with many clients who — in addition to having me write or edit — also hire me to coordinate their various suppliers. These might include graphic artists, printers, WordPress experts, filmmakers and proofreaders.

I love it whenever I’m asked to hire a proofreader. It tells me my client is serious about doing a good job.

Why should you hire a professional proofreader? It might surprise you to learn that this person will do more than just catch typos. Some of the services I most appreciate from my truly excellent proofreader are:

  • She maintains — and enforces — our “style guide.” So much about proofing relates not to what’s right or wrong but, rather, to maintaining consistency. For example, are you going to spell the word colour or color. Are you going to write first or 1st. Are you going to include the serial comma or leave it out?
  • She checks the overall look of the text. Are the graphics well positioned? Is there adequate space around the edges of text boxes. Are drop caps properly kerned? Are the pull quotes accurate and in the best possible places?
  • She double-checks hotlinks. Are they working? Are they useful? Do they provide the promised information?
  • She checks the line breaks and asks the graphic artist to change some of them to make the material look better and read more easily. She always attends to widows and orphans and in a references section where authors are cited, she ensures that the authors’ first names (usually given in initials) are not separated from their last ones.

This careful, detailed attention to the look of a publication (or, for that matter, a website) makes the difference between a finished product that appears professional versus one that looks merely amateur.

Furthermore, proofreaders are not expensive (especially if you consider the wealth of knowledge they have — not to mention how much money you’ve already invested in your project!) They cost somewhere between $35 and $45 per hour, depending on where you live. To my mind, it’s one of the best investments a company can make.

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