What is Proofreading?

Proofreading includes identifying many of the same grammar, spelling, and punctuation issues as a copyedit, but it’s a different process for the editor. During a copyedit, the editor will usually encounter a lot of errors. The higher the amount of errors in a manuscript, the more likely the editor will miss some. All editors strive for error-free work, but we are human, and it’s easy to miss a few things while we’re correcting a few thousand things. According to Copyediting.com, the standard for professional editors is a 95% error-detection rate. This is where the proofreader comes in.

Not only are the proofreader’s eyes fresh to the material, they’re also working with cleaner copy. They have fewer errors distracting them from the pesky lingerers that remain after the copyedit. This is also why it’s important to have a different person proofread for you after an edit. If someone else copyedited your manuscript, I would be happy to proofread for you. In most cases, your manuscript must have already been professionally edited before I’ll accept it for proofreading. But if I’ve already copyedited your manuscript myself, I will subcontract the proofreading work to a trusted colleague who will proofread the manuscript so that you get the benefit of a second set of professional eyes on the material.


Paragraph Level

  • Repetition
  • Speaker/action consistency

Sentence Level

  • Punctuation
  • Grammar
  • Misplaced modifiers

Word Level

  • Spelling
  • Hyphenation
  • Word Usage

Styling Consistency

  • Italicization
  • Ellipses
  • Quotation marks


  • Remove tabs
  • Remove extra spaces
  • Remove extra line breaks

Proof Options

  • Proofread your Word document
  • Proofread your typeset PDF and provide a list of errors for your formatter to locate and fix.

Proofreading Does Not Include:

Custom Style Sheet

  • Creating a style sheet is not part of the proofreading service.

Story Level

  • Fact-checking
  • Overall story-related issues

Paragraph Level

  • Pacing

Proofreading Process

Free Sample

For new clients only: In order to see if we’re a good match, I offer a free sample proofread of your work, between 1000 and 1500 words (less for short stories and novellas).


If you like my sample proofread and decide you’d like to work with me, we’ll discuss scheduling to find a time slot that works for us both.

Quote & Contract

Once we’ve secured a time slot, I’ll send you a quote with a plain-English contract that outlines terms that protect both your interests and mine.

First Invoice

After you accept the quote and contract terms, I’ll send an invoice for a deposit of 50% of the total cost of the project. Payment of this deposit indicates your acceptance of the contract terms and is due before the proofread begins.

Send Manuscript 1.0

Once you send your deposit, it’s time to send me your manuscript. I can accept manuscripts through a variety of methods, including email, Box.com, or Dropbox.com. See my About Me page for more on confidentiality and my editing standards.

First Pass

The first pass can take anywhere from one to two weeks from the start date that we’ve agreed upon, depending on the length of the manuscript. I proofread with Track Changes enabled, so you’ll be able to clearly see the changes I’ve made.

Delivery of Files

When I’ve completed the first pass, I will send you:

  1. Track Changes version,
  2. Clean version (all changes accepted and only comments remaining); or
  3. (If applicable) Your error list.

Final Invoice

The bulk of the work is done during the first pass, so along with your files, I’ll send you a final invoice for the remaining 50% of the total price. This invoice is due upon receipt of the first-pass files.

Accept/Reject Changes

Now it’s time for you to read through the manuscript and either accept or reject changes. Click here for a short video tutorial on Track Changes. (Steps 9 – 12 do not apply if you opt for the PDF proof option only.)

Address Any Queries

There won’t be many queries during a proofread, but if there are any, you will find them in comment boxes. Please make sure Track Changes is enabled so that I will be able to easily identify any changes you’ve made. 

Send Manuscript 2.0

Once you’ve gone over all the changes and comments, you will then send the manuscript back to me for a final check. I call this a “half pass.”

Half Pass

Sometimes, proofreading can introduce errors that weren’t there before. The “half pass” is a final check of all the items that were changed to make sure the changes were implemented as intended and no new errors were introduced.

Final Files and Receipt

After the half pass, I’ll send your final files (tracked and clean) along with a “paid in full” receipt for your records. Remember, proofreading fees are tax deductions for independent authors.

Have you booked a Two-pass Proofread?

If you’ve booked a two-pass proofread as part of a package, your manuscript will now go to my second proofreader for another pass and a half.

Have you booked interior print or ebook design?

Proofreading clients get a special low price for interior book design of only $50 each for interior print design and ebook formatting.


Single-pass Proofread

$0.006 – $0.009

per word

I use “per word” pricing, since this is the easiest to calculate, and it leaves little room for misunderstanding. Costs for proofreading vary, depending on the level of work the manuscript requires. My final quote will be based on a sample of your manuscript. Use the calculator on the right to get an idea of the price range I will quote you for.

Ready to book your project?

Whether you're ready to book now or just want to discuss your project and get a free sample edit or proofread of your work, click the button below to get started!