Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Proofreaders/Copyeditors wanted.

How do you choose the perfect proofreader/copyeditor?

Recently my concerns have been with my own search for a really good proofreader/copyeditor. I have been looking at the best sellers on Amazon, some by top publishers. Well, immediately I now look at their one and two star review section of the book. I’ve noticed on quite a few, how so many of these reviews were given for bad grammar, and yet, they remain to be top best sellers.  Now this is interesting, as well as comforting... And I can only wish I had all this kind of information say, about a year ago!

Then there are proofreader/copyeditors I have searched out with "author testimonials" who have  books up on Amazon, but one or two of these books edited were given one or two stars for bad grammar. Should one still gamble with that editor? After all, some of their other books they edited don’t have any mention of poor grammar. Should you still use them, and hope your book isn’t the one that gets the poor editing?  What do you think?

This isn't a post about editing yourself a zillion times, although that helps.  This is a post about choosing outside editing help.
Are copy editors/proof readers really an individual experience that’s so very different for everyone?

Some of you might not want to part with your proofreader/copyeditor. You might be happy with yours, and so, intend to keep them very busy with editing your own books only. She or he has enough clients, you might think. Believe me, that too I can understand:) I mean, who needs an overworked, tired proofreader, which now raises futher questions, if you see what I mean. 

But how do you decide on a good one? Do you think it’s a matter of paying the right price, or is that neither here, nor there?

Have prices in general become more reasonable since e-books? How much have you paid on a word count/page?

These are some baffling, important questions  for authors. You will also need in the process of working with a copyeditor, a certain kind of trust and lots of patience. And with all that is said and done, maybe one shouldn't worry so much about finding that ultimate perfectionist. You know, in some of those Arabic rugs, there is a tiny pair of scissors woven into the pattern of the rug, to show man's human imperfection. (It goes something like that- anyway.)

Well, I'm hoping to narrow my own search down to one or two. Do you have a great copyeditor/proofreader you would like to recommend, who also has many books up on Amazon from various authors? If you like, you can list it here in the comment section, or e-mail me privately.    subject line: copyeditor/proofreader.
If the same copyeditor/proofreader comes up often enough with a really good track record, that might be interesting.

Good Luck to all of you on that same road, and  happy blog hopping!

This is a blog hop

Insecure Writer's Support Group monthly posting, hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh. The first Wednesday of every month is when it happens and there are a whole bunch of bloggers who participate. Anyone can join, so feel free to add your name to the list, or just hop around and read the different posts.


  1. Good question of which I have no answer for but look forward to checking back and seeing what others have to say.

  2. I'm not loyal to a particular editor (or rather I hadn't been until I discovered Doug from he's brilliant!). I shan't let him go in a hurry!

    I edit myself (several times) then use beta readers, edit some more and when I think it's as perfect as can be THEN I use a professional editor.

  3. It all seems so hit-or-miss. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you. (I'm not there yet, but I'm hoping to make enough connections that I'll get some good referrals by the time I get to that point...maybe..?)
    Good luck.

  4. It's hard to say whether editing really makes that big of a difference. Now, don't get me wrong, if the book reads like a ten year old wrote it, then there's a problem. But small, grammatical errors usually won't dissuade a reader. If he/she is engaged in the story, then they'll stay with it all the way to the end. Look at Stephanie Meyer, she's no steinbeck, but her story was engaging enough for readers to overlook her lack of eloquence.

    Think about it, would you rather read a book that is perfectly written with a boring plot, or one with a great plot and some errors. I'd choose the latter every time. If you're looking for perfection then you'll never achieve it. The probability of it is zero. Eseentially, no book is error free. Just publish it, if the story is good then "they" will come. Best of luck.

  5. I found mine through a writer's group I belonged to at the time. Now, I'm not sure how I'd go about it. Asking folks here is a great start, though.

  6. I agree with Andrea--if the story is good, then a few errors I'm willing to overlook. But if there are just too many mistakes, then the spelling/grammar will negatively affect my opinion.

    I hope you find a good editor! Good luck.

  7. Great blog and glad to find you in this hop :)

  8. I haven't used one yet, but I have a couple of blogging friends who do it. Leigh T. Moore and Jessica Bell and Georgia McBride all do this. You can google their names and find their blogs with their details. All are excellent writers and very highly recommended.

  9. Nice blog.

    Like you've written, I've seen books with professional editing that still got bad reviews.

    I just got my first negative review, and it was so absurd that I had to research the credibility of reviewers. I was trying to determine how to handle such feedback and how much attention I should pay them, which is how I just now came upon your web page.

    My book got a poor review for grammar and punctuation, but the person who wrote the poor review mistook the words "can not" when it should have been "cannot."

    Her review was laced with comma splices! Then she mispelled truly with truely, and definitely with definately.

    Then she went on to claim that she had a degree in English!! LMAO!!!

    It sucked because I've been told that I'm a good editor and proofreader. The problem is I still make mistakes because the words blur together after awhile; our eyes, authors, editors, and proofreaders alike, get tired!

    It's hard work to be so attentive to detail. It's exhausting! One hour of it can put a person to sleep. The public does not understand how much work it takes!

    That and with so many thinking they know just as well as a professional, a writer is almost guaranteed to get slanderous reviews.

  10. English is my second language and of all the languages I learned as a young person, I found it to be the easiest. I don't like to see bad grammar in literature, but if the story interesting and gripping enough, I prefer to just let it go. When I was a technical writer, I proofread my own stuff and got to be very good at it. I still cringe, even on my blog, if I miss something. Now that's pretty silly, I know, but I still do it. I didn't answer your questions here. They were all valid, but since I'm not a writer, I can only sympathize with you.

  11. Hi Jacqueline.
    Your name is listed a couple after mine for the A to Z blog so I will be following you in April. This is my first year and it's all new to be so I am looking forward to it.

  12. Proofreading allows you to identify spelling errors, such as mixing up the words "loose" and "lose," and helps to identify overly repeated words.

    Proofreading services