Everything about books and writing

Month: September 2021

How to Become a Professional Proofreader

You have a knack for the written word – specifically grammar, spelling, and formatting – and you’ve decided that you want to offer your services as a proofreader. Good for you! Proofreading is a growing industry and one that will always be needed. From authors to website owners to blog posts and journal articles; there is so much content out there that needs to be proofread. You can also make a pretty decent living for yourself if you have great skills, offer high-quality results, and land some great clients on a regular basis. 

With all of that said, however, if you’re new to the proofreading industry, you’re probably wondering where to get started. How do you go about offering your services as a proofreader and finding clients? Read on for some handy tips that you can use to start your own proofreading business. 

What is a proofreader? 

First, let’s clarify what a proofreader is. A lot of people confuse editing and proofreading, and it’s important to understand that while they’re both equally important, they’re very different parts of the writing process. Editing occurs prior to proofreading and entails the stuff that makes up the bigger picture, such as restructuring, erasing big parts of text that aren’t needed, and just making sure that the content flows and reads well for the audience that it’s intended for. 

Proofreading, however, is the last stage of the writing process. It’s involves meticulously reviewing the content with a fine-tooth comb to check for things like spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors. This part of the writing process helps to ensure that a final draft is polished and ready to be published. 

What skills do professional proofreaders need? 

In order to become a professional proofreader, you need to have a firm grasp on the written language. You have to have a firm understanding of grammar, syntax, punctuation, and formatting. Depending on who you work for, you may need to have a degree, such as a BA or an MS in English; however, that isn’t always the case. There’s no doubt, however, that you’ll be asked to share samples of your proofreading skills with prospective clients. They may even ask you to do a sample proof of a piece of content that they provide. It’s important to note that if you’re asked to proof a sample, make sure that you are paid for your services; it may be a lower rate than what you would be paid if you were hired, but you shouldn’t offer your proofreading services for free – even if it’s for a sample. 

Determine your proofreading niche

There are so many different types of writing, so you want to make sure that you figure out what niche you are most adept to correct the writing for. Examples of different niches that you can proofread for include: 

  • Books and manuscripts
  • Website content
  • Blog posts
  • Journal and magazine articles
  • Legal documents 
  • Emails 
  • Transcripts
  • Court reports
  • Essays 
  • College papers

Do note that each of these niches will have their own unique requirements in regard to language and formatting, so you’ll want to be sure that you’re well-versed in the specific niche that you intend on proofreading for. 

Look for proofreading jobs

Once you’ve determined what niche you’d like to proof for and you have your samples and credentials in order, it’s time to start looking for work in this sector. A great way for beginners to land work is by using job boards that post content writing and proofreading jobs, like Indeed.com. You can also try to advertise your services on online forums, as well as on job websites, or even in the newspaper or on your social media profiles. 

How to self-publish a book

Not everyone can approach a publisher and for every new project. It’s understandable why authors want to self-publish. Many books get rejected on the grounds that the author isn’t writing about a life they’ve lived. For some, it might also be a financial issue to go for a publisher. And last but not the least, getting approval from a publisher takes time – especially if you’re a new writer.

In this piece, we’re going to discuss the procedure that any author should follow while self-publishing their book.

Writing, editing, formatting, and covers

First things first.

  • Writing: Preparing the manuscript and the first draft are obvious prerequisites to self-publishing.
  • Editing: Get your work edited or proofread by someone qualified for this role. It will help. It also helps to get a second opinion or multiple perspectives on the first draft. You might figure out loopholes or awkward mistakes to iron out.
  • Formatting: Whichever software you’re writing in – make sure your formatting is top-notch. Getting a copy of the first draft printed as a book would help.
  • Covers: Front cover, back cover, and spine need to be designed. You can hire a designer for this or you can do it yourself using graphic design software and freely available assets and photographs.

Print-on-demand for books and Kindle for ebooks

Find a print-on-demand (POD) service in your area or the area you wish to serve. POD services work in a straightforward way:

  1. You make an account,
  2. Send your final book in PDF format,
  3. Publish it.

You’ll get a link that people can use to directly purchase the book. There are POD services that allow purchases and then there are some which only allow printing. In the case of the latter, you need to build another system on another platform for online purchases and hook that up with the POD service.

Another great platform is Amazon.

You can use Amazon’s KDP Print service as a POD service or as an ebook publishing service, allowing you to be listed on the Kindle Store. The setup process is very simple and entails details such as your full legal name, tax information, and payment method apart from the book itself (cover image files, book in .epub format for Kindle, and so on).

Amazon self-publishing has helped plenty of authors. Though it’s more or less a rudimentary science in many ways. The priorities of big retailers like Amazon change regularly. Generally, it’s a better idea to not put all your eggs in the same basket – diversify and make use of multiple channels to increase your coverage.

What other POD services are out there?

  • IngramSpark ($49 setup fee)
  • BookBaby ($399 setup fee)
  • D2D Print
  • Blurb

Depending on your region you might find better sources by doing a simple Google search. 


Utilize marketing channels. Your book is only as good as the number of eyeballs it gets. If you don’t have a following (such as social media fans) and you cannot hire an influencer for marketing, then here are a few things to do:

  • Spending on online ads and social media ads
  • Mailing lists
  • Cross-promoting with other authors
  • Organic advertising on blogs and social media
  • Being a part of podcasts
  • Tying up with local bookstores
  • Book donations

Wrapping up

And that’s it! Formulate the perfect launch plan after you’ve built up some hype to get a better start.

Self-publishing is truly an effective tool.

No waiting times, creative freedom, no rejections, better royalties, and 100% ownership rights to your material are all great perks of self-publishing. Even remarkable authors are increasingly flocking to the self-publishing world. An indie author is more likely to build an audience with self-publishing vs. going for a publishing house.

The trend of self-publishing has been gaining more and more momentum. Is it the right time to get in? Yes!

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