Proof-reading isn’t the same as editing. It’s about providing the final check before your book goes to print. It’s about making minor not major changes or corrections, but it’s more than just looking for spelling mistakes:
It means reading the content for sense. (Do all the sentences make sense? Are there any missing words? Are there any wrong words used?)
It does mean checking the spelling. (Are there any spelling mistakes, including those that would not be picked up by a spellcheck?)
It means checking that chapter headings etc. are presented consistently. (Are they in the same font size? Are they positioned consistently? Are they capitalised consistently?)
It means checking that capitalisation is used consistently. (Are words or phrases that are capitalised consistently capitalised in the same way each time they are used?)
It means checking that spelling is consistent. (Some words can be spelled in two legitimate ways. For example, there’s ‘proof-reading’ or ‘proofreading’. The latter is certainly a more common spelling in American usage, but neither is wrong. What matters is that you pick one spelling and stick to it - using it consistently whenever the word appears. It would be a mistake requiring correction to see something like: ‘His proof-reading was better than Eric’s proofreading.’)
Proof-reading is a definite art that requires knowledge and experience. It is also something that it’s notoriously difficult to do in respect of your own work. You’ll be too close to your own work to see what is actually there, rather than what you think is there or you ‘know’ that you’ve written. It’s an area where it’s worth investing in the modest expense of a fresh pair of eyes to ensure that the book that you’ve invested weeks, if not months, if not years, in is not published with mistakes.
I integrate proof-reading as an essential stage of any editing and/or publishing package, but I’m happy to undertake proof-reading work in isolation, providing a personal and timely service at highly competitive rates.
Call me on 07772 167092 or email firstname.lastname@example.org