I tried searching for this in the forum already but didn’t find anything. Can anyone out there recommend a copy editor/ proof reader for when I’m ready to have the ‘final polish’ put on my manuscript? I’m not even close to being done yet, just gettin’ my game-plan ready
Top of the market freelancers advertise in Media Bistro, Editor and Publisher, and Publisher’s Weekly. But you might be able to find someone good through craigslist. If you’re in a pre-submission state, Google the category “book producer,” a person who will help put the MS and your pitch into publishable condition. Another term for such services is “book doctor.”
“Top of the market” sounds a bit pricey. Anyway, thanks. I’ll certainly have a look around. I found a couple of companies online awhile back but I’m not sure if they’re reputable. I have a feeling it’ll be a slow process finding someone who can do it that I feel I can trust. And, I live in China so payment arrangements can be a bit of problem too.
You can also try searching different forums or maybe some bidding sites.
Someone decent might cost US$15-35 per hour, but be careful. Also be wary of anyone who claims ability to give you a set total for how much it’ll cost without seeing a sample of your writing to know how much help you’ll need.
I’ve worked as a professional proofreader/copyeditor myself. When I worked for a company (which sold to an out-of-state competitor, which is the only reason I’m not still there), they had degreed folks come in pretty often to take the test.
Two people came the same day I did. I was the only one who passed. (I don’t have a degree.) It took a full month or two for them to find someone else, too, and they were actively seeking proofreaders because they were understaffed. (They called it “proofreading”, but we were doing some copyediting, too.)
I share that as a “be careful” story–having a degree in English does NOT indicate competency in proofreading, and especially not copyediting! A good copyeditor can take your writing and fix it without affecting your personal “voice.”
If you have some idea of what kind of work you’re needing done, I might know of some proofreader/copyeditors who you can at least query for an estimate.
Note: proper spellings for some words vary according to source, just like some grammar rules–even within the same country. Any proofreader worth her salt should be able to tell you that and give examples.
EDIT: A clarification:
By “what kind of work you’re needing done”, I mean: will you need help with plot? Characterization? Grammar and typos I’m assuming, but what about sentence structure and scene development? Emotion? Tension?
Some people just need some minor checks for what they already know; others need help with every (other) sentence. In my own work, I have some difficulty with pacing of overall plots, but a proofreader would find very few problems with my words and sentences in themselves.
Does that make sense?