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Writers, do you proofread your own work?

sjbercot
Community Guru
Sarah B Member Since: Dec 15, 2017
1 of 12

I've had this swirling around in my head, and I'm curious what the community thinks/does/if I'm full of crap. I offer editing, and I think a little more nuance will help me interact with my clients who are often working with writers/translators. I also see a lot of posts looking for "writers" to "edit" and "editors" to "write," which seems like two jobs to me. I tend to keep editing and writing as rather separate fields, but I'm curious about you guys. 

Do you offer clients proofread documents? If so, do you hire out or do it yourself?
If not, do you tell your clients up front that your work will require a proofreader?
If you work primarily as a writer, do you offer editing or proofreading services as well?
If you work primarily in editing, do you offer writing services as well?

Thanks in advance for your input!

margaretpaton
Active Member
Margaret P Member Since: Apr 3, 2016
2 of 12

Hi, Sarah

 

Some good questions there. 

 

When a project doesn't have a rush deadline  ... say I have a couple of days to spare after I've finished my final draft copy, then I check in with a couple of friends who I pay to proofread the document. 

 

If they're not available ... and even a day or two's notice might not be enough, then I do the proofreading. Often, I'll print it out. Read it away from my desk, like outside, in a different environment. I'll do that at least a couple of times. Maybe I'll read it out aloud. 

 

For some clients, there just isn't the time to get an external proofreader to do that job. Or the proofreader's fee will mean it's not really worth me doing the job. Not a good business decision.


There are online agencies that will do the proofreading for you and give you a quick turnaround.

 

Hope that helps.

Rgds

M

sjbercot
Community Guru
Sarah B Member Since: Dec 15, 2017
3 of 12

Thanks, that's helpful!

colettelewis
Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
4 of 12

Sarah B wrote:

I've had this swirling around in my head, and I'm curious what the community thinks/does/if I'm full of crap. I offer editing, and I think a little more nuance will help me interact with my clients who are often working with writers/translators. I also see a lot of posts looking for "writers" to "edit" and "editors" to "write," which seems like two jobs to me. I tend to keep editing and writing as rather separate fields, but I'm curious about you guys. 

Do you offer clients proofread documents? If so, do you hire out or do it yourself?
If not, do you tell your clients up front that your work will require a proofreader?
If you work primarily as a writer, do you offer editing or proofreading services as well?
If you work primarily in editing, do you offer writing services as well?

Thanks in advance for your input!


_______________________________

I suppose it does depend on how long a text is, but for any longer piece of work, I think one needs a goodly lapse of time before proofreading one's own work. 

 

When I translate any long text or manuscript, I nearly always get it proofread by someone else, unless the client allows me at least a week away from the work once I have finished it. And for me, this also  applies to editing. I find it very difficult to proofread anything I have edited unless I can have a few days away from my work. It is what so many clients fail to understand. 

 

I think in some cases, it is fair for clients to assume that an editor/proofreader knows how to write, but not to assume that it is only writers who know how to edit or proofread. 

jr-translation
Community Guru
Jennifer R Member Since: Sep 15, 2017
5 of 12

Nichola L wrote:

Sarah B wrote:

I've had this swirling around in my head, and I'm curious what the community thinks/does/if I'm full of crap. I offer editing, and I think a little more nuance will help me interact with my clients who are often working with writers/translators. I also see a lot of posts looking for "writers" to "edit" and "editors" to "write," which seems like two jobs to me. I tend to keep editing and writing as rather separate fields, but I'm curious about you guys. 

Do you offer clients proofread documents? If so, do you hire out or do it yourself?
If not, do you tell your clients up front that your work will require a proofreader?
If you work primarily as a writer, do you offer editing or proofreading services as well?
If you work primarily in editing, do you offer writing services as well?

Thanks in advance for your input!


_______________________________

I suppose it does depend on how long a text is, but for any longer piece of work, I think one needs a goodly lapse of time before proofreading one's own work. 

 

When I translate any long text or manuscript, I nearly always get it proofread by someone else, unless the client allows me at least a week away from the work once I have finished it. And for me, this also  applies to editing. I find it very difficult to proofread anything I have edited unless I can have a few days away from my work. It is what so many clients fail to understand. 

 

I think in some cases, it is fair for clients to assume that an editor/proofreader knows how to write, but not to assume that it is only writers who know how to edit or proofread. 


Same here. I always facture in the proofreading costs into my offer and explain them in the proposal. The whole process has three steps:

1. Translation/writing

2. Editing

3. Proofreading

Depending on the length and complexity step 2 and 3 can be done by the same person but it should be someone else then in step 1 when the text has more than e.g. 5k words (Depending on the text). 

 

Keep in mind that the client might know what he wants but not what is needed to get it. E.g. there are clients that believe a translator with multiple target languages is better than a translator with only one target language.

 

It is also important to work with the proofreader/proofeditor. I once had a proofreader for a novel chosen by the client. The proofreader (self-proclaimed expert) took my translation and changed everything into a literal translation. Since then I have build up my own team and tell the clients that I prefer to use my own team and handle the project management.

versailles
Community Guru
Rene K Member Since: Jul 10, 2014
6 of 12

Im' alway proofreading evrything i wiirite.

 

 

-----------
"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
lysis10
Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
7 of 12

Rene K wrote:

Im' alway proofreading evrything i wiirite.

 

 


This is my writing after two drinks or before noon. 🤣🤣🤣🤣

sjbercot
Community Guru
Sarah B Member Since: Dec 15, 2017
8 of 12

Thanks everyone for your thoughtful (and funny) feedback!

igathungu
Active Member
Innocent M G Member Since: Mar 19, 2018
9 of 12

Having been an editor for over 15 years, I find it a crime not to thoroughly proofread every piece I write. Typos and other howlers make me extremely uncomfortable, especially if they are on a document I've written. The only problem is that clients don't understand the value of a great writer who is also a good editor. Perhaps I should start itemizing my quotes to reflect both skills?

 

Innocent

resultsassoc
Community Guru
Bill H Member Since: Aug 18, 2017
10 of 12

Sarah,

 

There are several different types of editors. For fiction, I use a developmental editor who points out where I've been stupid. I have a backup, who is eager to tell me where I've made mistakes. For non-fiction, I have an excellent technical editor who does a bit of line editing. I've used him to help me transition from chapter to chapter in non-fiction work as well. That is three different kinds of editing.

 

I pay beta readers to give me feedback on my work. My most recent book needed a 50% rewrite after my developmental editor finished with it. One of my beta readers then bluntly told me to trash two-thirds of what I had and rewrite. He was right. Then, I went back to my developmental editor and asked her to do a beta read equivalent. She did, I made a couple of fixes, then turned it over to a proofreader. Who found one typo in 380 pages

 

I make typos; I do not make errors in spelling, grammar, syntax, parallelism, or word choice. That's because I'm older than dirt and started elementary school at a time when perfection was the minimum standard for use of one's native language. I give it two days after finishing the process and then look for typos unless I'm using a proof reader.

 

A client hired me to "edit" his e-book for use as a marketing give-away for consulting services. We agreed on extending a couple of chapters with additional detail. My grafix provider partnered with me to re-do the graphix. I rarely require escrow; the client was irate, he had expected content to triple. That's not editing, that's a complete rewrite.

 

I do some ghost-writing and a bit of editing. Most online writing/editing clients turn out to be people I would never meet voluntarily.

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