What can we offer you? If you are a budding writer, an eBook publisher, or even an experienced paperback writer, we can help, by offering cost effective proof reading – and we have customers across the States. We can edit and correct an 80k book for $400 typically, and with a fast turnaround time.
It’s not just about the punctuation
What most of our customers want, and what most of them appreciate from us and don’t seem to get from our rivals, is a plot analysis. If a story has historical or geographical errors then we usually spot them, as well as technical errors described in the book – your main character driving on the right in a country where they drive on the left! If your main character starts the book left handed, he should not end it right handed. If it’s night time when the action starts, your main character should not be able to see just as well as in daylight – something that many writers get wrong. We will not just highlight the punctuation problems and spelling mistakes, we will also attack the plot as we go, highlighting problems. Fact is, most budding writers want an opinion as well as an edit, they want to know – ‘is this any good?’ We won’t lie to you, and sometimes we offend people unintentionally with our harsh comments, but at least you will get the truth. Some proof readers will tell you that your story is great, simply to get your money. We won’t. Our strength is in our repeat customers, and they return because they know we will attack the plot errors as we go, making the book a better read.
Not really, but you will be offered some very strange advice and practices, both for your own proofreading and the editor’s proofreading.
I often come across so-called ‘proofreaders’ that claim to edit a book backwards, line by line. This is complete rubbish, because although that method may pick up spellings and grammar in isolation, the proofreader is not following the story and so making comments on the meaning, the style and the tone is impossible.
Do you want your book to be free from obvious spellings and have the typos removed, but retaining the serious errors?
Example: I proofread a book where the main character suffered testicular cancer and had it removed, and a day later he was dancing and having sex as if nothing had happened. If you read the story backwards, you may not spot the obvious problem – in that the man would suffer pain for longer than just 24hrs! In other books, a character lost their reading glasses, yet without finding them (and being away from home) the glasses are suddenly being cleaned and placed back on.
If your story involves gay sex we may turn it away. Please warn us in advance. Also, if the sex scenes are particularly unpalatable or the violence is graphic, we may refuse to take on board your project.
If you have written an autobiographical account of how you were abused as a child, or raped as a woman, we may turn down the project. Please warn us in advance.
Cheap proofreading USA ….don’t be offended, but…
If your book is weak, we will not proof read it, simple as that. We will not waste your money, because a weak book getting proof read is still a weak book – and we’ll tell you so from the initial sample sent to us. Often, budding writers send us their book and we turn them down, and this offends them. We don’t mean to offend them, but they must understand that a book that needs every sentence correcting is not something that we would like to put our names to. Why? Because budding writers often wrongly believe that proof reading or an edit will fix everything, and that afterwards their book will be publishable. An edit will not fix everything, and afterwards your book will still be weak – if it was poor to start with. Sometimes, budding writers come back to us with – ‘Hey, you edited my book, but still no publisher will pay me a million bucks for it.’ A proofreading edit fixes certain things, in the time allowed within a $400 budget. An edit is not a re-write or a ghost write, it is a simply proofread, and you need to understand that.
Send us a large sample; tell us how many words long it is. That sample should be in MS Word .doc format .docx format, not .odt or rtf or any other format, and not a pdf. We will then get back to you with a quote if we wish to take you on board as a client.
How do I pay – Cheap proofreading USA?
We accept PayPal payments, and our PayPal account has been running for many years and is fully verified, so you are covered in the event of a dispute. We’ve not had a problem with PayPal yet.
We have editors in many countries, where it is warm – and cheap for them to live, many are retired academics or writers, some in Europe and the Far East. All are native British speakers; some are British (so you’d figure they could speak and write their native English correctly!). Our principal is British by birth, but often lives in the Far East. 95% of our customers are American; most are eBook writers that self publish.
We offer proof reading of religious books and do so often, but we will not offer to correct any technical religious points or specific references to passages in the Bible, since that would take too long. We will correct the English, but we will not comment on whether or not we agree with your motives or content – that is down to you and we will not judge you or your book.
We are often involved in proof reading of self-help books and motivational books, and we will comment on the subject matter if you wish us to. Some of our proof readers have themselves written self-help guides, as well as books on social issues.
We will happily offer the editing of technical books, but without making technical comments – we would leave that to you. Many technical books have misplaced commas, and typos, so we can help with correcting the English used, as well as the flow, making the book easier to read for your customers.
Repeat customers, or book series
If you have a series of books that you wish us to proof read, then we can work out a discounted rate after the first book has been completed. We are happy to negotiate.
Chick lit – and sex books
We edit and proof read a great many books aimed at women, so called ‘chick lit’, and they often have graphic sex scenes. This is not a problem for us. If you have written a book with a great deal of sex, just let us know and send us a sample.
Proof reading is not just about simple typos and spellings, the obvious ‘their’ when you mean ‘they’re’.
So is there a problem with reading forwards? The issue is that us humans DO NOT READ WORDS, we read phrases without realizing it, and we recognize phrases. “He sat down.” No, you did not read each separate word, you recognized the phrase, and by doing so you quickly read and skim along the line. If a proof reader does that they may miss some of the typos. But, if editors do not immerse themselves into the plot, then they will not correct the plot.
To my mind, the plot and the plot errors are just as important, if not more important, than the typos and the spelling. A few typos are something that your reader can live with, but getting the main character’s name wrong a few times and you have lost your reader’s interest – because they are pissed off with you.
What is the answer? Fact is, most writers are terrible at proof reading their own writing, and many are quite lazy. We get repeat business from good and established writers, published writers, who hate to proof read their own work – so we do it for them. Then there are those writers that dare us to find anything wrong, and we both surprise and disappoint them by finding a great deal wrong, things that they missed.
Cheap proof reading, $400 for 80k words, is an option open to writers who cannot be bothered to check their own work carefully, but also an option to writers that ‘think’ their book is finished. There are no foolproof techniques, just a variety of opinions.
Proofreading – common faults
Some writers and editors look for the common faults, and so do we. We will do a global search for ‘their’, ‘there’ and then ‘they’re’ and check the context. We will search for two sets of quotes when there should be one, and we will run the spell checker and grammar checker up and down and check everything highlighted in red or green by the software. By doing so, we often spot things that we missed when we read-through the book.
We will also ‘add’ words to the spell checker dictionary, such as a foreign name, ‘Zathrus’. We may then find several variations of that name highlighted in red, and will fix them. It is common for writers to change a character’s name after they have finished the story. Problem is, not all variations of the name get changed, and we often have Bill as the main character, yet he is still called David in three places. Very confusing. How would someone reading backwards spot the three instances of David, and would they question it?
Spaces and indents. As we proofread, we often fix the document structure as we go. There are many Americans who leave two spaces between sentences, most do not. Those outside the States do not use two spaces, and most books have just one space. We will then find that some paragraphs are auto-indented after the last paragraph, and yet some have a tab character, and some even have a bunch of spaces to indent the paragraph. Our proofreading will ensure it is consistent.
The answer is to proofread your own book as far as possible, to look for global errors via a global document search, then to send it to at least one editor to have them look at it. And never forget, that a good editor is a harsh editor, and always be wary of people who tell you how good your book is whilst trying to win your business – and get your money. If your book is crap, we’ll tell you so or turn you away.
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