Epiclesis Consulting is happy to provide proofreading services, either alone or bundled with other editorial services. Contact us if you have a project that requires a proofreader.

People often use the word “proofreading” to mean the same thing as “copyediting,” going line by line through a text making corrections. In publishing, however, “proofreading” has a very specific meaning: comparing the final edited draft of the manuscript with a copy, or “proof,” of the typeset version to assure that the text has been faithfully rendered into camera-ready copy. All errors will be noted and sent back to the typesetter for correction.

A proofreader may also note glaring errors that may have remained in the edited manuscript, but these will be marked as “Editor Errors” rather than “Printer/Typesetter Errors.” This is an important distinction, because the typesetter may charge extra if asked to make a great number of corrections due to Editor Errors, but should not charge for correcting his or her own errors. (Most typesetters will not charge to fix occasional Editor Errors, as long as these are not excessive. No one is perfect!)

It is not unusual for there to be more than one round of proofreading as a proofreader notes errors, the typesetter makes the requested corrections, and new proofs are again checked for errors. If a great number of corrections have been made, there is always the danger that new errors may have been incorporated into the typeset copy. Each round of proofreading is priced as a separate service.

Many authors try to save money by doing their own proofreading. Certainly the author should read the typeset proofs and mark any errors (s)he can find. However, if at all possible, it is desirable to have “fresh eyes” do the actual proofreading. By this time in the publication process, the author normally knows the text nearly by heart. It can be all too easy to “see” the words that are supposed to be on the page, rather than the ones that really appear.