You have expended a lot of time, effort and energy in writing your book. If you’ve been at your craft for a while, you realize that proofreading your own work is not a good idea, nor is it prudent to have a friend or relative review it. You need an independent, qualified editor to look at it word-by-word, page-by-page, to assure, at a minimum, that it passes our “GPS” Test-Grammar, Punctuation, Spelling.
Mark Twain, in an 1898 letter to Sir Walter Besant, shared his thoughts about the frustrations of attempting to proofread your own writing:
“You think you are reading proof, whereas you are merely reading your own mind; your statement of the thing is full of holes & vacancies but you don’t know it, because you are filling them from your mind as you go along. Sometimes–but not often enough–the printer’s proof-reader saves you–& offends you–with this cold sign in the margin: (?) & you search the passage & find that the insulter is right–it doesn’t say what you thought it did: the gas-fixtures are there, but you didn’t light the jets.”
Still unsure about whether or not you want your manuscript proofread? Read on.
A short Q&A about proofreading and editing
What is proofreading?
Proofreading is a slow and methodical search for typographical mistakes, omitted words or word endings, and misspellings.
Who is qualified to be a proofreader?
There is no standardized test; however, at Madison Avenue Publishing we have our standards:
- At a minimum, the editor must have a Bachelor’s Degree in one of the English disciplines
- We prefer editors who are graduates of or are in the process of attending MFA programs in creative writing
- English teachers who have been grading submissions by students for many years are also a preference
- The editor must be a competent writer
- The editor must be able to effectively communicate his or her proofreading decisions regarding the manuscript to the author
- The editor must be familiar with the “Review” protocols of MSWord
- The editor must be able to facilitate an online chat, should the author elect to participate in this option, for purposes of explaining proofreading suggestions to the manuscript
- The editor must be courteous when dealing with an author.
Are there other edits an author should consider?
Yes. We have a number of editing options available to our writers. Click on Advanced Editing.