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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I can not tell you how many times I have been burned my proofreaders.
And I don't mean a few mistakes. I paid so many different people and they all missed major things.
The readers were so unhappy about it. Should I pay two different proofreaders
because one person can't do it all? Is that just the cost of doing business?
 

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I'm so thankful that my wife and I are both capable of proofing each other's projects. Usually, whoever writes it goes over it carefully first and passes it to the other for another run through.

Two eyes on the job is always better than one if you want to be extra careful. I don't think your idea of paying two good people could hurt.
 

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If I could afford it, I would. My guess is that even the best proofreaders are going to miss around 5% . . . and it depends on the density of the book, and the particular book: the more difficult, or the more errors you guess there are, the greater the likelihood of even a good proofreader missing a few.
 

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I've mentioned this before but industry standard (I'm talking about what was originally set by trad) is that for each pass, proofreaders are going to catch 95-98% of errors. This doesn't mean the MS will be 95-98% error free though. For instance, if you have a MS with 950 errors and there were 50 missed, then they are catching 95% of the errors.

I also have a beef with what "errors" are being tagged. I've seen people site errors in dialog as improper grammar. Or spelling errors such as realise. Or just plain style differences.  ::) Just make sure that the errors that are being claimed are actual errors.

That being said, if you can afford a second proof, do it.
 

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trublue said:
I can not tell you how many times I have been burned my proofreaders.
And I don't mean a few mistakes. I paid so many different people and they all missed major things.
The readers were so unhappy about it. Should I pay two different proofreaders
because one person can't do it all? Is that just the cost of doing business?
One good proofread should get most of it. That said, no proofreader is perfect.

I'd opt for an ideal of a good professional proof plus a go-through or two yourself after the corrections, and maybe by a sharp beta-reader to assure it's really clean. Two professional proofreads shouldn't be needed -- unless many corrections are made, (in which case a pro-followup by the same editor might be prudent). This might indicate a lack of line editing, the step before proofreading. In other words it depends on how rough the manuscript at the time it gets to proofreading.

I sent you a pm.
 

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I do my best to make a clean manuscript, but I know that I suck at proofreading. Therefore, I pay the price of two proofreaders. Even then, a really smart (and very nice) reader notified my of 35 errors that neither proofreader caught. Little stupid stuff, but errors nonetheless. Now, I'm going to pay that reader to go through my manuscripts as well. Now that I can afford it, I see no reason not to pay an editor, and 2 proofreaders. Humans are not perfect, and I expect that there will still be a few that slip through. However, I doubt that anyone will fault me considering that I am hiring 3 "qualified individuals" (not two mention 3 beta readers) to proof the work.

I think it's all about making a reasonable effort, with "reasonable" being defined by ones means as well as industry standards. Let's face it, we have all seen traditionally published work with errors, just usually not very many.
 

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I just had my latest ms (107k words) gone through by an editor, followed by two proofreaders. I was amazed by how many errors each caught, in turn. I consider the investment to have been well worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Rykymus,

You are right. I just have to sick it up and pay for two.
Oh well.

 

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Once the editor has done her job, I use at least three proofreaders. There usually aren't that many errors left after the editor is done with a manuscript, but so far each proofreader has found stuff the others missed. And even after that, at least one error has slipped by unnoticed.
 

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One person will never see all the mistakes.  If you can afford it, hire more than one.  If you can't, find a beta reader who's great with grammar who won't mind doing a little proofreading as they read.  Use NaturalReader software to turn your text to speech and do proofreading yourself by listening to the book (has helped me immensely). 

I have four different people going through my books, and they still go out the door with mistakes.  It's the nature of the beast.  Even trad pubbed books have errors.  I find them all the time!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Update: I have been contacted by a few proofreaders. I'm hopeful
This goes well.
 
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