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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Not to be confused with your editor.

Curious to know if your proofreaders are paid or not and if they are, how much roughly for a book?

Bearing in mind that every cent you pay for covers, editing etc comes out of your pocket before you make profit.
 

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anotherpage said:
Bearing in mind that every cent you pay for covers, editing etc comes out of your pocket before you make profit.
Yes. Because that's how businesses work. If you're not willing to invest in your own business, why should you assume anyone else is?

Anyway, to answer your question: yes I pay my proofreader(s). They're professionals, putting in time and effort to make my book ready for prime time, just as I try to be.

I know some who have either family or close friends who will do it for free and/or they barter with. That's likewise cool.

I am less cool with putting all of my proofing needs in the hands of unpaid beta or ARC readers. For starters there's consistency to take into account. I prefer the same person with the same grammatical skills to look over the entire document. Not do it piecemeal and assume it's all correct. Secondly, to be honest, it doesn't feel right to me - basically gathering people in a group to give me free labor and then calling it a perk.

I know some authors who do, and I'm not saying that makes them bad people in the slightest. It's just not for me and my business.

And yes, I still use beta readers for story feedback and ARC readers for early reviews. So perhaps that attitude is slightly hypocritical. But I personally feel trading a free story for story feedback and/or a review is somewhat different than the detail work that proofing requires.

ETA price varies: but I find for the size stories I write (~100k) two or three hundred dollars is usually around the norm.
 

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Around $350 for a 40k word manuscript. But then, my proofreader's work overlaps what some people would put under editing. Repetitive word choices, awkward phrasing, etc. It's not just a typo check.
 

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I've paid between $0.003 and $0.005 per word. I recently hired someone for $0.002 an hour. They don't start until next week, so I can't say how good they are.
 

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I wouldn't mind becoming involved in proof reading, wonder where to advertise? Fiverr, Upwork, maybe?
One thing puzzles me.
If you need a proof reader because your spelling and grammar etc. isn't too good, how do you know if its been correctly proof read?
 

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I get paid .002 per word for proofreading. I know I'm on the low side. At least half of my authors are hiring a proofreader for the first time and probably aren't turning a profit, or, if they are, it's very little. As I used to spend that time ARC or proofreading for free, I'm willing to keep myself affordable for that client base. When I increased my rates in January, a couple of them started paying the new rate, even though I had grandfathered them in. :)  I hope this helps.
 

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I married mine.

But I am all in favor of self-pubbers getting help. I've worked as a journalist and in print shops since I was a teenager. I married an editor at the same publications office where I was working at the time. We have both pretty much committed the Chicago Manual of Style to memory, and we both were lucky enough to have as English teachers dedicated women trained in the days when everyone believed the English language had rules. When I read online forums (this one isn't bad, but you should see the KDP Community forums!) I cannot believe that these people actually hope to sell their books to the public without considerable intervention.

This is HARD WORK. We spend at least two weeks proofreading the "galleys" of a print edition, I reading it aloud to Susan, a chapter in the morning and another in the afternoon so we don't get stale.

I for one would never finish a book that mistook "their" for "there", or that used "wierd" spelling. And if I had purchased it, I'd ask for a refund. I don't care if a man identifies as a woman, or if a white identifies as black, but I draw the line at an illiterate who poses as an author.
 

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Paul Gre said:
If you need a proof reader because your spelling and grammar etc. isn't too good, how do you know if its been correctly proof read?
That's a big problem for indie authors, not just with proofreading but also with editing.
 

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I paid a little over $1,000 for just over 50 thousand words (novella). You will miss things trying to edit/proof read on your own.
 

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Paul Gre said:
If you need a proof reader because your spelling and grammar etc. isn't too good, how do you know if its been correctly proof read?
That's not why authors need proofreading. We need proofreading because, after tweaking a manuscript half a dozen times, things creep in. For me, it's often doubled "the"s which are completely invisible when I do a final sweep, a typo that I was reading too fast to notice, or transposing characters' names. In someone else's manuscript, I'd see those issues immediately. In my own manuscript, they fade into the flow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Rick Gualtieri said:
Yes. Because that's how businesses work. If you're not willing to invest in your own business, why should you assume anyone else is?
I think you have misunderstood what I was saying. I have no qualms about investing in my business as I spend thousands every month, however, just because someone can read that doesn't make them a proofreader. There are a lot of folk advertising their services who shouldn't be proofreaders.

Rick Gualtieri said:
I am less cool with putting all of my proofing needs in the hands of unpaid beta or ARC readers. For starters there's consistency to take into account. I prefer the same person with the same grammatical skills to look over the entire document. Not do it piecemeal and assume it's all correct. Secondly, to be honest, it doesn't feel right to me - basically gathering people in a group to give me free labor and then calling it a perk.
Yes i agree. I won't do that either. I did it once. Four readers never found any errors. I published and two readers found three errors.

I don't like the idea of my readers finding my errors. (If they can)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Paul Gre said:
I wouldn't mind becoming involved in proof reading, wonder where to advertise? Fiverr, Upwork, maybe?
One thing puzzles me.
If you need a proof reader because your spelling and grammar etc. isn't too good, how do you know if its been correctly proof read?
aimeeeasterling said:
That's not why authors need proofreading. We need proofreading because, after tweaking a manuscript half a dozen times, things creep in. For me, it's often doubled "the"s which are completely invisible when I do a final sweep, a typo that I was reading too fast to notice, or transposing characters' names. In someone else's manuscript, I'd see those issues immediately. In my own manuscript, they fade into the flow.
Yes, exactly. 98% of the time my editor and I catch the errors, and then we use software after that which catches even more but it would be nice to have another set of eyes. But those eyes have to be good or its not worth the money.

Only once did i have 4 readers read my book before it went out and let me know if there were errors. None of them found any.

I hit publish and a couple of readers found 3. (Yes, you have to be careful who you hire as a proofreader and who confesses to be a proofreader)

It's like the old saying. Everyone can write, few can write well.

Same applies. Most can read, few can spot errors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Nicksm28 said:
I paid a little over $1,000 for just over 50 thousand words (novella). You will miss things trying to edit/proof read on your own.
That's only worth it if you can make the money back. You can find good editors who will do it for around $200 to $300. They are rare but they do exist ( ex-teachers, ex-editors) Folks who have lots of time on their hands because they are retired vs a youngster who needs the money to pay their mortgage.

Also bear in mind. Some of these folks who say they are proofreaders are just tossing your manuscript through software then charging you $X. Software might find some errors but it won't find them all, and some it finds are incorrect.
 

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Paul Gre said:
If you need a proof reader because your spelling and grammar etc. isn't too good, how do you know if its been correctly proof read?
Your reviews will let you know. :)
 

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Rick Gualtieri said:
Yes. Because that's how businesses work. If you're not willing to invest in your own business, why should you assume anyone else is? T
this times ten.

I've always been amazed how many complain about paying for covers, proofreading, whatever. When my ex and I owned a restaurant, we would kill to have that kind of low overhead. My local writers group had a Christmas Indy Authors Sale at a local restaurant and charged $15 for lunch buffet and a table. Several authors from other groups asked if they could just have the table and forego paying for lunch.

Sheesh - everyone paying for lunch is how we got the room for "free"
 

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For just proofreading, I charge .0075 a word. However, I will only accept a manuscript for proofreading if it has been copy edited by a reputable editor, and I am allowed to check it over before making my final decision. Otherwise, I'd end up with manuscripts that need more than proofs, and I'm entirely too anal not to fix what needs to be. Then, I'd be wasting my time while being grossly underpaid. Proofreading is the toughest part of editing to make decisions on in my opinion. It's why I rarely do just a proofread.
 

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anotherpage said:
Only once did i have 4 readers read my book before it went out and let me know if there were errors. None of them found any.

I hit publish and a couple of readers found 3. (Yes, you have to be careful who you hire as a proofreader and who confesses to be a proofreader)
No book is going to be 100% error-free. None.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
mojomikey said:
this times ten.

I've always been amazed how many complain about paying for covers, proofreading, whatever. When my ex and I owned a restaurant, we would kill to have that kind of low overhead. My local writers group had a Christmas Indy Authors Sale at a local restaurant and charged $15 for lunch buffet and a table. Several authors from other groups asked if they could just have the table and forego paying for lunch.

Sheesh - everyone paying for lunch is how we got the room for "free"
No one is complaining about paying.

Go back and read this thread carefully.

The question was about HOW much are folks paying?

The fact is today there are some folks calling themselves proofreaders who have no business even offering that service.

There are some folks charging $X and all they are doing is tossing it in Grammarly then handing it back.

If you approach business just hiring anyone just because they say they can do XYZ, you are going to find yourself not making money.

Wisdom requires sifting through the crap and believe me there is a mountain of crappy readers calling themselves proofreaders but are as blind as a bat.
 

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:) This is an excellent question.

Having taken a proofreading course, passed the exam, and become certified, I can tell you that accurate proofreading is difficult and time consuming, but well worth what you will pay for it. I have proofread fiction, blogs, website content and newspaper articles and found errors that would embarrass the writer at the least and at the most, affect their credibility and the desire for readers to want more--not to mention the damage caused by reviews that point out preventable mistakes.

Industry standard is around $.01 per word for proofreading and more for copy editing. (See https://blog.reedsy.com/freelancer/proofreading-rates)
That is about $25/hour if your proofreader is reading at the average rate of 2500 words per hour. This does not include the time it takes to hammer out the specifics of a job with phone calls, texts, emails, etc. If you are paying a proofreader $.002 per word, that is $5/hr...Food for thought.
 
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