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How you can make a living as a successful proofreader - stop wasting time
Do you consider yourself to be someone who has a keen sense for details? Are you someone who can easily spot errors and imperfections? Are typos something that you pick up naturally in any kind of text? If the answer is yes, you could find yourself working as a professional editor and proofreader.
With the internet’s expanse growing at a phenomenal rate, there is a huge demand for people who can make sure that every professionally written text put on the internet is error-free and perfect to read. To do that, you need someone who can take a close look at the text and spot errors that a typical person would miss.
The basic skill set required for both editing and proofreading is pretty much the same but with some clear specialized differences. These fields are especially attractive to people who are from the field of education and want to adapt an online career option. However, you can basically be from any field at all and still work as a proofreader or editor. We will individually address both editing and proofreading and tell you how each of these fields works.
Editing is basically the very first step that takes place as soon as the first draft of any piece of written text is completed. Editing requires the ability to think in a coherent manner and being able to look at the bigger picture of what the writer wants to convey. Editing is a field that is sought after greatly in the world of literature and experienced editors can charge a great deal of money for their services. There are quite a few types of editors who work on different types of specialist areas and their work has its own set of rules in every case.
News Editor: this is one of the most sought after jobs in the world of editing. A new editor has a sharp mind and is someone who is up to date with all the major social and political events happening in their country and world. This kind of knowledge is required to ensure that the news being conveyed is authentic. With the vast amount of news being constantly generated, news outlets tend to hire editors who are locally placed for different segments. These jobs are available online and you can easily become attached to a news outlet as a freelance editor as well. These jobs are typically posted on freelancing portals and the website of the news agency directly as well.
Book editor: one of the oldest forms of editing, this is probably the most generic type of editing there is. Anyone who writes a book of any kind needs someone to take a second look. An editor, in this case, has to be a person who has worked closely with the writer and knows the purpose of the book in depth. The job of such an editor is to make sure that everything in the book is coherent and basically conveys the desired message properly. This usually involves moving the chapters around to fit them in the right place, suggesting major changes to the original content an even change text where needed.
There is a second stage to editing as well called copyediting which is kind of a mix between proofreading and editing. It is handled most of the times by editors themselves but can be given to a specialized person if required. It mostly involves given the editing work a second look and improving the flow of the text and bring more clarity to it. Changes may also be done they are minor and quite rare.
To be a book editor you need to be able to see the bigger picture and have a coherent and versatile thinking style. There is a lot of creativity involved in this work. Book editors are quite high in demand online and you can find countless jobs on freelancing websites. The pay is also quite good with novice editors getting as much as $300-$500 per book. As you gain more experience you can start charging by the hour and get paid really well.
Proofreading is the last step in the creation of any text and is also the most critical. Given the impact such a small mistake has on the reader, proofreading is a highly demanded skill. Most of the work that comes with proofreading revolves around removing typos, fixing punctuation, change grammatically incorrect words and phrases etc. This kind of work can be quite boring for some people and you can only do this if you are someone who is able to sit down and continuously read for hours! A lot of material you get to read can be quite boring but you also get to read some really good texts too!
If you think you can do all this then preparing for a career in proofreading is definitely something you can opt for. The pay of a starting level proofreader is not that high but most of the work you get is also quite easy. Most people start off with an hourly rate of around $20-$25 and can take it up to 40, 45 pretty quickly.
This is usually where you start working from and you will find a lot of jobs online with people wanting you to proofread specific, small texts. It is a great way for novice proofreaders to gain experience which they can cash in on later! Typical assignments range between 2-20 pages of proofreading. One of the best things in this is that you also get repeat clients because a lot of employers are getting this service for texts that are created on a regular basis. These can be academic texts, blog articles, corporate text and such things. You can use this to develop a good profile really fast!
This is a higher level of proofreading that is offered only to people with sufficient reading experience. The amount of earning people get from doing book proofreading is a lot more and you often get clients that come from references. This is something that you will not see often with freelancing websites. It is truly a privileged profession and you also get to be the first one to take a look at some incredible literary masterpieces! The earning is also based on the number of words instead of hours and a mid-level book proofreader typically charges $0.02-$0.03 per word. This can get a lot more as you gain more and more experience.
There are some specific areas that have their own jargon and need someone who has good knowledge of that type of language. Most of these fields involve technical knowledge and education and you can get paid a lot more than usual for such jobs. Legal documents are a big example of such works where you get to proofread courtroom proceedings, legal documents, contract etc. This is also done in a lot of other areas and if you have a qualification or knowledge of a specialist field then you can find a lot of high paying work there as well.
Before you dive into any of this, do make sure that you have a complete profile with the right qualifications and a well written pitch. You will only be able to find this work if you can attract clients with your profile. Once you start getting experience then sky is the limit!