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  1. #1
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    Offering free proofreading

    I am a proofreader/copyeditor in the process of expanding my résumé. I would like to add fiction to my experience, particularly inspiration/spiritual fiction because this is the kind of work I've enjoyed reading so much. I will proofread a chapter of anything you are writing at no charge. Materials should be no shorter than ten pages and not longer than 30. I will return pages to you with corrections in Microsoft Word, tracking changes. In exchange, I ask that you allow me to add your name and title of your work to my résumé. I will not plagiarize your work or share it with anyone else.

    P.S.: If this is posted twice, my apologies. I tried posting this before, and it didn't seem to show up.



  2. #2
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    I am definitely interested in this. I will be sending you an email.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Lea Zalas's Avatar
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    Kathleen, when making such an offer, a few more credentials are called for.

    We don't know you, we have no way to know if you are legit, and probably no recourse if someone were to immediately accept your offer without first checking out your business.

    Used to be, the mods didn't allow newbies to advertise their email or URL addresses without first being vetted. And I highly recommend anyone thinking of taking Kathleen up on her offer to be VERY careful. Especially when the person making the offer appears to have joined solely for the purpose of advertising themselves. Kathleen hasn't contributed to anything else here on this forum and I, personally, wouldn't suggest handing over your writing to someone you don't know.
    Last edited by Lea Zalas; 10-02-2011 at 06:03 PM.

  4. #4
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    Lea, thank you for posting to this. (Thanks, in the very least because this hasn't fallen on deaf ears after all.) I had sent the site an email asking if this kind of offer is not allowed, because my post didn't seem to appear. Looks like it got through, though.

    I understand why you'd be concerned. As far as this site goes, how does someone like me become vetted? The truth of it is that I haven't done proofreading outside of casual help for people I know. I don't have credentials as such yet in this, but I'm trying to build them. Any suggestions you have for me to follow protocol for Writers.net, I'm keen to hear.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Frank Baron's Avatar
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    "I will proofread a chapter of anything you are writing at no charge. Materials should be no shorter than ten pages and not longer than 30. I will return pages to you with corrections in Microsoft Word, tracking changes. In exchange, I ask that you allow me to add your name and title of your work to my résumé. I will not plagiarize your work or share it with anyone else."

    I've seen that exact pitch, word-for-word, at least 50 times in the last two years.

    Must be a lot of folks who read the same book, or took the same course.

  6. #6
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    It's a suggestion from a proofreading book. It's quite to the point, and so I think people are changing it little. (I did a search of it some weeks ago and found one instance with just the wording I searched and it had garnered good interest on another forum.)

    Mea culpa for my indiscretion. Reworded, what I still mean to say is that I'd like to do an exchange of sorts, proofreading excerpts to gain practice and experience. I'd like passages that are 10-30 pages (or so), so not too terribly long nor too short. I can send corrections electronically, probably most conveniently through Word. I do not share anyone's writing or take it for myself. Open to hearing any other conditions from the author for this exchange. I'd still like to hear what you all want and expect as authors from someone trying to do proofreading for experience like this. Do you usually sign a contract or release to make sure that your work is safe?

  7. #7
    Senior Member Frank Baron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kathleen Kownacki View Post
    It's a suggestion from a proofreading book. It's quite to the point, and so I think people are changing it little. (I did a search of it some weeks ago and found one instance with just the wording I searched and it had garnered good interest on another forum.)

    Mea culpa for my indiscretion. Reworded, what I still mean to say is that I'd like to do an exchange of sorts, proofreading excerpts to gain practice and experience. I'd like passages that are 10-30 pages (or so), so not too terribly long nor too short. I can send corrections electronically, probably most conveniently through Word. I do not share anyone's writing or take it for myself. Open to hearing any other conditions from the author for this exchange. I'd still like to hear what you all want and expect as authors from someone trying to do proofreading for experience like this. Do you usually sign a contract or release to make sure that your work is safe?
    I proof my own work, as does every published writer I know. I think your best bet to drum up business is to focus on folks who are self-publishing and don't have access to the free, professional editorial help offered by commercial houses.

  8. #8
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    What does your proofreading book say is the boundary between proofreading and editing, Kathleen? Suggest you need to be very clear with anyone showing interest in the service that they know what they are getting. I've found that most writers expect an edit from proofreading (and are completely oblivious to how much their work needs to be edited--rather than just proofread).

    I think there's a market for these services out there. In addition to publishers (which tend to do legitimate proofreading in house, though), and self-publishers, proofreading is good to do before submitting a manuscript to an agent or publisher for consideration. Few can proofread their own work very well, though; if they could see the mistakes, they would have corrected them in some review phase before a final proofread. It takes an independent pair of eyes to zero in on a lot of them.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Frank Baron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Kessler View Post
    ...snip... Few can proofread their own work very well, though; if they could see the mistakes, they would have corrected them in some review phase before a final proofread. It takes an independent pair of eyes to zero in on a lot of them.
    True. But that pair of eyes needn't be a hired gun. A teacher, an erudite friend or two, fellow writers met online, all could serve the purpose well enough. Subbed mss need to be very good, but not necessarily error-free (if there is such a beast).

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Baron View Post
    True. But that pair of eyes needn't be a hired gun. A teacher, an erudite friend or two, fellow writers met online, all could serve the purpose well enough. Subbed mss need to be very good, but not necessarily error-free (if there is such a beast).
    That's different, of course, than "I proof my own work and so does every other published writer I know."

    I didn't post that it had to be a paid set of eyes, did I? The unfortunately truth is that even the best writers can't see all of the holes and mistakes in their own work--they are too close to it and the mind "knows" and is prone to see what the hands didn't actually get written.

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