Hiring a professional proofreader is necessary in many types of situations, especially when you want to present your best work. When you can't do the job yourself, ending up with countless embarrassing typos and other errors, it's time to call in a professional.
- The first step in hiring a professional proofreader is, of course, finding one. Depending on where you live, you may be able to find one in your local area. If there is a local college, that is a good way to easily find many candidates for the job. Professors of communications and language arts are good candidates for proofreaders. There may also be graduate students in these disciplines who will be good at the job - and charge less.
- If there are no colleges close by, check the Yellow Pages for a proofreading service. Proofreading services exist in large metropolitan areas and can be contracted for even very small proofreading tasks.
- Craigslist is also a good way to find local candidates. You can either list the job, complete with the duties needed and the rate of pay, or you can respond to someone else's ad. There is a "writing/editing" section on each city's Craigslist page where writing jobs are listed.
- If you have not been able to find a local candidate, you can always go global. The Internet brings the world of proofreaders to your fingertips, and you can choose from a wide variety of experience levels and price ranges. There are several professional proofreading services that exist online. These will generally quote you a price depending on your specific need. These prices are usually calculated on a per page basis.
- If the formal proofreading services are too slow or too costly, you can also hire a freelancer. Freelancers can be acquired on websites for writers, where editing, proofreading and writing jobs are regularly posted. These include any type of writer's forum sites. The payment is then usually calculated per job and paid via PayPal.
- If the thought of a random freelancer makes you nervous, you can always hire through a bidding service. Bidding services require that you post the job on the site and wait for bids. You then choose the proofreader from among the bids received. This can be based on price, the time the job will take, experience, or any other criteria you want to use to choose the right proofreader. When using a bidding site, remember that there will be many bidders from countries where English is not their first language, and the proofreading by those bidders may not be as effective as that of a native speaker.
- Decide your terms. If you have hired a proofreader from a local college or a freelancer from online, you will have to decide the terms of the job and then be prepared to negotiate a little. If the job is for more than a few pages, it is a good idea to draw up a contract to spell out the job requirements and the pay rate. A professional will likely not take on a large proofreading task without a contract, so be prepared to offer one. If you are going through a proofreading agency or a formal proofreading site, they will have the terms already in place and you will have to adhere to those. This often requires some money to be placed up front before the task can be started.
Proofreading your own work can be difficult. The emotional attachment you may have to the work makes it hard to look at it harshly and look for errors. To hire a professional proofreader means an objective outsider with no emotional investment in the work will take a critical eye to it and make it the best it can be.