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Does anyone here do proofreading/editing for a living?

(8 Posts)
Waxonwaxoff0 Tue 23-Jun-20 09:25:04

I've been on furlough since March and I'm still unsure whether I will have a job to go back to yet. I've recently started thinking about ways to earn some extra cash and I'm considering doing some proofreading part time. My only problem is I don't have a degree so would anyone even hire me? I'm very good at English, it's the only thing in school that I was any good at and I got As at GCSE. I just didn't go to university for personal reasons. I write a blog for fun and have had some of my writing published on other websites.

A friend of mine has asked me to do some proofreading for a book she is writing as English isn't her first language. I'm thinking this could be a way to start, doing things for friends and building up recommendations that way?

Does anyone else here do this kind of thing and how did you get into it? Are there other courses I could take? I can't afford to do a degree now.

OP’s posts: |
Prayerwheel Tue 23-Jun-20 10:48:17

No, I wouldn't hire someone who only had GCSEs and some experience of blog writing to copyedit or proofread. The small roster of people I use regularly are thoroughly familiar with the broad subject area, the usual style guides, and regularly work as freelancers for reputable university presses. They have an ingrained knowledge of the fine detail of Chicago vs MLA etc, a familiarity with complex academic writing and vocabulary, and generally have qualifications in my or a related field.

This is academic publishing in a humanities subject.

BahHumPug Tue 23-Jun-20 10:55:39

I have a sideline in editing. There are not many jobs about and I have an Oxbridge degree in English, am a published author and have spent quite a long time in the industry building up contacts. I wouldn't proofread because I don't know the intricacies of the referencing systems or even the really fine details of grammar. I don't mean to put you down, but it's not the kind of work that people pick up easily.

Waxonwaxoff0 Tue 23-Jun-20 10:59:56

Thank you, I needed honest responses! Back to the drawing board.

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JeremyIronsBenFolds Tue 23-Jun-20 11:04:11

I work for a large publisher placing copy-editing and proofreading jobs for a living. We are oversubscribed as it is, and I really only use people who have extensive experience, often ex-staffers. I quite often see proofreading touted as an easy way to earn some extra cash (especially by those Chapterhouse courses that used to be in the back of sunday supplements!) but it really, really isn't unless you know what you're doing. It's not just a question of catching spelling mistakes, you need to know book style, format and structure inside out, know when to intervene and when to leave alone, and the pay per hour can be pretty dismal, especially from large publishers who should really do better. I honestly wouldn't want you to waste your time (or your money on a course).

Waxonwaxoff0 Tue 23-Jun-20 11:07:29

Jeremy thank you, it's useful to hear. I was probably being naive!

OP’s posts: |
JasonMoreno Mon 18-Jan-21 21:04:03

I wish to point out that I lost the sum of £146 recently sent to a
company called Chapterhouse Publishing which failed to send me a package for a
course as promised on the 24th of November 2020. I cannot get
anywhere with this company to chase up my consumer rights as they do
not listen to me. They simply ignore or dis-regard my many emails
saying that I have to take things further legally to even get a response from them by email.
I have lost quite a lot of money for which I have received nothing back from the company concerned.

AnathemaPulsifer Mon 18-Jan-21 21:20:10


Jason, if you paid by credit card get the credit card company to charge it back.

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