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Why You Need a Proofreader

Guest Post by Carly Catt

Why You Need a Proofreader

What is a proofreader?

A proofreader is a type of editor. They double-check your book to rid it of small errors that cause distractions to readers and make sure everything is exactly the way you want it to be.

What does a proofreader do?

These are the most focused editors of them all: they look at every single word rather than the structure, organization, or characters of the book. The biggest things they look at are spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and simple formatting. If you’d like to learn more about the different types of editing, click here!

When should I hire a proofreader?

Hire a proofreader after your book has been completely written, professionally edited, formatted, and illustrated, or otherwise designed. You don’t want to hire a proofreader before formatting the book because errors can happen in the formatting or file-converting stage, and you definitely want the proofreader to catch those errors.

Do I really need one?

Yes. Do you really want to spend all that time, effort, and money to publish a book that has silly typos and spacing problems? What a waste! Show your project the respect it deserves by having a proofreader look over it one last time. It’s surprising how much can be missed by other types of editors when they have bigger things to focus on. That’s where a proofreader swoops in and saves you from the embarrassment of simple mistakes.

How much should I expect a proofreader to cost?

According to the Editorial Freelancer’s Association, the average proofreading rates are $31–$40 per hour depending on the genre. (Nonfiction is more expensive and takes longer than fiction.) The association averages around 12 pages per hour for fiction and 9 pages per hour for nonfiction (depending on how dense the work is). For a 200-page fiction book at $35 per hour (the median rate), it might cost around $580. That’s based on many averages, though, so it really depends on the proofreader’s pace, rate, and availability, and your book’s genre and length. Some proofreaders might charge around $350 for this same project, and others closer to $800. Do some research to find out which proofreader is right for you and your project!


My name is Carly Catt, and I am a freelance proofreader and editor for nonfiction and fiction books of various genres. If you’d like more information about proofreaders or the self-publishing process, check out my free resource hub with tons of tips and advice!

You can also find me on Facebook and Instagram!

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