Choosing the Right Proofreader and/or Editor by Terry Tyler – Writing Tips

Choosing the Right Proofreader and/or Editor by Terry Tyler – Writing Tips

Our new segment for 2022 is for new authors/writers and written by published authors, titled – Writing Tips. These posts will be shared with you every Wednesday.

Our latest post is from author Terry Tyler on the subject ‘Choosing the Right Proofreader and/or Editor for your Book, and the Rebranding of the Vanity Press‘. This post contains affiliate links.

Writing tips logo 2022 Choosing the right proofreader

Choosing the Right Proofreader and/or Editor for your Book, and the Rebranding of the Vanity Press

When presenting your debut novel to the world, your choice of proofreader and editor is one of the most important decisions you will make. Whether you’re intending to submit your work to agents/publishers or go it alone, your book needs to be dressed in its Sunday best before it sets off down the literary runway. If you Google or look on social media, you will find literally hundreds of editors and proofreaders eager for your business. How do you choose the right one?

Answer: Get Recommendations.

Ask established self-published authors, but take a look at their books first; if there are any reviews criticising the editing, the amount of errors, the spelling, grammar, etc., move on. If a look inside the first few pages of the book reveals exposition, irrelevant detail, overuse of dialogue tags, punctuation or grammatical errors, move on. Having said that, a few errors here and there is acceptable, and there is room for style preference; for instance, some writers and proofreaders use the Oxford comma, others don’t.

The most common errors I find in otherwise well-edited and proofread books are as follows:

Misuse of the semicolon (you may be unsure about this, but your proofreader shouldn’t be!)

Use of the word ‘I’ when it should be ‘me’. For instance, ‘The King came to visit Mary and I’—this should read ‘Mary and me’

Usage of words and phrases too modern for a historical period

Some websites can look so professional and impressive, but make sure you always take the time to check out other books the editor/proofreader has worked on. Since Kindle self-publishing began, thousands of people have set themselves up as editors, proofreaders and manuscript assessors, but it is far easier to make claims on a website than to deliver the goods as promised, if the basic literary expertise or experience of the market is absent.

A manuscript assessor should have a proven track record in the industry. If he or she hasn’t, you might just as well give the book to a beta reader, which will be a lot cheaper, or even free.

Now, the vanity publishers. Listen, and listen well:

If a publisher says they love your book but asks you for a ‘contribution’ towards the cost of its publication (for whatever reason), run a mile.

These days, the old vanity press model has been updated, with sites looking like those of ‘real’ publishing companies. Often they call themselves ‘hybrid’, will tell you how excited they are about working with you, then explain that because there is a risk in publishing a new author, they’re asking you to contribute towards the cost.

Of course they’re excited about working with you. Your hard earned cash is flying across cyberspace towards their bank account.

Many of these companies will publish almost anything as long as you pay them. I’ve heard from several writers who thought they were getting a real publishing deal, with promotion and distribution all taken care of. What they’re more likely to get is shoddy proofreading and editing, zero promotion and print-on-demand paperbacks priced so high on online retail sites that the demand never materialises. Vanity publishers make their money from authors, not book sales.

Unless you have made the decision to pay for a publishing service, i.e. a company that provides editing, proofreading, formatting, cover art, etc., you should keep this in mind: a publisher pays you, not the other way round.

I hope this advice will help you find the right people to work with to make sure your book is all that it can be. Many thanks to Stacey for inviting me onto her blog to give this advice, and if you would like to read more, I have compiled a list of useful articles for writers, HERE.

Good luck!

About the Author

Terry Tyler Choosing the right proofreader

Terry Tyler is a writer of post-apocalyptic, dystopian and dark psychological fiction, and currently has 23 books published on Amazon.

When not busy writing she reads a great deal (she is a member of Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team), blogs about TV, writing and any random stuff that pops into her head, likes going for walks in the countryside and takes too many photos of trees. She loves history, Twitter, clever observational humour and is moderately obsessed with post-apocalyptic scenarios. Terry lives with her husband in the north east of England.

Author Links


Where theres doubt by terry tyler

Where There’s Doubt

Author – Terry Tyler
Release Date – End of March 2022
Format – ebook

Synopsis writing tips 2022

Café owner Kate is mentally drained after a tough two years; all she wants from her online chess partner is entertainment on lonely evenings, and maybe a little virtual flirtation.

She is unaware that Nico Lewis is a highly intelligent con artist who, with an intricately spun web of lies about their emotional connection, will soon convince her that he is The One.

Neither does Kate know that his plan involves women who seek love on dating sites, and his small publishing business. A host of excited authors also believe Nico is about to make their dreams come true.

Terry Tyler’s twenty-fourth publication is a sinister psychological drama that highlights the dark side of internet dating—and the danger of ignoring the doubts of your subconscious.

The above links are affiliate links. I receive a very small percentage from each item you purchase via these link, which is at no extra cost to you. If you are thinking about purchasing the book, please think about using one of the links. All money received goes back into the blog and helps to keep it running. Thank you.

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4 Responses

  1. Terry Tyler says:

    Thanks so much for this, Stacey – how beautifully you have presented it! If it helps one person make the right decision, my work is done.

  2. You are very welcome Terry. Glad you like the layout and yes, I hope it helps at least one person.

  3. Rosie says:

    These tips need to be shouted from roof tops. Only last week I was asked for advice about a little known ‘publishing company’ who approached a writer with an offer to publish his book. He said their website looked good, but was a little confusing as to what they would actually do for his book.

  4. Excellent advice, and I’m looking forward to the new Terry Tyler book!