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Work from Home Proofreaders and Editors

Updated on July 4, 2012

“I have a short story (about 20 pages) that was translated into English that needs to be proofread before it's published.

You will need to read the manuscript, correct any grammatical or spelling errors, and provide advice on the content of the story. You will need to answer the following questions:
1. Do you believe this story to be true?
2. Was it interesting?
3. Were you interested in reading it till the end or did it get boring at some point?
4. Provide any other feedback.”

This was a job posting at an online job board from a job provider located in US. Lakshmi Nair, sitting at her desktop from Trichur responded to this job and secured the bid to work four years back; and continues to get the work from the same job provider ever since her first assignment.

Shruti from Chennai works freelance proofreading jobs and editing work involving checking a manuscript and page proof for typing, grammar and spelling errors by the author and the copy editor. She is also asked to spot factual mistakes in the editorial and any potentially libelous statements. Shruti says: “I am happy with my work, since I can work from home for an MNC at my own pace. Moreover it also fetches me good revenue.”

Her friend Savitha from Palakkad concurs that “It is ideally suited to someone with literature and editing experience such as a journalist, editor, teacher, headmaster or headmistress, secretary, etc. It could even be a great source of income.” Savitha got into this proofreading job through Shruti. She is now a trainee with an international company. But she gets all required assistance and support from her colleagues who work from Greece and Singapore. “I got online training and continual support in sending the manuscripts and proofs to edit and they pay me around 8 cents per proof. Its great to work here” says Savitha. She also added that the proofreading work is pretty much relaxed, easy and the editors are very cordial and helpful.

Savitha was a teacher and had quit for family reasons. Now this editing and proofreading job has offered her an option of spending her free time in a constructive manner and the experience of working at an international level, proofreading manuscripts written by people across the globe is rich.

“I would advise people new to proofreading and copy editing not to pay companies and agents up front for promises of work.” replied Shruti who has rich experience in this field. “If you have a professional qualification or have work experience in a certain field then try approaching magazines, journals and papers in these fields and offer your services as a proof reader or freelancing copy editor.” she added.

“Are there good opportunities in home based proofreading jobs? How do I get into it? What are the skills required? How much can I earn? What does a proof reader do?” These are few questions which people ask me over and over again. And what I tell them each time is this:

There are many opportunities, in fact, in home based proofreading jobs. Some companies do offer work from home during periods of staff illness, retirement, holidays, etc and use e-mail or fax to send you work instantly. They will expect you to meet deadlines, often the same day or within a few hours. Employment opportunities for proofreader jobs may also be advertised at the local employment centre or approach a business house or a magazine publisher or editor. Some job boards and several job sites also offer genuine job opportunities. Common job titles for proofreading work are editing, quality assurance evaluator, book reviewer, copy editor, content editor, copywriter and writer.

Basically a proofreader makes changes on business documents and reports, dissertations, book manuscripts and other important written work that must not contain errors. Online proofreading jobs cover an array from correcting basic errors in articles to more specialized corrections for in-depth writing on various subjects. Most schools and colleges today require students to submit essays and theses in the form of electronic documents. No one, after all, wants to create a bad impression before people reading a piece of writing online, and this is where online proofreading helps. When words run into many pages, some errors are bound to creep in, but these have to be removed as most professors have strict requirements and even punish spelling or grammar mistakes with reduced grades.

With numerous essays to be written, often with stiff deadlines, there may not be time to make those last-minute corrections and check for typos. For professional proofreaders this is a good opportunity to step in and correct those errors before the academic writing is needed for submission.

A proofreader needs to fulfill a variety of criteria in order to take up online proofreading jobs. Take a look at some of these criteria:

- A person who proofreads needs to have an instinctive eye for grammatical errors, sentence constructions that somehow read wrong and spelling mistakes.

- A sound knowledge of the language.

- A willingness to learn and improve.

- Proofreading can be quite a hectic and sometimes tedious job, needing the proofreader to be comfortable with stiff deadlines. Online proofreading jobs needs the proofreader to be comfortable scanning and correcting documents in an electronic format.

Rates of pay for freelance proofreading and copy editing work vary and are often set by the publishers and editors. You may have to accept a set rate of pay but get the benefit of regular employment. A standard though is between £8 and £20 for proofreading. You can usually ask for a pound or two more for copy editing. Editors and publishers will happily pay the higher rate for people who cause them less work – i.e. don't return work without spotting errors, always send work back within set time scales and guidelines and are available at short notice.

In return a publisher will anticipate that you spend one hour proofreading at least 8 pages of a manuscript for a textbook and about 12 for a novel when proofreading against copy or 10 reports per day.

With the ability to service a variety of requirements, take care of the smallest errors in writing, and iron out typos, online proofreading jobs have a lot of importance in today’s increasingly digitized world. As with any type of job in the world, sometimes you have to prove your worth when it comes to succeeding in any given industry. That means you have to start out small, and take the jobs that only offer a few bucks per article. This way, you can at least get your foot in the door, and get the invaluable experience that you need, so that you can take your career to the next level.

Proofreading jobs in India are on huge demand these days and lots of opportunities keep pouring in introducing proofreading jobs to people who decide to work from home.


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