Can’t afford a proofreader? Jump in with all eight legs!


Proofreading 4-Pack, Part IV – Can’t afford a professional proofreader?

(Continued from Part I, Proofreading, an inch at a time, Part II, Copy
editing – getting the bugs out
, and Part III, Hiring a proofreader – don’t get stung.)

Even with my more-than-reasonable proofreading rates, I’ve had several writers say they just can’t afford it. I can dig it! There are other options available for getting your manuscript proofread and edited.

Writer’s group – If you feel you can’t afford a proofreader, join a writer’s critique group in your area. A good writer’s group is invaluable! If you can’t find a group, start one!

Exchange services – With other professionals – I’ll read yours if you read mine. Or trade one service for another. I proofread a monthly newsletter for Anne Hillerman and her Wordharvest workshops and in turn get a free ad in her newsletter. This exchange is a benefit to us both.

Join Linked In – This is a great way to find other professionals in the publishing industry. There are literally hundreds of groups for writers broken down by genre, e-book vs. print, and a lot of other in-betweens.

Online exchange – Join an online exchange group or forum like Fictionaut, Dropbox,, or Yahoo groups for writers.

Join Facebook groups – One of my most favorite, supportive, and positive groups is Writer Unboxed. On Facebook there are pages and groups galore!

Proofreading sites and blogs – Search for sites and blogs – like Grammar Girl or – that share proofreading and copy editing tips.

Dictionary Plus – It’s not enough to have a dictionary (or to use an online dictionary). You should have a couple other desk references for grammar and punctuation – like The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation by Jane Straus or Diane Hacker’s Rules for Writers.

Subscribe – Pick one or two magazines that are geared toward writers like Writer’s Digest, Writers’ Journal, or The Writer. Every month I find at least a couple of articles in these periodicals worth their weight in gold. If you don’t want to fork over the subscription price, ask for them at your local library.

Start saving – Perhaps you could afford a proofreader if you did a little belt-tightening. With the recession in full swing, a plethora of websites with money-saving ideas have popped up. Do you really need a $5 latte every morning?

This blog was originally posted on Chris Eboch’s blog Write Like a Pro!

All four photos from this Proofreading 4-Pack were courtesy of Gwen Dubeau. Please stop by and see some of her fabulous work (it’s for sale!) at Gwen Dubeau.



Filed under Editing & Proofreading

5 responses to “Can’t afford a proofreader? Jump in with all eight legs!

  1. Karen, I’ve enjoyed all of your recents posts on proofreading and have shared them on FB. I hope to be able to hire you when my WIP is complete.

  2. Thank you for commenting and a BIG thank you for posting on FB. A novel? I’m smacking my lips! 🙂

  3. Karen,
    Thanks for all the great resources you’ve recommended.
    I just picked up the first batch of short stories for our mystery contest with New Mexico Magazine
    Hope all those writers did good proofing!

  4. That brings up an interesting question (for me anyway) – what if an entry is a fabulous story, well written, good plotting, good characters – but has a bunch of typos of editing problems? What would you say readers?

  5. Pingback: Scenic Elegance, Photography by Gwen Dubeau | Karen S. Elliott's Blog

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