111 of 112 people found the following review helpful
Good things do come in small packages!,
This review is from: The Pocket Book of Proofreading: A Guide to Freelance Proofreading and Copy-editing (Paperback)I have been "doing a bit" of proofreading and copy-editing over the years. I have paid over two hundred pounds for a correspondence course and bought several hallowed tomes on the subject.
William Critchley has done a fantastic job of writing this excellent book. It covers everything I did on my correspondence course and brought the material fully up to date. It is a much friendlier read than some of the other books I have read on the subject.
There really is everything you need to become or improve as a freelance proofreader or copy-editor. The online material is an excellent adjunct to the book (and is very reasonably priced.) There is even email support should you require help.
There is a wealth of knowledge from someone who really has been there and done that! I highly recommend this fantastic resource and I shall refer to mine often.
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Showing 1-10 of 14 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 16 Aug 2008 16:27:02 BDT
Lesley Young says:
I'm currently in the very early stages of considering training as a proofreader and/or copy-editor. I found your review most helpful and it has caused me to wonder, "Should I pay the two hundred-odd pounds for a correspondence course or save my hard-earned cash and just buy this book (and possibly others you may recommend...)?". Your advice would be much appreciated as I really do not want to waste my money. I'm planning on moving to the Highlands and, hopefully, finding freelance work so I need all the capital I have to keep the proverbial wolf from the door! Hope you don't me asking?
In reply to an earlier post on 11 Sep 2008 22:10:38 BDT
Mark Treacher says:
I do hope you are able to read this reply. It is my experience that a lot of the proofreading courses available do provide a lot of information about the technical aspects of proofreading and copy-editing. I have bought into a number of correspondence courses over the years and each one is advertised as being the one you should buy. What very few of them do tell you is that you really need to take your time to get started. William Critchley doesn't make any false claims about the amount of work you can get if you buy his course book.
The point is, you will have to work very hard at selling yourself and your skills to potential publishers. Once you have a couple of successful commissions completed you have a record of success. The marketing aspect of any freelance business is the most important part. You also need to learn to be undeterred by failure. Just keep on writing the letters introducing yourself and your availability.
I think the Pocket Book of Proofreading is as good a safer way to start. If funds allow, join the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP) and then work up to taking their tests.
I hope thi has been useful.
All the best,
Posted on 7 Nov 2008 10:50:40 GMT
I have done a little proofreading and copy-editing in previous jobs and I am now thinking of freelancing. I have been looking at the different books available and The Pocket Book of Proofreading is the book I would like to purchase. Does it contain a list of potential customers in the UK and a guide on how and where to find work. I hope you can help. Any advice would be most appreciated.
In reply to an earlier post on 13 Nov 2008 23:18:34 GMT
Last edited by the author on 13 Nov 2008 23:19:18 GMT
Most of the potential customers for freelances can be found in any recent copy of The Writers' & Artists' Yearbook. There is no secret, separate 'list' of hot contacts. The W&AY lists hundreds of publishers, and it's the best place to start looking.
The Pocket Book of Proofreading does contain advice on how and where to find work.
I am not sure if my reply will be posted as I am the author but I hope this helps if it is.
In reply to an earlier post on 22 Feb 2009 19:05:26 GMT
I don't think you'll get many people to employ you on the basis of having read a book!
In reply to an earlier post on 25 Feb 2009 16:02:04 GMT
Freelances are not employed. They are self-employed.
In reply to an earlier post on 2 Jul 2009 14:31:42 BDT
Surely, the advantage of a course must be the opportunity to get one's own work checked and to ask questions. However, neither books nor courses will make someone good proof-reader unless they have certain necessary competencies and a sensitivity to language.
I am a translator and sometimes am called upon to proof read other translators' work. This book may well be very helpful to me and the review is certainly making me consider buying it.
In reply to an earlier post on 2 Jul 2009 18:33:40 BDT
You are very welcome to a copy (gratis) if you think it would help your work as a translator.
In reply to an earlier post on 4 Jul 2009 20:21:40 BDT
Norman Cheeseworthy says:
I'd be more than happy to review a copy - approx 80% of my current role in publishing involves proofreading, and as I've been in the business for over 15 years, I think I could give a pretty honest write up. Regards
In reply to an earlier post on 10 Dec 2009 20:17:51 GMT
Last edited by the author on 10 Dec 2009 20:18:27 GMT
Norman, can I send you a copy? Fifteen years counts for a lot.
To Nicholas ('urbanspaceman'), can I just say I wrote a note on the website in response to your review. Here it is:
'When he writes about a "skip through", I think he means a kind of sauntering, gambolling serendipity with a dash of humour here and there along the way, as opposed to a light "skip through", implying just skimming over the surface of things! To write, edit and proofread all 262 pages was seriously hard work.'
Best wishes, William