How it works

Not sure what a proofreader or editor does? Download my free guide for authors on the copy-editing and proofreading process by clicking on the image opposite (PDF).

When hiring freelance proofreaders or editors, make sure you ask lots of questions so that you know what will happen with your document, how the editorial process will work and, most importantly, who you will be dealing with.

Most editing, proofreading and page layout is now done onscreen using digital files rather than paper manuscripts. You can send me your work via email or a file transfer service such as WeTransfer or Dropbox. I can accept documents in various formats, such as Word, Open Office or Adobe PDF, and will deliver the end result back to you in the most appropriate format for what you want to achieve.

If you haven’t gone fully digital yet and have a paper manuscript or proof, I can mark up the hard copy for you and return it by post. Alternatively, I can scan in your paper copy with text recognition software to produce a digital version to work on.

What does an editor or proofreader do?

Proofreading & editing

proofreading and editing

For electronic documents I will agree with you at the outset the best way of working. For example, I can use Microsoft Word’s Track Changes facility so that you can accept or reject my suggestions. Once you are happy with the changes I will send you a ‘clean’ version with all changes accepted. Alternatively, I can mark up a PDF copy of your document, either with correction symbols or plain text comments, for you to amend the original. For paper proofs I will use the current British Standard correction symbols (and will explain these if you are not familiar with them) or, if you prefer, plain text comments to mark up errors and suggested changes. You then make the changes you agree with to your original document. I may also send you a list of queries to answer.


My skills include:

  • Traditional and onscreen proofreading / editing
  • Page layout / formatting
  • Word styles and templates
  • Rewriting / jargon busting
  • Website CMS (e.g. Joomla, WordPress, Opencart)

Design & layout

formatting, layout and typographyWhether you are producing a whole book or a simple business report, I will work with you to develop a suitable design and layout for your document, including page size and structure, fonts and typefaces and page design elements. You can send me ideas or examples you like, or I can suggest some sample layouts for you. I will prepare your layout in InDesign or Word and supply you with the file formats you need for printing or publication (e.g. PDF, epub or mobi). You will also receive the original design files in case you need to make changes later.


I work on both PC and Mac using programs such as:

  • Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
  • Acrobat Pro (PDF)
  • InDesign (latest version or CS4 and under)
  • Photoshop

Pricing & payment

paymentPricing information is given for some of the services I provide as a general guide only because each job is different. Before we start I will ask to see at least a representative sample of your work, or ask you some questions about it, so that I can assess what needs to be done and how long it will take. I will then be able to give you a price estimate and timescale.

I may ask you to pay some or all of the fee in advance, especially if you are a new client or you are outside of the UK. Unless agreed otherwise, payment is due within 20 days of the date of my invoice.

Terms & conditions

terms and conditionsAll services are subject to my general terms and conditions, as well as any specific terms agreed with you for each job. Please read my terms as they are designed to protect your interests as well as mine! I will ask you to agree terms at the start of our working relationship and they will apply to all jobs I do for you thereafter.

I will treat all samples and work provided by you as strictly confidential unless you give me permission to share certain details. I will carry out all work in accordance with the SfEP Code of Practice (the professional body for editors and proofreaders in the UK).