Proofreading your work can save you from a ton of embarrassing errors that you wished you had seen when you ‘fine-tuned’ your document. A professional proofreading service can guarantee that your work will be flawless and free of the minutest of errors. But the real question is: How to choose a proofreading service? The internet is littered with a hundred proofreading websites, all guaranteeing the same things: affordable pricing, a good turnaround time, etc. How do you make sure that you have chosen a good one? We are here to help. 

1. Good client-proofreader relationship

proofreader and proofreading services

There is no greater joy than clicking with your editor. This is true, especially when you hand months and months of hard work to them. A good professional proofreading service will have people that go above and beyond what we require and assist you in fine-tuning your book or document. Apart from this, it is also your responsibility to cooperate with them and keep things up to the mark on your end. 

2. Efficient turnaround time

Some websites have reviews by disappointed clients, many of them stating that the document did not turn up on the day that it was scheduled. Lazy turnaround time pushes away clients even if the work is good and up to the mark. 

3. Affordable pricing

This one is on top of the list, especially for students and first-time authors. Editing and proofreading is an extensive activity, requiring meticulous work and a considerable amount of time. But some services charge exorbitant rates for 1000 words and that puts people off. Many people cannot publish their work, however good it is, just because of the price. Academic documents like dissertations, essays and papers lose marks because of formatting errors, something that could have been easily fixed by proofreading. 

Choose a proofreading service that offers affordable pricing per thousand words. A few proofreading services offer discounts around Thanksgiving, Christmas and Halloween, going up to 30%, which can mean the world for forever broke college students. 

4. Availability of editing and proofreading samples

How will you trust a proofreading service if you don’t know what kind of work does it do? It is ideal to look up editing and proofreading samples on their website and go through them. Check whether they have a variety of documents; ranging from academic to fiction. Through their editing samples, you will be better able to understand the editing style and whether that suits your sensibilities.

5. A good user experience on the website

If the website takes an eternity to load, you will be frustrated and eventually throw your phone or laptop. Don’t do that. Instead, check other websites. One might load fast, but don’t stop at that. Check how accessible the information is. If you can’t find basic information like the pricing or their services, then immediately move to another website. The website of a proofreading service says everything about its functionality. Therefore, it is a must that it is smoothly functioning. 

6. Good reviews by previous clients

The best place to check the credibility of a service is its review page. Companies often ask clients to review their service if they liked it. Dissatisfied clients take to reviews to nudge people away from the service and make them aware of its shortcomings. A good proofreading service will have the maximum number of good reviews. Look for reviews that highlight all the aspects of their service (turnaround time, price, constant communication and follow-ups, editing samples, etc.) 

7. How experienced is the service?

proofreading service and proofreading

There are hundreds of proofreading services. Not all of them are experienced. Some have recently started, some are a couple years old and some of them are over 10 years old. Experience is not limited to the time that the service has been active. Sure, time will mean more knowledge of how the industry works, but to perfect your craft, practice is necessary. Look for a proofreading company that has ample experience in proofreading all kinds of documents: academic proofreading and business proofreading and fiction and non-fiction novels. 

8. Agency or individual?

client and individual proofreader

We would recommend that you go with a proofreading company rather than an individual.  If you compare an individual proofreader with a professional proofreader from an experienced proofreading service, the latter might have specialized training. Professional proofreading services are better for academic documents, business documents and website content.  And if you think that proofreading services don’t offer specialised attention and a specific proofreader, throw that out of your head. A proofreader from a large company can still cultivate personalised relationships with their regular clients. An individual proofreader may charge by the hour and each may differ according to to background and skills.