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Freelance proofreading and copy-editing

We often get asked for advice on getting started as a freelance proofreader or copy-editor. We always refer people to the experts – the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (see the CIEP website).

While publishers often outsource proofreading and copy-editing, they often choose freelancers who already have some formal training or experience gained from having worked in-house.

The standards expected of freelance proofreaders and copy-editors are very high and many working in this area are members of CIEP. Try CIEP, the PTC or Publishing Scotland for reputable training courses where you can learn the skills, and gain an understanding of where proofreading and copy-editing sit in the publishing process. In Scotland, we run an annual training programme that includes editorial courses that can get you started on your journey. All of our courses are listed on the training pages

Do be aware that it is not a highly paid job and publishers vary greatly in their levels of pay for proofreaders, from an hourly rate to a one-off fee. There are no standard fees.

Some publishers will give potential proofreaders an advance exercise to establish their skills.