Get paid to proofread books?

There are a lot of good jobs that pay well these days, but I found someone who is part of another growing trend – proofreaders. Sue Gilad is the author of a book called Paid to Proofread which details how she started making money proofreading by finding errors and informing the publishers about it. She mentions that as you are pointing out the errors, you can inform them that you are available for hire – what a great way to prove your worth?

In the interview, she goes into detail about…

  • How beginners can get started today
  • The first steps to take as you begin your professional proofreading career
  • Why it is a great job for moms with babies
  • What it takes to be a successful proofreader
  • Whether or not you can make money at it part-time
  • Where to find her free resources to help newbies
  • The challenges of being a proofreader

Listen to the interview below…

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12 Comments
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  1. This is a great suggestion . . . and it works. I do part-time work as a professional translator (Spanish to/from English) and I’ve found errors in books, packaging, advertisements, etc. I’ve notified the companies of the errors, and told them I’m available for translating work. More than once it’s resulted in new clients! Keep up the good work… Love your blog!

  2. I’m a newbie blogger with some AdSense plastered on my blog. I need another source of income to pay for my coffee and internet subscription. That’s a good find for the likes of me who loves to read anyway. At least I’d get paid for doing something I quite enjoy in the first place.

    Thanks.

  3. Thanks for the post, good info.

  4. Martha Kroeker

    How can I find on-line proofreading jobs?

  5. Hi I’m a newbie to online work from home and I’m wondering where or how I could start being a work from home, freelancing proofreader?? My fiance and I are getting married in a couple of weeks, and we r already having daycare problems, so I’m looking for real, legitimate work from home. I love to read and write and I’m confident that I could do that kind of work. If someone could contact me with any hopeful prospects and or possiblities that would be wonderful.

  6. Ruby Penderis

    I am an avid reader, averaging 10 books a month – I would love the opportunity to proofread books and earn money from home.
    I reside in Morningside, Durban, Kwazulu Natal.
    Kindly let me know how I can register.

    Sincerely,
    Ruby Penderis

  7. I have been a court reporter for 24 years and would now like to proofread from home. My career as a court reporter demanded that I pay particular attention to spelling, grammar, and content. I am also very aware of the importance of strict deadlines and confidentiality. If you are in need of proofreading services of any type, please contact me at the e-mail provided. My rates are reasonable, and my work is excellent.

  8. Kristina Hessenflow

    I have 12 years of experience as a proofreader how do I sign up? and get started

  9. Just recently I returned a Bible that had left out the last part of Deuteronomy and the first part of Joshua. Proof reading is a dying art. Lets revive it!!

  10. I actually purchased the book by Ms. Gilad mentioned in this article and have quite a few things to share about it. Her writing style is upbeat, engaging, and humorous, and she does a good job of laying out information so that it’s easily understood. In the back of her book, there’s a handy glossary of proofreading/editing/publishing terms and commonly misspelled words as well.

    However, I wouldn’t recommend paying the $24.99 for this book (discounted, mind you, from a whopping original selling price of $49.99!) for several reasons:

    A lot of the information found in this book is outdated. And the book’s explanation of the process by which one can make good money as a professional proofreader is oversimplified. To her credit, Gilad does explain in a decent amount of detail whom exactly to contact within publishing houses in order to make connections and get paid to proofread. But publishing-industry trends have changed over the last few years (especially after the recent recession) and it’s not quite as easy as Gilad makes it sound in her book to get a foot in the door. The competition is stiff, as there are many highly qualified and experienced professionals in the market (this aspect is never mentioned—in fact, Gilad makes it sound as though any old Joe or Jane can pick up a red pencil and become a professional proofreader). And though she does make a very brief, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it mention that establishing a lucrative proofreading career will take time and discipline, she largely downplays the challenges, which might give some readers an inaccurate impression of what is expected of a professional proofreader and how long it takes to succeed as one (it’s not rocket science, but it’s certainly not as easy as some may assume, either). Someone trying to break into the field without an education or an occupational background in related subjects, connections within the publishing industry, or any “official” proofreading credits, for example, will almost always have to offer his or her services gratis for a considerable length of time in order to build a presentable résumé and land gigs. Sometimes, the work done for free can itself lead to solid job offers by the same employers, so the path isn’t necessarily too dark for too long, and the payoff can be sweet. But again, in her book Gilad gaily flutters from the topic of building experience to crafting and submitting a résumé like it’s a totally easy, breezy affair. (On a side note, her advice on résumé and cover-letter writing for proofreading jobs is grossly oversimplified as well. The samples she provides are poorly written and certainly wouldn’t impress any hiring manager or production editor, especially not in a field that, yes, does in fact require strong writing skills and meticulous, microscopic, obsessive attention to detail.)

    In addition, despite likely being self-published, the book itself is rife—RIFE—with errors, which is quite ironic. Typographical, grammatical, syntactic–the works! The proofreading tests in the second half of the book come with answer keys that are also full of mistakes and inconsistencies. Ms. Gilad devotes an entire portion of her book to teaching the reader proofreading symbols and demonstrating how to correctly utilize them, but then she employs these symbols (as well as totally new ones) in her test answer keys in different ways than she has previously done in her book. So the reader doesn’t get a true sense of how to PROPERLY employ proofreading symbols on a set of proofs … which won’t help said reader when he or she is asked to take a test for a publishing house in order to be considered for freelance employment. Hmm. All of this made me wonder how Ms. Gilad was/is able to make a six-digit-figure income as a professional proofreader. Her book didn’t exactly come across as something that someone with as much experience as she purports to have would write.

    I commend Ms. Gilad for her accomplishments and wholly appreciate her desire to help others succeed. But this book is simply not worth its current selling price, in my opinion. It seems more like something she drafted and decided to sell online to further her own business (which is fine, but if you’re going to try to make money off a product, make sure the product is of good quality, please).

    If you’re thinking of spending your money on this book, I personally recommend spending some time on the Internet instead to find out “how to make money as a proofreader,” “how to become a proofreader,” or learn more about “proofreading for publishing companies” and “freelance proofreading jobs,” etc. Google is so user-friendly: one can get as creative as he or she wants with his or her search terms and is guaranteed to find something useful (and not have to pay a dime for it). Plus, the Internet is a treasure trove of information, especially in this day and age. So even though you may have to do a bit of sorting and sifting, you’ll likely find just as much if not more great tips there on how to tackle the freelance proofreading profession. Best of luck!

    • You know what is even stranger? She actually wrote a legitimate hard copy book “Proofreading and Copyediting for Dummies” So why all this ebook nonsense is beyond me…

      But just like freelance writing it takes time and focus. Stay with it you can make it happen but not overnight.

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