“ Get your text proofed online. „
I got a copyedit with Proofed to Perfection and had an excellent experience. I went through three other editors before I found this company, and I got way better service for a cheaper price with Proofed to Perfection. My editor Pam not only made my prose better but she walked me through getting my book proposal done and finding an agent. She also went over my changes at no extra charge and answered tons of e-mails at no charge. She went above and beyond. I'm excited to say that after four years of trying to get published I finally got an agent and got a publishing deal for my romance novel, thanks to Pam's work. I give Proofed to Perfection an A+.
So, like me, you've finished putting to paper that perfect idea and now you're ready to tell the world about it. Then you do some research on the internet and find out that in order to find an agent/publisher you really need to make the best of your plot. Needless to say, the manuscript needs to shine. Typos like her/here are not looked upon kindly, nor are presentations issues. But what to do if you, again like me, don't hold a MA in Creative Writing? You may think about hiring an editor to proof-read your manuscript. After all, they probably know best, right?
Well, I like probably ten thousands or more out there have just written a manuscript. Not my first one but the first to enter revision stage. Friends and family loved it but then again, I know they are biased. They are supposed to say that, after all, my partner probably wants to keep the priviledge of regular warm meals and my best friend needs her weekly tennis partner. Therefore, what I did was contact various editors and companies who specialize in proof-reading. If you type manuscript revision or proof-reading on Google, what you get are thousands of links to www.proofedtoperfection.com & co.
I'm not one to let others take advantage of my ignorance, so I requested samples. Proofedtoperfection.com were very slow to provide a sample but the editor and owner of the site, Pamela Guerrieri, seemed like a nice and competent person, which looked like a good combination. I did my research on the net, found her resume but surprisingly not ratings or customer experiences. And then I decided, instead of paying 600 GBP for full-manuscript line-editing and proofreading, let's just try 3 chapters for a mere 120 GBP.
On their site, there's a PayPal link that promises secure payment. I clicked on that one, typed in the amount (yes, you have to figure that one out yourself by multiplying the word count by the price per word - more details on the various options below), and - my heart was racing in my chest by now; 120 pounds, that's a whole week of grocery shopping - I forced myself to press Complete Transaction.
My payment was acknowledged the same day when Ms. Guerrieri sent me an email to tell me that she would start work straight away.
A week passed, and I heard nothing. Then almost another week later, an email arrived to tell me that she was going away for a week and I would have the revised chapters in my mailbox the day after she arrived back. That date came and passed, and still no revision. I sent her a friendly reminder, she replied two days later telling me that I would get the manuscript the following day. Still nothing. To cut a long story short, no pun intended, the revision arrived four weeks after payment but I had to chase it up. www.proofedtoperfection.com took four weeks for 14,000 words; imagine I had given them the entire novel with 95,000 words. It would have taken them between 4 and 5 months.
And now to the actual quality of the editing:
I thought my grammar was bad, but you should have seen this revision. The first 7,000 words had at least 30 mistakes (I stopped counting after 30 because I realized that it wouldn't exactly help my high blood-pressure). I was naive enough to electronically submit the chapters to three agents without checking for mistakes first; after all, she was the editor, she knew best, right?
The first rejection email arrived two days - the agent was kind enough to point out that I needed proof-reading. You should have seen my jaw drop. I swear it almost reached the floor. The other agents rejected it a couple weeks later. Enough said about the quality of www.proofedtoperfection.com proof-reading services.
Would I recommend this site to anyone? NO, WAY. Would I recommend using any other paid editor? Probably, but my advice: do your research. Ask for a sample. Don't pay them for the entire manuscript up front. Maybe a small part first and then decide. No editor needs four weeks for 14,000 words - that's 50 double-spaced pages. Most editors edit 20-40 double-spaced pages PER HOUR.
Some information about prices, services and the claims they make:
Proofedtoperfection charge 0.012 USD per word. That's about 2 dollars per page if what you need is line-editing. What is line-editing? Correcting mistakes and sentence flow/structure but not content.
You will find some companies charging 4 dollars per page - that's a horrendous price because if you manage to find a publisher who is willing to take on your book, your advance won't probably cover the price that you paid for revision, which means that you're not making any money.
Then there are those who charge less than 2 dollars per page, www.firstediting.com, for example. Those are mostly companies that specialize on essay editing and will have no clue how to deal with a book. I'm talking from experience here.
1. Proofing: 0.008 USD per word
2. Copyediting: 0.012 USD per word
3. Developmental editing and anything above such as ghostwriting is charged per hour and needs to be enquired via their website.
They also offer a basic website package for 750 dollars, which includes the creation of a website.
The website boasts 13 editors; I only worked with two: Pamela Guerrieri and one called Kimberley Jace. According to the website two editors look at each and every submission, which I doubt.
Published books that were edited by proofedtoperfection.com:
If you go the website, you will find some links to beautiful books that were published in the last few years. I know I should have looked at the publishers BEFORE paying, but I have this surge to believe in people's goodwill and goodness. All books featured on the site were self-published. They aren't available anywhere in bookstors, on Amazon, Borders etc. The authors paid for them to be published and made little or no money at all.
You were able to write the book; you'll be more than able to do the editing yourself or get a good friend to do it for you if you're not fully confident, like me. For content issues: read out loud what you're editing and you will soon discover any flow inconsistencies.
With this review I hope that it may help save some author out there their hard-earned cash.
(I've also published this review on Ciao.)