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  • Writer's pictureToni

Checklist: Are you ready to hire a proofreader for your novel?

(Update July 2021: As an experiment, I’ve changed the names of my services! You can still get proofreading; it’s just called Last Look now.)

You know you’re going to need to have your novel proofread before you publish it. The problem is you’re not sure if your book’s ready for the proofreading stage yet. I made this handy checklist to help you decide. And if you want to learn even more about proofreading, you can visit my service page here.

If you can check off at least 8 of the 10 boxes in this list, then your novel is probably ready for a proofreader.

◻ I wrote a novel.

◻ My novel is complete from start to finish. (Meaning there are no missing scenes or chapters, descriptions to fill in, characters to give names to, etc.)

◻ I’ve revised the entire novel two or more times.

◻ I’ve sent the book to beta readers/critique partners/a developmental editor and made changes based on their feedback.

◻ I don’t intend to make any more changes to this book—my plot, setting, characters, and overall structure are finalized.

◻ I’ve had someone besides myself read this novel strictly to look for grammatical and continuity errors, and I’ve fixed any they found.

◻ The book’s interior design/layout is complete.

◻ I know what proofreading is, I’ve done my research, and I know what to realistically expect from my proofreader.

◻ I’ve budgeted for proofreading and even saved some money to hire a proofreader.

◻ I am able and willing to fix any errors the proofreader finds in this manuscript.

So how’d you do?

At least 8: You’re probably ready for proofreading! It’s time to start looking for a proofreader.

5 to 7: You’re really close to being ready! Take a look at the boxes you didn’t check in this list and see if you can get any more of them finished. Then start searching for your proofreader.

Less than 5: You might be getting a little ahead of yourself. I recommend spending some more time working on your manuscript before you look for a proofreader.

Want a printable PDF of this checklist? You can download it here! (200KB)

Still not sure if you’re ready to hire a proofreader? Feel free to get in touch, and I’ll see what I can do to help!


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