Many proofreaders nowadays work as freelancers for companies that they find online. Sometimes they worked for that particular publishing company in-house first and were eventually given the option to work from home. Often their job is to read the book or manuscript of an author to detect any kind of mistakes and inaccurate information before the book is presented to a publishing company. Absolute accuracy is the trademark of any good writer. Writers often have great and wonderful ideas, but it is hard for them to put it all on paper, or in the computer in this day and age. They may come to need a little more help than what they are willing to admit publicly. They rely on the proofreader they hire to see what does not make sense in the original manuscript. These proofreaders usually do not make a lot of money because the author can also be very poor and needy and hope to achieve a major success with the book he wrote. When the book ends up being a bestseller and is published internationally, the editor will be able to get very good paying jobs because his name was mentioned on a book that actually sold.
Printers often hire a fair amount of proofreaders as well. Proofreaders who work for a small printing job in general do not get very interesting things to read. They just read and correct about everything the print shop processes before it actually goes to the printer. The proofreader reads a lot of documents and forms used by many companies in their daily operation. Invoices, reservation forms, and even business cards are just some examples of things that need to be proofread before they see the Heidelberg. Proofreaders in this position rank in the upper level of the lower or lower level of the middle pay scales and usually just work their forty hours a week. Some print shops get a lot more work at certain times of the year and require their proofreaders to do overtime then. The last quarter of the year for instance many companies print calendars for local businesses.
Publishing companies often hire proofreaders to have them work under the direct supervision of the managing editorial assistant. The best proofreaders in the field actually make it to the much desired world of publishers. Most publishers require that the proofreaders they retain have an interest in reading up on all kinds of topics and they must be computer savvy too. Working as a proofreader for a famous publishing company is not the typical proofreading job you can get straight out of high school. Most publishing companies require some degree of experience as a proofreader before you can qualify to be the new hire. Also, as with any other job, the better you can talk to the guy who hires the higher your chances of getting in. A degree in English, journalism, business, or science is usually very valuable for a position as proofreader, but is not always necessary. Experience as a proofreader, even if it was just in a print shop, is always appreciated. Experience always goes a long way.
Most publishers hire proofreaders who come to work and perform their skills at the actual site where the publishing company is located. Some publishing companies prefer to work with very skilled proofreaders who work from the comfort of their own home. For the proofreader this has the benefit that he does not need to worry about workplace attire and he can even babysit the children instead of sending them to daycare while he is working. For the publishing company it saves money because they do not need to have office space available for their proofreaders. In the old days these proofreaders still had to come to the company’s site very regularly to pick up work and to bring finished work in. Today’s technology has really simplified this process. Today’s work-from-home proofreaders who work for a publishing company just go in once a week for a meeting or an in-service and that is about it. Today’s technology has done even more to facilitate the job of the proofreader. When he has questions for the writer about certain technicalities he can communicate with him very easily with for instance instant messaging and emails. He can email the author with particular pieces of the manuscript and he can ask for more explanation on certain sentences.
Sometimes newspapers and magazines hire proofreaders and it is very exciting to get the news of the world or the area you live in before anyone else gets it.
No matter where it is done, proofreading is a very interesting job. Those who start doing it will get hooked to it in a very short time. When others retire at a certain age, most proofreaders keep going for many years later albeit at a slower pace.