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Using Elance, Freelancer, oDesk...


I'm inching towards finding a proofreader for my first book, and the prices of the professional shops are eye-watering. For my 220,000 words, it would be pushing $2,000. Much as I want to do this self-publishing thing properly, that's a lot for a book that might sell 100 copies in my lifetime if I'm very lucky.

So I'm looking at the online freelance market, through people like elance, Freelancer and oDesk, where (it seems) I could get the job done for a more reasonable price. I don't need structural editing, just someone to sort out my commas and ellipses and the odd typo.

I know Brian has had a good experience finding a structural editor on elance, but has anyone else tried any of these? Or has any thoughts or advice?


Myth Weaver
Two pieces of advice to ensure a good transaction:

1. Be very clear on exactly what your expectations are. Take some time to compose your proposal. Get detailed. Good contracts make for good transactions.

2. Include a short sample that you want proofed. If I were requesting proofreading, I'd put in some deliberate errors to see if the person caught them, stuff like a really rarely used homonym and obscure grammar/punctuation related problems. Oh, and one that I find hard to spot: form instead of from. Argh on that one!

Hope this helps!