Help with client who's an author
Thread poster: Diego Achío

Diego Achío  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:59
Member (2010)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Aug 7, 2014

I recently got a call from an Author who's planning to publish his first book, he wants me to proofread his work but I have never worked with authors before. He has never published before so we have a lot of questions about it.

We called several editorials but instead of helping out they just act all high and mighty, tell us "send your work and we'll evaluate it and approve it or deny it". Now, the question is: Where does proofreading comes in all this? Should the author have his book proofread before or after sending it to the editorial?

What I am afraid of is that he sends his work to the editorial, they approve it and decide they completely take care of it as I seem to be unable to negotiate with them so they send the work to me for proofreading.

I also do not want to rip-off the poor author telling him proofreading should come first, forcing him to pay double proofread afterward or something.


Yvette Neisser Moreno  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:59
Spanish to English
+ ...
Good question Aug 7, 2014

This is a good question, and I look forward to seeing what more experienced colleagues say. What I can tell you is that I was once hired for an author for exactly this task: editing an unpublished manuscript, prior to the author submitting it for publication. In this case, the author's reason for seeking an editor was because his writing had some grammatical errors, and he wanted the writing to be cleaned up and correct--which I assume would increase his chances of getting a good response from an editing house. He was willing to pay for a professional edit, and it was a good, interesting job for me.


LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:59
Russian to English
+ ...
Oh, it will most likely get proofread twice Aug 7, 2014

If the author wants to hire a proofreader, he definitley wants to do it to improve the chances of his book being published. You usually do not send the whople book to the publisher --just the first 100 pages. So, he may want to have just the first 100 pages proofread first, or edited, and then if the books gets accepted for publishing, the publisher will use their own proofreader to proofread the book before printing--each house has slightly different style, and editing rules.

The author may also decide to self-publish the book. In this case he may ask you to proofread the whole book. Then, he would skip the publisher altogether.


Yael Ramon  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:59
German to Hebrew
+ ...
editorial or proofreading - who comes first? Aug 7, 2014

first of all - a detail is missing - is the guy interested in self-publishing (i.e. go to a print-house and pay for xxx copies) or does he intend to interest an exising well-known firm?
if the second is the case - they will probably want to get a first impression and decide whether they like to publish it or not, and when yes, then they will prefer to proofread it themselves (and charge for themselves as well, of course).
if the book is to be self-published, it should arrive to the printing-house 100% perfect!
in that case it will be wise to request all details concerning DTP and prepare the script accordingly.
Printing-houses can do the job of DTP, but they will not bother to proofread, so preparation will save the guy a double invoicing.


Danik 2014
German to Portuguese
+ ...
First impression must be good in any case Aug 7, 2014

Whether your client wants to pay for his first book himself or interest an important editorial firm the book must cause a good impression. Therefore I advise to proofread the book before submitting it. Usually the editor will want to proofread it again before publishing. But that is included in the publishing process, whoever pays for it.
Good luck!


Hege Jakobsen Lepri  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:59
Member (2002)
English to Norwegian
+ ...
Which language? Aug 7, 2014

If the author writes in English, there a lots of editorial services out there. Writers Digest has a wide range:
Here you can get anything from line editing, to critique to proofreading.

Several writers unions have similar services.
If the language is Spanish, I have no idea, but I imagine somebody must be offering something similar.


Diego Achío  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:59
Member (2010)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Thanks a lot everyone! Aug 8, 2014

Thank you all for all your responses. I have decided to tell my customer that he should hire a proofreader before publishing or sending it to the editorial. All your responses make sense and that's the smartest thing to do since the editorial is actually criticising his work, not buying it.


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