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Old 19th January 2007, 07:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Proof reader

What I want to be more than anything else in the world - excluding, of course, famous author - is to be a proof reader, or perhaps an editor. However, I have precisely zero ideas as to how to go about becoming one. I was wondering if you could help me with that? Tell me what qualifications I need, who I need to know, who employs them, the writer or the publisher, that sort of thing.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 19th January 2007, 07:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Proof reader

I remember looking into that a couple of years ago, if I remember correctly it is the publishers that deal with it I'm sure with an internet search you could find some info
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Old 19th January 2007, 07:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Proof reader

I'm currently working on a B.A. in English, with a focus on Creative Writing. My goal is to one day be a senior editor of a publishing house. Once I get my degree, I'm going to start out as copy editor / proofreader someplace and then work my way up.
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Old 20th January 2007, 10:45 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Proof reader

In the UK, most publishers use specialist copy-editors and proofreaders. Many of these are ex-editors, and many are used because of their reputation and the fact they they know the editors personally. It is difficult to get involved - but as sanityassassin says, do an internet search for info.
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Old 20th January 2007, 01:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Proof reader

I trained as a proofreaders, it was some sort of home study course. You had to take two exams and get at least a B grade in each to pass. I got a C in my second exam so failed!
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Old 20th January 2007, 07:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Proof reader

Also, remember that's it's extremly badly paid. UK proofreaders work for roughly 10 to 14 an hour, dependent on the publisher. It's about 1 an hour more for copy-editing.
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Old 22nd January 2007, 12:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Proof reader

If you want to work in book publishing as an editorial assistant, it's a good idea to get some relevant experience. When I was at uni, I edited the books page of my student paper, and had a part time job in Waterstones.

After uni I worked in a bookshop for a year - this was invaluable because as well as learning all about the trade, I also had access to The Bookseller and Publishing News - trade mags with job adverts in them. An office job may be as/more suitable just for proof that you know your way around a pc.

Persistence is also key - there are a bazillion graduates trying to get into book publishing. And if they have no relevant experience there's nothing to distinguish one from another.

I eventually got a job at Mills & Boon. I'd initially been looking for work with an SF/F publisher, but took what I could get. I was glad I did, because at M&B even editorial assistants are (eventually) able to manage authors and edit novels from start to finish. I also read thousands of unsolicited submissions (and helped publish four of them).

I now work in magazine publishing, but it was a great experience - and taught me a lot about my own writing.

Was that too much info?
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Old 22nd January 2007, 01:12 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Proof reader

Not at all. My route in was via SF conventions - but it was fifteen years between my first con and working full-time in publishing...you certainly have to be determined.
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Old 22nd January 2007, 02:34 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Proof reader

Yep, there are several different routes in, but determination and a genuine love of the industry (I've met a lot of people who think working in publishing sounds 'cool' without actually thinking about what's involved or what it may take to get hired) definitely help.
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