How To Get Your Book Proofread On A Shoe String Budget

New writers often ask me about for proofreading and copyediting referrals and when I give them some names and a quote, they run for the hills. Often submitting their unpolished, unedited work to Amazon and the other marketplaces and getting horrible reviews in return. Reviews about editing are some of the worst negative reviews a writer can receive because it speaks to the quality of the book, not the content. People will interpret mistakes in the book content as a direct reflection of the writer’s talent and ability–which we know is not always the case.

But I totally get it.

Many new writers simply do not have the funds to hire an editor for $500 bucks. Not when you haven’t made one dime yet at this whole new publishing adventure:) So here are two suggestions:

1. Try The Hemingway App

proofreading app


This is a really cool editing app. After you’ve spellchecked your work in your own word processing software, you can then use this web-based app and type or copy and paste your text right on the page, then edit it for readability, length, sentence structure, passive/active voice, adverb use, etc. Best of all it’s free!

If you want to use it offline, there is a desktop version for both PCs and MACs that is $6.99 USD. Totally worth the investment if you ask me.

2. Fiverr

Believe or not, you can find a really decent editor on Fiverr. Obviously they are not going to edit an entire book for $5, but you may get 1000 words for that price and then you can just add on gigs to get your entire book done. Still a totally affordable way to have your book edited.

The easiest way to find the right editor for you is to go to the proofreading/editing category. Click on the “high rating” tab and take a look at some of those editors. Pay attention to how many good reviews they have and exactly what they promise per gig. Make sure the gig is NOT for beta reading but for PROOFREADING and/or EDITING.

Want to hire me? Here’s my proofreading gig on Fiverr


Is Your Book Ready For The World?

If you’ve been following my writing for any significant amount of time, you know that I always preach that you don’t have to be a professional writer in order to be successful when writing and publishing your writing. So don’t obsess over it and don’t let that fear cripple you from getting started. BUT having said all of that…

You also don’t want to write and publish pure crap either (lol!). The goal of your writing is to probably do one or more of these things: motivate, inspire, convert, inform, educate, entertain, challenge and the list could probably go on and on. In order to successfully do any of these things with your writing, people should not be distracted by poor execution and errors.

If you’re a reader and you buy your books from retailers such as Amazon or B&N, you have probably taken a look at some reviews of your book before you purchased. Chances are if you’ve bought a book from an indie publisher (which is what you will be) vs. a big New York publishing house that you may have seen some reviews that said something like this.

copyediting blunders

Not a good look huh? Well there are a lot of these types of reviews online these days, and it really can turn a lot of readers off from buying your book. Especially when there are so many other books to try.

That’s why one thing that I do highly recommend to writers is to have your work copyedited or at least proofread before you submit it as your final piece of work.

It’s very easy to be so inside of your book while you’re working on it that you totally miss errors both small and large and readers notice. Bad reviews lead to poor sales and a bad impression of the “care” that the author took with his/her work. If you weren’t diligent enough to check over your work, why would I ever buy from you again?

I have over 20 years of writing and editing experience and I still have someone else check over my work, because I know for a fact that my eyes start glazing over once I’ve read my draft a million times.

It’s very easy to find someone who can copyedit your work (check things including style, grammar, spelling, punctuation, consistency ) or proofread your book (fix any spelling or punctuation errors, etc.). If you are close to finishing your book and you’re ready for this part of the process, there are a few ways you could find someone. You can check online with freelance sites such as for reputable copyeditors, or you could look at the credits section of a book and see if they have listed an editor or proofreader and try that person.

After receiving quite a few inquiries over the years about the copyediting process from readers, I have decided to add a few Done-For-You services to my arsenal in regards to copyediting, proofreading, and formatting books for publishing. I love to read, I have always loved to write and edit, and I’m a stickler when it comes to attention to detail. So I look forward to taking on a few new projects this year. Perhaps one of them will be yours? Stay tuned for when I formally roll out each service by making sure you’re subscribed to my list.

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Have you read any books lately that you liked (or maybe you didn’t like) but wish they had been a bit more polished for a better reader experience? Share your story and start the conversation.