Proofreading takes place after a manuscript has been laid out for printing. Usually, though not always, this means that the document is in PDF format, with headers and page numbers, a table of contents page, etc. Regardless, at this stage, all of the major copy editing steps should have been completed. A proofread involves looking for any errors that slipped by during earlier stages of editing or errors that may have been introduced in the layout step.
What I do
Using various proofreader’s mark custom stamps and other markup tools available in Adobe Acrobat, I will mark or query any errors I find. If the document is not a PDF file, I will use track changes and comments in Microsoft Word or whatever is appropriate to the format.
Still not sure?
If you aren’t sure what level of editing help you need, that’s OK. I can review your manuscript quickly and let you know what I think, and we can discuss it further. If you want to send just a portion, rather than the whole document, it’s best to send me a section from the middle. Usually, the first few pages or first chapter, and sometimes the closing chapter as well, will have been given the most attention by an author, and may not accurately represent the document as a whole. Sending something from the “messy middle” will give me a much better idea of the overall state of the manuscript.