It is so hard to see the errors in your own writing. You can read something ten times and not see a glaring mistake in the first line. When I read back over my early drafts, I cringe when I find the mistakes. This is particularly so when I know that I’ve sent that exact draft off to a publisher or agent in the hope of publication. It makes me feel a bit sick thinking about people that I want to impress reading my work and coming away thinking that I’m a moron (or at the very least a very careless person!) for all of the mistakes it is riddled with. When I was first starting out as a writer, it never occurred to me that it might be a worthwhile investment to get my work proofread before sending it through to an agent or publisher. I figured that if they were interested in taking on my work, all of the proofreading and editing would be provided. Why should I bother paying for it? Nowadays, I wouldn’t send anything out without having it thoroughly checked first. Getting a manuscript proofread by a professional makes sense to me now. I want to send my work through looking as good as it possibly can do and part of that means forking out a little bit for editing up front. The only problem with this is that my budget doesn’t extend very far. At all. Late in 2013, I used Fiverr to fund the illustrations for Ruby Marvellous. This was easily the most affordable way to get high quality, unique, hand drawn illustrations with a fast turnaround time. It worked so well for me and it has been a site that I have been recommending ever since. Today I put the finishing touches on a short story, which is part of a series I’ve been working on over the summer break. I think it is ready to show a publisher, but as I only just finished writing it, I know that it will need someone with fresh eyes to look over it before I send it off. Enter Fiverr – again. For $5, I am getting my early draft of 1500 words edited and proofread by ‘Mr Proofreading’. (I even upgraded to a 24 hour turnaround for $10, bring the total cost of the proofreading to $15 or $1 per 100 words!) He comes highly recommended by previous clients – 2355 people have reviewed his services and he has maintained a 5 star rating. I’m looking forward to receiving my draft back tomorrow with his feedback/corrections (and, at that price, my bank account is going to be super happy with me too!)
Update (Not even 24 hours later): I received my draft back and the feedback was accurate and thorough. I received a ‘Finished Clean’ copy with all of the suggested changes made and a ‘Highlighted’ version that showed what changes had been made. That’s a big thumbs up for Mr Proofreading! So worth it!