I’m Sam Kelly, and I want to help your texts to be the best they can be. From blog posts and articles to dissertations and full-length books, published traditionally or self-published, I can help you to ensure that every detail is spot on.
What is proofreading?
You probably think of proofreading as a second set of eyes on your text to check for spelling and grammatical mistakes. That’s part of the job, but there’s often more to it than that (although if that’s all you want, I’ll be happy to take a look).
The ‘proof’ is the text, made up to look as it will when it’s published (these days, normally as a PDF file); the proofreader checks that text – for grammar and spelling, yes, but also for layout (are all paragraphs correctly indented? Is the spacing below and above each subheading correct?), internal consistency of style (do ise/ize word endings all match up? Does the use of roman/bold/italic text conform to the style guide?) and more factors, including page numbering, indexing and so on.
The proofreader, in short, acts as that final quality check, ideally ensuring that no errors make it into the finished product!
Who can use a proofreader?
The examples in the paragraph above are a basic summary of the job as it applies to the publishing industry, but publication takes many forms in the modern world. If you’re preparing a text for your blog or website, for your business or industry correspondence, writing a book for self-publication, editing a book for a publishing house, or writing something for a university assessment*, I can help you make it the best it can be.
What are your credentials?
I’ve been spotting errors in other people’s writing (yes, I’m one of those people) and my own for as long as I can remember, and in 2016 I resolved to finally use my powers for the greater good.
In 2018 I completed Basic Proofreading by Distance Learning, the flagship qualification from the UK’s industry-recognised Publishing Training Centre, gaining a Distinction. I have studied an additional module to bring my digital editing skills fully up to date, and since March 2018 I have been a member of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP), the UK’s professional organisation for the field; in April 2019 I successfully upgraded to become an Intermediate Member, indicating that the SfEP’s Admissions Panel feels I’ve demonstrated the necessary professional competence, experience and commitment to training to move beyond Entry-Level Membership.
As well as this, I am a writer myself. I’ve written about sport (mainly Argentine football) since 2006, as well as dabbling in short stories in my spare time. In February and March 2018, I took part in an online creative writing workshop run by Washington, DC-based magazine and small publisher Barrelhouse. In other words, I know how it feels as a writer to hand your text over to be critiqued and edited. I’ll be sympathetic to you.
In January 2019, I completed the SfEP’s online Proofreading Theses and Dissertations course.
You can see a rundown of my areas of expertise and my qualifications over on this page.
Okay, I like what I’ve read. Can you proofread my text?
The way to find out is to get in touch! Here’s a contact form:
*It is important to note that universities have strict guidelines on how dissertations and other work can be proofread. These may differ between institutions; before approaching me, or indeed any other editorial professional, I recommend consulting your university’s policy on proofreading to ensure you won’t be penalised.