a. For book publishers, comparing typeset pages with a copyedited manuscript, checking that all edits have been incorporated, the pages are formatted correctly, and the copy editor has not overlooked errors, confusing sentences, missing words, or deviations from the style sheet.
b. In most other cases, such as publication of articles, newsletters, and Web pages, serving as the last set of eyes to check a final document, often a document that has been formatted according to an in-house style guide. I proofread everything that a copy editor should check, reviewing all elements thoroughly.
Unlike copyediting, proofreading is usually limited to fixing egregious errors in punctuation, grammar, spelling, capitalization, hyphenation, number usage, calculations, and formatting (problems with lists, fonts, alignment, leading, line spacing, folios, citations, references, etc.).
Proofreading is thus inherently limited in depth. Proofreaders should assume that a copy editor's choices for word usage, style, and organization were deliberate, and restrain themselves from editing or querying too much. That said, however, I will not hesitate to point out anything that might prevent your readers from staying engaged with your text.
To proofread a book, I charge $3.00 per typeset page. For all other material, including e-books, my fee ranges from $3.00 to $4.00 per 250 words.
My rates for proofreading include
my careful review of each page;
corrections on paper using proofreading symbols; on a PDF using Adobe Reader comment, drawing, and stamp tools; or in Word using Track Changes (for documents such as self-published books that might not be designed in other programs);
queries to the author; and
a style sheet (noting the dictionaries and style manuals I’ve referred to and any style choices I’ve made). If a copy editor has provided a style sheet, I will follow it; otherwise, I will create one.
Additional rounds of proofreading:
If an author or another editor introduces edits or additions after I complete a first round of proofreading, my review of all changes will be billed at a rate of $40 per hour, and includes updating the style sheet. I can provide an estimate of the fee to review your edits or additions once you send me your revised document.