Cold Calling Doesn’t Have to be That Cold

Paid to Proofread Staff
3 min readAug 17, 2020


Warming Up for Your Cold Call

Now I won’t sugar coat this for you. This is probably going to be the most nervewracking part of finding a proofreading gig. Calling people you’ve never met before who can determine if whether or not you can get paid to do proofreading can definitely anxiety-inducing. Which is why I am here to guide you through the do’s and don’ts of cold calling the proofreading houses you have racked up to apply to.

The first thing to do is to remember that the worst thing that could happen is that you mess up the call and they say no. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less. And so what if they say ‘no’? There are hundreds of publishing houses all around the globe who are waiting to say “Yes. Let’s take the next steps”. Don’t let one flimsy no discourage you from achieving that yes.

You may have a long list of publishing houses and their contacts, but that doesn’t mean you have to call them all in one day. Try to do two to three a day. This way, you won’t be super overwhelmed with the number of contacts you need to get in touch with. You will also be able to focus all of your energy on just a few rather than spreading your energy thin with a whole bunch of contacts.

Prepping for the Call

Before anything, make sure to have a notebook dedicating to proofreading right in front of you throughout the entire cold call to take notes. But also, to have as a small guide. Have a mini introduction script, no more than a sentence or two, that describes yourself and the reason you are calling. It’s always good to start off with who put you in contact if that is the case.

The best-case scenario is that they give you a phone interview right there on the spot. That’s why you want to make sure you have your resume right in front of you so that you are ready to sell yourself. You might even want to consider having a cover letter locked in and ready to go in case they ask you for more information.

The First Call

The department you want to be in contact with is either the human resources department or the acquisitions department so make sure to ask a version of the following once you surpass the introductions: “Could you put me in contact with the human resources department or the acquisitions department please?” Always remember to be polite.

An even better option would be asking to get in contact with an editor in the production department. The administrative assistant will most likely come up with a name and quickly put you in contact. Ask for the number/extension so that that way you can conduct a follow-up call.

For part two on how to conduct the call and what the first conversation with the editor should look like, read “Warming Up Your Cold Call pt 2”. I cover how to pitch yourself, the next steps if the response is positive, the next steps if the response is negative, and how to wrap up the call.

By Karla M. Cortes



Paid to Proofread Staff

Welcome to the exciting world of getting paid $1000+ for proofreading books in your own time!📝📖📚💸