Important Tips on Receiving and Returning a Work for Proofreading
All the Do’s and Don’ts you need to know
Receiving a Work
You will most likely be receiving your work in a Jiffy bag. Before you eagerly tear open the package to unveil your new project, I highly suggest opening the package over a trash can. Believe it or not, there’s a bunch of little fluffies that scatter everywhere when you open this baby up. Save the opened Jiffy bag somewhere in safekeeping given that you will be returning the work in the same bag.
If your manuscript is received in person, it will most likely be encased in rubber bands. Keep these rubber bands, for you will be returning your project in them. Believe it or not, editors choose their own rubber bands which is why it is very important you save the ones that were given to you.
Cold read vs Comparison Read
If you receive a cold read, then you can go ahead and start proofreading after you’ve done the above. But if it is a comparison read, I highly advise you to put both copies next to each other side-by-side on your desk. Try to write on the newest copy comfortably while being able to glance over at the marked-up copy in order to make sure everything is seen and taken note of.
Always use a red colored pencil when proofreading the work. Not a red pen. Not a red crayon. A red-colored pencil. This looks much more professional and cleaner than using a pen or pencil. If you are writing a long query, it is best to grab a graphite pencil and write it on a Post-It instead of straight onto the work you are proofreading.
Keep your papers neat and clean. Try not to eat and/or drink near the work you are proofreading. Even wash your hands before proofreading your work just to make sure no stains or smudges get on your papers. If you are a smoker, do not smoke near your work. The smoke sticks to the pages of the work you are proofreading and causes a distasteful smell to linger on it.
Returning a Proofread Work
Try to return the proofread work almost exactly the same way you received it. As if no one had even touched the manuscript but magically marked it up. Do not staple, clip, or magic marker the work whatsoever. Wrap the work back up in the rubber bands that came with your work, along with a short cover letter and a complete invoice. Put it back in the Jiffy bag, reseal it, and ship it back to your editor. And there ya have it! A perfectly conducted project that was received and returned properly.
By Karla M. Cortes