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I'm on a discussion for indie authors on Linked In, and one of the points brought up is the cost of proofreading.  Several of the authors chose to ask friends to proofread their books, only to find out upon publication that not all of the mistakes had been caught.  Another author sent a copy of his book for review.  I noted in my review that there were three or four typos per chapter.  Again, he was chagrinned because he thought he had caught them all.
If you are looking for a really good proofreader, but you can't afford to pay a professional, another alternative is to contact your local service center for autism.  People who have Asperger's Syndrome, a high functioning form of autism, make the best proofreaders.  I know, because my brother has Asperger's.  He's in the top one percent of IQ scores, but his social skills are retarded, and he tends to be a loner.
In a recent article published for parents of autistic children, a psychologist noted that proofreading is one of the best jobs for someone with Asperger's.  These people think like a computer; on/off, up/down, right/wrong.  That's why most people find them to be frustrating, and why they can program computers without a single swear word coming from their lips.
One of the characters on the TV show The Big Bang Theory has Asperger's.  He's very smart, but frustrating because he is totally logical, and doesn't respect peoples' feelings.
But, if you want proofreading done to the letter of the law, this is just the sort of person you need.  Forget about asking your friends, your child's English teacher--if you want it done right, ask a nerd.
8/9/2013 04:16:44 am

This post is bang on. I am a professional proofreader, and recently came to learn that I am on the autism/aspergers spectrum. I finally have stable employment, because I have found the one thing that I am very good at. Like Paula said, 'if you want it done right, ask a nerd'.

Tyronne Biggums
8/10/2013 12:32:16 pm

As a professional who works with developmentally disabled children, this post is incredibly offensive. You conflate nerdiness with autism and Asperger's.

10/14/2013 06:34:49 pm

I write a technical blog and many other technical documents. These are often very difficult to proofread and copy edit due to the number of uncommon technical terms. I started using the folks at Writers Perfection ( a couple years ago, and have not looked back. I can't emphasize highly enough how they do not miss a single mistake. Sometimes I'll pre-proofread my own paper 3-4 times before submitting it to WritersPerfection, and they still find things I miss. It is truly amazing!! I know of other people whom they have also helped by editing or proofreading books, magazines, blog posts, white papers, and even resumes. They really can handle just about anything I can throw at them. It is absolutely worth checking them out! The price is very competitive too.

2/15/2015 01:03:11 pm

I noted in my review that there were three or four typos per chapter. Again, he was chagrinned because he thought he had caught them all.

8/23/2015 05:18:19 pm

I too find it incredibly offensive to suggest that people with Autism should be used as a low cost way way of having your proofreading done. Also, I would suggest that the apostrophe in "peoples' " is incorrect. As 'people' is already a plural, the apostrophe should be placed before the 's' as opposed to after, as in "children's". I am sick and tire of websites that purport to be legitimate proofreading or teaching sites, offering me a career, when the sites are littered with errors.


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