My Job in 5: Jessica Read, Freelance Proofreader

My Job in 5: Jessica Read, Freelance Proofreader

Describe your role.

I’m a freelance proofreader, so I work for several major publishers (and
some self-published authors), proofreading different versions of books
and e-books before they go to print.

What do you like best about your job?

One of my favourite things is when I enjoy a book I would not
normally choose for my own leisure reading. I’m also endlessly
grateful for the flexibility the job gives me to fit work around my
family and the school run.

Which great new titles are you working on at the moment?

I recently finished work on two new thrillers for Transworld: one from
Manda Scott (Into the Fire) and one from Tammy Cohen (First One
Missing). Both demand the reader’s full attention with their stories and
have brilliantly strong and compelling female leads.

Would you say working as a freelance is the way forward?

Given that many areas of the industry are increasing their flexibility on
office hours and working from home, I do think the number of
freelances will start to rise. Technology also makes it a lot easier to
receive and submit work wherever you are—when I proofread e-books
they are emailed direct to my Kindle, and I once completed a project
while visiting my mum in Spain.

What advice would you give to those looking to work in the

Gain experience anywhere you can within publishing. I started as a
secretary at a small book packager that compiled dictionaries and
encyclopedias, typing emails and ordering stationery, and that’s where I
learned to proofread. Hands-on experience can often be more valuable
than a course qualification. And read, read, read!