I can proofread, but I’m not a superhuman.
It’s not that I proofread faster than everyone else.
If it’s an easy transcript (simple answers with few errors), I can (and do!) read up to 100 pages in one hour, and I do it with excellence.
This “speed” did not come without lots and lots of practice, though. Harder, denser jobs, such as hearings, slow me down to about 40-60 pages an hour. Any faster than that, and you’d miss things.
How I’m able to do so much work to earn so “much” money is largely dependent on the method I use to proofread. I only use an iPad. It reads just like a book, and it keeps my eyes on the “page” — no need to dart my eyes up to the page number, over to the line number, and over to an errata sheet. My eyes never leave the words I’m reading. My iPad also saves me from having to wait on a printer to print or a scanner to scan, and I don’t have to separate clean pages from dirty pages — the app allows me to e-mail annotated pages only directly inside the app.
Looking up something used to mean opening up a browser and manually typing in a word or phrase. With new technology, however, it’s as easy as tapping the word on the screen and selecting “Google” or “Dictionary”. Not having all the tedious steps involved in “paper proofreading” and errata sheets allows me to take on more clients and work more efficiently. I did start out proofreading on paper and writing errata sheets. There is just so much wasted time doing it this way. Before, when I’d finish a job, I’d have to stop what I was doing, get up, scan in the pages, wait, save the PDF, attach them to an e-mail… that whole process was a time suck! If you’re working with a lot of clients, it can really add up.
Faster Technology = Faster Proofreading
The technology is new, I get that, but that doesn’t make it bad or wrong. It works, obviously — I’ve got lots of happy clients who love my PDF corrections. In the same vein, it totally makes sense there are many proofreaders who don’t make the kind of money I do if they’re not doing it the way I do it. The truth is, many proofreaders don’t do things the way I do them; the app I use on iPad (iAnnotate) was just released in 2011, so I’m not surprised some reporters and proofreaders haven’t heard of it.
It’s catching on, though. California court reporting agency Jilio-Ryan posted this article on March 16, 2015, which lauds iAnnotate as the “preferred method” for proofreading transcripts.
Got questions? Leave a comment below!
How much does the full course cost?
I’m very very interested in taking it. I’m a spelling/grammar freak and have dreamed of a way to make a legit living using my superpower.
For information on the course tuition, go to proofreadanywhere.com/overview. Have a great weekend! 🙂
Help!! I am a student, and I am currently working through the practice transcripts, and I really, really fear that I cannot read fast enough to ever make more than about $15 per hour as a proofreader, if even that! I certainly cannot fathom ever making anywhere close to the $43,000 per year doing part-time hours that Caitlin discusses in her blog, and I am so, so disappointed and worried. It regularly takes me over three hours to Proofread 100 pages of text. I use an IPad, I use Iannotate, so it is not the technology, it’s my reading/proofing/marking speed. I want to make this venture work, I really really do, but I may not want to continue on to the most expensive part of the course if it is unlikely that I will ever be able to VERY significantly increase my speed. Is this a common insurmountable problem that you come across with your students? I understand that practice will increase the speed with which students can find errors, but what about someone who is just bad at reading fast? Are we doomed? Most importantly, please tell me how you would recommend I go about determining whether or not I will ever become an efficient enough reader to make this venture work. Thank you for your time.
Hi, Whitney! Just remember that you’re a beginner and learning to proofread transcripts is an art, so you need realistic expectations. You’re going to be slow at first, but you will get faster over time. 🙂