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The final stage of editing is proofreading. The keen eyes of proofreaders ensure that no grammatical, spelling or formatting errors are included in the final version of your work.

A proofreader guards against:

  • Errors in grammar and spelling
  • Typographic inconsistencies and formatting issues
  • Incorrect captioning on illustrations

Even though the majority of problems will have been fixed by this point, it’s invaluable to have a final set of eyes on the text to catch anything that was missed in previous edits. Even if the proofreader doesn’t find much, it's better to be safe than sorry!

If you've written a work of fiction (particularly speculative fiction), you (or your editor) should provide a style sheet for your proofreader that tells them about any unusual spellings or styles in your manuscript. Otherwise, they will read your manuscript "blind," which may not include every nuance of your work but is still pretty effective.