with Learn Freelancing and The Pocket Book of Proofreading - from 


April 2017: WELCOME to Learn Freelancing Proofreading & Copy-Editing


The place to learn about Freelance Proofreading and Copy-editing from home.

Starting with The Pocket Book of Proofreading, 262ppPublished by First English Books.

Note: The Kindle version of The Pocket Book of Proofreading works fine too. 

Thanks to Readers in the USA and Canada. To proofread successfully you need to know about the three kinds of proofreading/editing. These are:

a) as per normal using proofreading marks on a typescript
b) using Word's 'Track Changes' to make changes to a Word document, and 
c) using the 'yellow note' facility if you are sent a PDF copy. This is very easy to learn.


Thanks to Graham for this latest:

Many thanks for all the course materials. I have read the book (downloaded to my Kindle on 5th March 2017) and completed the sample exercises. I look forward now to undertaking the full course.
I found the book useful, informative and fun to read. It has certainly spurred me on to develop my proofreading skills and work towards becoming a professional proofreader.
Kind regards


To save space on this page, you can find recently published news on 'The book' page.


A book to cheer, see first book mentioned in 'New book corner' below.

--  Thanks to Anita for this review just received:

'Just a few lines to let you know that I’m thoroughly enjoying the above course - its a gem!
Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for a great book and course.
Best wishes.'


NEW: Some proofreading quotes. See below


'I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again.'

― Oscar Wilde


'It's good to get paid for checking other people's work but more rewarding when a publisher sends you a payment for doing it'.



Thanks to John B. for this charming review just received:

'Just a short note to say how much I'm enjoying your little book. I received it only about two hours ago and became so engrossed my wife has just complained I've let the fire go out.' (John B. runs a small bar in the summer months on Menorca. Seems like a rather nice lifestyle.)


  • LEARN freelance proofreading and copy-editing at home at your own pace
  • The Pocket Book of Proofreading is one of the best paperback books on proofreading you can find, with mainly 5-star reviews
  • Completely up-to-date course as well, available as a download as well as hard copy 
  • Learn how to earn extra income from home and read for profit
  • Work from home full or part time as a freelance proofreader and/or copy-editor. Beginners welcome at any level - with reasonable spelling!
  • Advice on finding work and contacts to follow up
  • Money-back guarantee with every Learn Freelancing Proofreading and Copy-editing Course. The proofreading course an optional extra if required.
  • The Pocket Book of Proofreading now also available for download as a popular Kindle edition 
  • The Pocket Book of Proofreading provides you with a professional service through Learn Freelancing, with free email advice for any queries, getting started and finding work
  • Spend less money on dubious (and excessively expensive) alternatives
  • Training proofreaders and copy-editors for over 20 years.
  • Current hourly rates for proofreaders currently around £22-24 per hour.
Want to learn about Freelance Proofreading and copy-editing? 
Try Learn Freelancing with The Pocket Book of Proofreading
1. Simply buy the book (The Pocket Book of Proofreading from
2. Make sure you read in full and complete the exercises.
(Works well with the New Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors)
3. There is also a professional Proofreading and Copy-editing Course available,
probably the best value compared with other courses. The advanced 'Download version' is thought to be the only one of its kind currently available.

A happy testimonial for The Pocket Book of Proofreading:

I have been "doing a bit" of proofreading and copy-editing over the years. I have paid over two hundred pounds for a correspondence course and bought several hallowed tomes on the subject... There is a wealth of knowledge from someone who really has been there and done that! I highly recommend this fantastic resource and I shall refer to mine often.


Read some reviews here! 


As from 1st March 2017: Suggested minimum freelance hourly rates for Proofreading and Copy-editing as noted by sfep, Society for Editors and Proofreaders:

proofreading £23.35 p/hr         copy-editing £27.15 p/hr


Learn all the real secrets of successful freelancing for publishers. 

Work from home, full or part time. 


NEWS: over 5 million people in Britain now work from home (2016) with more expected next year. 

Entrepreneurs, people running their own businesses -- and some editors, freelance proofreaders, and copy-editors!

Britain leads the world in book publishing (The Times). 'The UK publishes more books per person than any other country in the world...Last year British publishers brought out 184,000 new titles and revised editions.' Plenty of work for freelances.

Good news re work just received!

'I just wanted to drop you a line to say thank you for your excellent proofreading course. I have been offered work with a publisher that specialises in my favourite field...' Kate T.

Any questions? Please contact the editor. 

Simply send your email to

Here is a useful link re British and American (US) spellings: British (Queen's) versus American English Spelling

English grammar hints and tips about 'proofreader' and 'proof reading'


More news
Hello William
Many thanks indeed - all downloaded perfectly.
I'm a nurse and I'm about to finish writing my third text book. I've become increasingly fascinated by the whole publishing business over the last 7 years or so, and I've loved working with various copy-editors and typesetters along the way. I thought it was about time I learnt a bit more and developed some new skills! I'm very excited about it, so once the manuscript has been delivered (beginning of September hopefully), I'll get stuck in. 
Thanks again
Debbie W.


PS: Welcome endorsement. 'Hi William, I am teaching a session at the SF... /S joint conference in York this year and wondered whether I could use Exercise 2 (pp. 177-8) of the Pocketbook) as a quick test for people who come on my session. Will acknowledge you and the book.'



Brave move: Another freelance takes the plunge. Have a look:

It's called Nature Edit. Have a look. A perfect name for someone specialising in natural history. Well done to Liz. 

Liz is a very talented zoologist who is also an experienced and talented freelance writer, editor, copy-editor and proofreader.

Here she explains the difference between proofreading and copy-editing.



If you like the idea of working from home as a freelance proofreader, Learn Freelancing can show you how - beginning with The Pocket Book of Proofreading.

William Critchley originated his editorial/proofreading course many years ago, making it the first course of its kind. His editing experience spans more than two decades. Since then, the course has been continually updated and revised - to the point of perfection! 

You can see for yourself if you read a copy of The Pocket Book of Proofreading. All the essential information is here. Beginners are welcome too.

Proofreading at a deskWorking in publishing is stimulating and rewarding but you need to acquire the right skills. Freelancing can offer you the opportunity, after training, to be sent proofs (typescripts of books) either by post, direct from the publishing house to your home address or online through the Internet.

This skill can pay you around £22-24 an hour, and more for copy-editing. Rates do vary between publishers and when starting out you may be fortunate to get £17 or £18 per hour. If you find two or three publishers to send you work you’ll be kept busy all the time, and enjoy the freedom of earning extra income from home. Competition can make it tough to get started, however, but Learn Freelancing gives you the best possible start.

The Pocket Book of Proofreading contains 262 pages filled with tips and essential information - knowledge at your fingertips. The book cover is glossy laminated so it will last longer as your reference book.

Learn Freelancing is also the only course provider offering an instant PDF download of a proven course with all the proofreading marks in the correct colours, making the course exceptional value for money. There's no need to spend hundreds of pounds on the old, 'laggard' courses to learn this skill. Distance learning has never been better - with Learn Freelancing!

Save money in April too, with the extra discount on the Download Version, saving £24.90 on the full cost of the Learn Freelancing Course! (You can also pay with PayPal.)

To order your course (the Download Version) with the discount, when you have finished reading the book and completed the exercises in it, please click here. NB: You have to read the book first to learn 'the nuts and bolts', so to speak, so start with this first, and decide on taking the course later. 

Any questions you may have on freelancing, freelance proofreading and/or copy-editing are always welcome. You can always reach me here: (I can also help with on-screen editing/proofreading - for a free example of on-screen editing and how it looks, just let me know.)


More reviews:

Thanks to Shelly D. for this:

'After purchasing and reading your book I would like to purchase and download the course from your site. I found the book extremely useful and humorous and an excellent reference tool.'


'A completely realistic guide to proofreading and copy-editing. Ideal for beginners or seasoned pros. Sits on my desk next to Hart's Rules and gets just as much attention - the content is relevant, true to life and entertainingly written.
   An excellent buy.'


Thanks to Sarah for this:

I have genuinely enjoyed this book. It is friendly, informative, readable, helpful, and funny. While Mr. Critchley is encouraging, he gives realistic expectations. I don't think there is a wasted page in this book. I have also been impressed with the author's accessibility when I have had questions. I am looking forward to getting started on the course (de luxe version reinstated on the website for those interested) and am "hopefully travelling" ahead into fresh beginnings.


Read the Pocket Book of Proofreading on your Kindle. Available on 

Re Kindles: Nice quote: 'Every morning and evening of my commuting life, I lug to and from work three dictionaries, two encyclopaedias, the complete works of Shakespeare, Dickens, Trollope, Austen, Tolstoy and Eliot (George, not T.S.) and a growing library of modern bestsellers.

   Of course, as recently as a decade ago, any such admission would have raised serious concerns about my sanity, not to mention questions about back strain.

   But as readers will have guessed, I carry these dozens of volumes around with me not in paper and ink, but in miracle form.

   Thanks to the miracle of the Kindle...the whole lot fit neatly into my raincoat pocket, weighing in at grand total of 7.5. oz - or slightly less than a typical paperback.

(Source: Tom Utley, Daily Mail, 30/10/15)


New Book Corner


1. Try this book to cheer you up. Guaranteed! The Mischievious Athalete (First English Books, 2017), spelling intentional. This is a topical book about, well, just about everything to do with the way we speak English. This is the e-book version.

2. Fragile Lives: A Heart Surgeon's Stories of Life and Death on the Operating Table (HarperCollins, 2017). 

3. The Natural Navigator by Tristan Gooley (Virgin Books, 2014). A popular book about exploring the natural world and finding your way around it by learning the art of natural navigation.

4. Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli (Allen Lane, 2015). A modest but loovely looking book of just 84 pages, it has become a surprise bestseller. Would make someone a gift to treasure. Very readable and uplifting. 

Pet verbal dislikes. Have you any? One of mine at the moment is those people who instead of saying, 'Yes' repeat the word several times. Question: 'Did you find that new book in the library?' Answer: 'Yeah, yeah, yeah.' The faster the words are repeated conveys a kind of spurious enthusiasm. It's also perhaps creeping in with, 'Hi, how are you?' 'Good, good.' But the Beatles can say 'yeah yeah yeah' and that's fine.


To read more about The Pocket Book of Proofreading, click here

Job profiles: Proofreading

Best UK magazine for publishing news: The Bookseller

US magazine: Publishers Weekly

US proofreading job description

Take a little time to watch this video about 79 common mispronunciations. Amusing and quite good.


Note: You can order your copy of The Pocket Book of Proofreading with free p&p in the UK. Here's the link.

Wishing you every success and Good Reading!

William Critchley

Managing Editor 



A new clinic specialising in Botox, fillers, various enhancements, etc. If visiting London and in need of repair, or dear mother-in-law! Run entirely by young highly qualified doctors. Actually, if you look closely, you will see a connection (runs in the family).


'Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing left to add but then there is nothing to take away.'

'It's said that there's no such thing as a free lunch. But the universe is the ultimate free lunch.' Stephen Hawking

-Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1900-1944)

'Intelligence is quickness to apprehend as distinct from ability, which is capacity to act wisely on the thing apprehended.'

- Anon

'If nothing is written, why have you not yet written it?' 

William Critchley

'Today is the only day that ever really matters.'

- Anon



© Learn Freelancing 2007-2017




  • Proofreading marks

    Easy to learn but still absolutely necessary if you want to master the subject of proofreading. Find out more, and see what they look like.

  • Sample pages

    Check out these sample pages from The Pocket Book of Proofreading, the course and the extra exercises.

  • Santorini

    The proofs of the story about the Greek island. Where is it? Why is it so famous? A few answers for you on this page, including a view over the bay (caldera) plus a wonderful fresco of two boxing boys.

  • Why Learn Freelancing?

    You’ll be glad you did. For a quick overview read more here, find out how many pages you should read per hour, and how much would you get paid for proofreading 330+ pages?

  • Recommended books

    These are essential – just two to read about here. The New Oxford Dictionary for Writers & Editors, and The Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook. The other essential book? You need The Pocket Book of Proofreading!

  • Free extra exercises

    These are included in the course download – two extracts from a new novel for you to practise on. Try these two first before starting on the main set of proofs, where you need to find at least 250 errors!