Publishing companies hire people solely to read manuscripts for clarity and readability. The extra set of eyes on a novel can also help spot editorial issues, such as misspellings, grammatical errors and sentence structure. Professional readers understandably do not make as much money as editors but it is an effective way to get your foot in the door of the publishing industry. Whether you aspire to be an editor, agent or to run your own publishing house, professional reading is a stepping stone to a future helping shape literature's future.
Enroll and complete university level courses in editing, proofreading, writing mechanics and literature. Not every institution offers these courses so you must research the English department of different schools until you find one that does.
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Offer your services in proofreading and editing while you are still in school. Keep track of how many hours you spend performing these services so you can include it when you construct your resume.
Create a resume that details your education and the amount of hours you spent proofreading and editing documents. Detail the education you received and include information on the proofreading courses you took.
Apply to publishing houses around the country. Create a cover letter detailing the type of work you have proofread and edited in the past. You may want to include information on your hopes for advancement within the literary world.
Market yourself to independent novelists to gain additional experience as a proofreader while you apply for professional reading positions. Online forums and job boards often have listings with writers looking for readers of their manuscripts.