Proofreading Frequently Asked Questions

 
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Proofreading

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Rates/Turnaround

Billing/Payment

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Miscellaneous

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Proofreading Questions

What software do you use? Do you proof on paper?

I use a program called PDF Annotator to proofread transcripts exported as PDFs from any CAT software. I will return only the pages with annotations unless you tell me otherwise. I can also create an errata sheet if requested and do not currently charge extra to do so.

In order to keep costs low and to save trees, I do not print transcripts.

What resources do you use when proofing?

I own the following stylebooks:

  • Court Reporting: Bad Grammar/Good Punctuation by Margie Wakeman Wells

  • Morson’s English Guide for Court Reporters (Second Edition) by Lillian I. Morson

  • The Gregg Reference Manual (Tenth Edition) by William A. Sabin

  • The Best Punctuation Book, Period by June Casagrande 


I also utilize internet resources, including:

  • Merriam-Webster Online

  • Lexico Online Oxford Dictionary

  • Google

  • Wikipedia

  • Secretary of State websites

  • Jurisdiction court records searches

  • The Online Slang Dictionary

  • Proofread Anywhere Graduate Huddle

What do your corrections look like?

I use yellow highlighting to mark the line number and spot where I suggest a change. I use red text to indicate the recommended correction. If further information might be helpful, I use blue text to provide a citation or note. If a correction needs to be made on multiple pages, I mark it GLOBAL. I will return only the pages with annotations unless you tell me otherwise.

You can view a sample page here. The errors on this page were created by me in order to demonstrate various types of corrections; a real transcript with this many corrections would require more time to proofread and may therefore be eligible for a higher page rate.

What corrections do you make?

There are many things in a transcript that might need correction. A list of examples can be found here, and a preference questionnaire can be completed here.

Is a preference questionnaire required?

No. The preference questionnaire is not mandatory, but it is helpful. If you don’t have time to complete it, you could send me a completed transcript to reference, let me know which stylebook you follow religiously, or simply ask me to leave your punctuation alone unless something is clearly misplaced.

Can I send long jobs in parts?

Please notify me ASAP if you will be sending a job longer than 150 pages so I can make sure I will be able to complete it by your deadline. If possible, please send these longer jobs with tight deadlines in smaller chunks as they are ready so that we can work simultaneously and get the job done faster.

Do I need to send anything else with the transcript?

You don’t have to send anything other than the transcript PDF, but the notice and any spelling lists would be helpful if you have them handy.

Do you proofread to audio?

Sorry, I do not proofread to audio at this time.

What do you do to maintain confidentiality?

Files are saved on an encrypted drive and periodically shredded. If I share a screenshot with my fellow proofreaders for advice on something tricky, any names will be redacted.

 

Rates & Turnaround Questions

What are your rates?

My rates are within the standard range for this industry, and I will proofread the first 15 pages at no cost so you know that my work meets your expectations and that we are a good fit.


Please use the contact form to request a rate sheet.

What are your turnaround times?

I offer four turnaround times:

  • Standard — 48-72 hours

  • Rush — 24-48 hours

  • Expedited — 12-24 hours

  • Daily — Less than 12 hours


Please use the contact form to request a rate sheet.

Will you accept expedited work from a new client?

I will accept a Rush, Expedited, or Daily job up to $100 from a first-time client. The job will be invoiced immediately upon return, and new work will be accepted after the invoice has been paid in full.

Do you offer any discounts?

Certainly! Here are some of the discounts I currently offer:

  • New Clients — New clients get their first 15 pages proofed for free.

  • Referrals — Upon receipt of the first payment from each new client you refer, you will receive 20% off your next Standard job.


There are other discounts you may come across as we develop our relationship.

Do you work weekends? Holidays?

I work any day of the week with no extra charge for weekends or holidays. I have a calendar that I update with days that I know I will be unavailable or when I am booked solid. You can access that calendar here.

When does the timer start and end on a job?

The turnaround time begins when I receive the transcript PDF. When you’re sending a transcript in chunks as you finish them, each section has its own clock and will appear separately on your invoice.

I set my deadline by adding the maximum number of hours for the turnaround to the time of receipt. If you set a deadline, the turnaround is adjusted accordingly.

For example:

A 200-page deposition is sent in 3 parts and is due by 4:00 PM on Friday.


Received
Part 1 (80 pgs) — 9:00 AM Tue.
Part 2 (50 pgs) — 1:30 PM Wed.
Part 3 (70 pgs) — 6:00 PM Thurs.


Returned
Part 1 — By 9:00 AM Fri. — Standard
Part 2 — By 1:30 PM Fri. — Rush
Part 3 — By 4:00 PM Fri. — Expedited

Will there be an upcharge for pages with 28 lines?

Yes, jobs with 28 lines (rather than 25) per page will have a small rate increase. This will appear as a separate line item on your invoice.

Please use the contact form to request a rate sheet.

Is there an upcharge for expert testimony?

Yes, slightly higher rates may be applicable for dense transcripts with lots of technical or medical jargon. Answers from expert witnesses tend to be verbose and require a lot more research; therefore, they are more difficult and take longer to read. I will try to notify you if this is likely before completing the entire transcript.

Please use the contact form to request a rate sheet.

Is there an upcharge for unpolished work?

It is anticipated that transcripts will be thoroughly scoped and basically turn-in ready by the time they are submitted for proofreading. If a job requires a lot of corrections, it takes much longer to proof and makes it more difficult to catch every error. A surcharge for jobs with corrections to 75% of the pages may be applicable, but I will try to notify you if this is likely before completing the entire transcript. Please complete the preference questionnaire to help ensure that only the corrections you want are marked.

Please use the contact form to request a rate sheet.

Will you negotiate your rates?

I am willing to discuss rate negotiations with reporting agencies for a high volume of work. My rates are in line with industry standards, and I am not able to negotiate them for individuals.

 

Billing & Payment Questions

How often do you invoice?

New clients will be invoiced via email immediately upon return of each of their first three jobs. During this period, new work will be accepted as each previous invoice is paid in full. Once these initial invoices have been paid on time, invoices will be sent on the 1st and 15th of each month going forward.

When is payment due?

Payment is due within 15 calendar days from the invoice date. Late fees will be assessed, and new jobs will not be accepted for accounts over 7 days past due.

Is there a fee for late payments?

After 30 days from the due date, late payments will incur a 10% late fee. New jobs will not be accepted for accounts over 7 days past due.

What methods of payment do you accept?

I currently accept the following payment methods:

  • Check

  • Money order

  • Cash App

  • PayPal

  • Visa

  • Mastercard

  • American Express

  • Discover

  • ACH


There is no surcharge for any payment method at this time.

 

Miscellaneous Questions

Do you offer scoping or transcription services?

Sorry, I am not able to offer scoping or transcription services at this time.

Are you on Stenovate?

I created a Stenovate account during the free trial period, but I have not maintained the subscription.

How do I save my transcript as a PDF?

You will need to submit your transcripts to me as Portable Document Format (PDF) files. If you do not already have the ability to print to PDF, you can use a free program called CutePDF.

To install and print with CutePDF:

  1. Go here and click the Free Download link on the right.

  2. Open the downloaded file and follow the prompts to install.

  3. You may or may not need to restart your computer.

  4. Inside your software, with a transcript open, go to Print.

  5. Where you would normally select a paper printer, select CutePDF Writer.

  6. Click Print.

  7. Select a location, enter a name for your file, and click Save.

  8. Attach the newly created PDF file to an email specifying your deadline, and send it to me.


If this still doesn’t work, you may have to restart your computer or software, then try again starting at Step 4.


Please feel free to contact me for further assistance.

How do I open the PDF with your corrections?

To open the PDF with my corrections, you will need the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.


To install and use Adobe Acrobat Reader:

  1. Go here, read the Optional offers and de-select any you don’t want, then click Install now.

  2. Open the downloaded file and follow the prompts to install.

  3. Open and review the corrected PDF of your transcript.


Please feel free to contact me for further assistance.

 

Still have questions?

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Peacock Wordsmithing

d/b/a Peacock Sheetsmithing

peacockwordsmithing [at] gmail [dot] com

(919) 964-0128

Raleigh, NC, USA

©2020 by Peacock Wordsmithing, LLC

The bird is the word!