- offer a managed service for you – this saves you time looking for the right editor
- act as a bridge between you and the editor – you won’t need to negotiate terms
- may have a large pool of editors and proofreaders that they can draw on, so they may ‘fit’ you with the right editor for your writing
- can often offer quick turnaround times
- can arbitrate with the editor if you are unhappy with the work done
- may offer more attractive rates
- You are taking the word of the agency about the skills its employees have.
- You won’t necessarily know who has edited your work.
- You may not be able to have the same editor for future work.
- If there is no direct contact with your proofreader or editor, you can’t develop a working relationship with them.
- Work may be given to proofreaders on the basis of availability, rather than suitability.
- Agencies do not always pay good rates to freelancers and so can often be an entry point for new proofreaders willing to accept lower pay to gain experience – you may not get the benefit of an experienced professional.
GOOD FOR WHEN:
- You need a straightforward proofread and you don’t mind who does it.
- You don’t need to have a working relationship with a named proofreader.
- You can research an individual and establish their level of training and experience.
- You can develop a working relationship with your proofreader for ongoing work.
- Many freelancers don’t work conventional office hours and so can provide quick turnarounds. They may work at weekends, or even overnight.
- A freelance editor may charge higher rates than an agency.
- An experienced professional will be in demand and may not have capacity when you need them.
- It may take you longer to find the freelancer who is just right for you!
GOOD FOR WHEN:
- You or your company has specific requirements of a proofreader, e.g. technical or niche knowledge, evidence of particular training, or membership of a professional body such as the Society for Editors and Proofreaders.
- You would like to choose your proofreader personally.
- You would like to work closely with your proofreader on a regular basis.