Lisa de Caux – Proofreader

What is your specialism within book publishing? 



Can you describe what you do in 10 words or fewer?

I provide the double-check and tidy-up before publication.


What led you to go freelance? 

I’d been an accountant for more than ten years, and thought of proofreading every so often. The chance of redundancy came up at the same time as my little girl started primary school. It was the right time to change careers and go freelance.


Do you work primarily for publishing companies or independent authors or a mix? 

I work for a publishing company. I trained with the Publishing Training Centre and started my proofreading career with business writing and independent academic authors – I continue with this work. Working with a publisher on fiction books has come in the last six months. I’m still quite new to the publishing industry.


What’s the best part of doing what you do?

I get to be part of the publishing process – my teenage self would never have believed it was possible that I could look at a published book and know that I’d helped!


What do you know now that you wish you had known when you started your freelance journey? 

It’s one thing to know in theory, but another to feel it in practice: there is no daily routine. This is one of the benefits of freelancing and also a huge change in mindset.


How many books are in your TBR (to be read) pile/list? And do you plan to read them all eventually? 

More than twenty … I hope to get through them all in the end, but the order of the pile keeps changing.


Do you prefer physical books or ebooks?

I read both types, but I prefer physical books. I like the feel of them in my hands – for me, the physical connection supports the mental connection.


Do you have any advice for anyone considering a career in publishing? 

Make sure you do your homework and get the appropriate training. As with any industry, you need to have an understanding of how it works.


What is your favourite children’s book and your favourite adult’s book? 

This doesn’t sound like a tricky question but … I wrote my undergraduate dissertation on CS Lewis and Susan Cooper! For younger children, I’d choose A Necklace of Raindrops by Joan Aiken.

As many of us do, I struggle to pick just one book.

The adult book that really got in my head last year was Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky.

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