Elizabeth Thorlton

Elizabeth Thorlton - Editor

Maumelle, Arkansas, USA

Professional proofreader specializing in fiction writing, OCR recognition cleanup, and cookbooks.

Request a quote


I’m a professional proofreader with nine years’ experience in the business. My goal when pursuing my English degree was to find a way to read for a living, and that’s exactly what I’ve done. While I’ve worked on everything from cookbooks to memoirs to children’s episodic stories, my favorite projects are fiction . . . and cookbooks.

I follow the guidelines of Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition. Merriam-Webster is my dictionary of choice. I do my utmost to make sure that every project adheres to these guidelines without disrupting the author’s core style. By the time a project reaches me, it’s typically in its final stages. My job isn’t to question your plot; my job is to make sure that no mistakes in grammar or layout derail the reader and ruin an otherwise spectacular reading experience.

That’s right; I firmly believe that tight lines or a poorly placed em dash can spoil a book as easily as a character name that nobody knows how to pronounce. That final polish a proofreader brings is critical. I’m looking not only for grammatical mishaps but also for widows, orphans, stacks, awkward spacing, consistency with headers and footers, and any other tomfoolery trying to sneak into your work.

Check out the books in my portfolio below. While I was copyeditor for a few of these, I typically was the proofreader. There are memoirs (Apocalypse Child), quirky coffee table books (Goat Yoga), young adult fiction (Scripted Unscripted), thrillers (Task Lyst), horror (Diabhal), and so much more. I crave variety in my reading but consistency in my work, so while I don’t have a specific genre I prefer to work in, I provide the same level of attention to detail to each and every project, no matter the topic.

Another project I love: cleaning up OCR recognition files. These would be things that were scanned into a PDF format and then converted to a Word document, oftentimes previously published books with no digital file. I’ll read through and format to prepare for editing or typesetting, correcting any errors that were introduced in the scanning process or left over from the initial printing. Is it tedious? Yes. Is it boring? I mean, I can definitely think of more exciting things. Is it perfect for someone who stays at home with three small children and therefore craves the satisfaction of restoring order to chaos? A resounding yes. This was done for Jane Butel’s cookbooks, the Eugenia Price collections, and the Max Byrd thrillers.
English (US)
Contemporary Fiction
Mystery & Crime
Thriller & Suspense
Young Adult
Cooking, Food, Wine, & Spirits

Work experience

Freelance Proofreader

July, 2014 – Present (over 8 years)

—Proofread documents, including fiction and nonfiction book manuscripts, ebooks, online articles, short stories, children's stories, essays, collegiate and master's level papers, and thesis papers
—Check for grammatical, syntactical, and spelling errors
—Offer corrections to enhance the text
—Ensure the text stays on target and makes sense. Look for plot holes and inconsistencies.
—Assist with document layout prior to typesetting
—Prepare scanned-to-text documents (e.g., OCR recognition Word files) for editing and/or typesetting

Contract Freelancer

Various clients
August, 2014 – August, 2017 (about 3 years)

I had a variety of contracts with differing responsibilities, listed as comprehensively as possible below.
—Copyedited and proofread short stories for interactive online app for children
—Proofread children's books
—Copyedited stories translated to English for clarity and accuracy
—Ghostwrote book on health and wellness
—Ghostwrote copy for educational website and booklet
—Proofread interviews for compiled works; ensured clarity and consistency across entire work
—Copyeditor and proofreader for a variety of fiction and nonfiction titles

Backlist Editor

Turner Publishing
October, 2013 – May, 2014 (7 months)

—Spearheaded the column 5 initiative, which worked to ensure all previously published titles were available in hardcover, paperback, and ebook formats. Focused chiefly on the recently acquired John Wiley & Sons general trade imprint
—Proofread revised manuscripts; manipulated documents in InDesign and Acrobat to ensure accuracy and preparedness for printing
—Coordinated with designers to ensure interiors and covers were available in digital format; worked with various scanning facilities to create digital files for out of stock books
—Coordinated the creation of hardcover books from paperback design files with print-on-demand facility
—Manipulated previously designed cover and interior files to meet new trim sizes
—Cleaned up scanned PDFs for reprinting by removing extraneous marks and smudges, ensuring proper page order, and removing/replacing outdated material
—Prepared documents for ebook conversion; ensured ebooks appeared at all applicable venues
—Calculated proper pricing for paper and ebooks
—Created ebook summaries for use in marketplace
—Reported weekly in meetings on project progress

Editorial Intern

Turner Publishing
February, 2012 – October, 2013 (over 1 year)

—Proofread new manuscripts, both fiction and nonfiction, including titles by New York Times bestselling authors, at various stages of development.
—Proofread final press passes, jacket copy, indexes, and ebook files
—Cleaned up documents for books that were being redesigned from a scanned file. This included removing extraneous symbols, ensuring all pages are accounted for and in order, and correcting any spelling errors that occurred during text recognition
—Incorporated corrections to documents via Adobe InDesign and Microsoft Word
—Applied for CIP data, and registered books with copyright office
—Generated TIP sheets and ONIX data for feeds to market
—Created synopses of books for use in marketplace
—Compiled excerpts of ebooks for Kindle promotions

Portfolio (89 selected works)

Goat Yoga: The Light in Me Honors the Goat in You

Yoga Shenanigoats, Hylbert, Ashley

Fuse Time

Byrd, Max

Root Cause

Laine, Steven

A Cup Of Coffee With 10 Leading Attorneys In The United States: Constitutional Champions Share Their Stories, Experiences, And Insights

Mack-Wagner Esq., Laurie A., Van Ittersum, Randy, Dunn Esq., Paul J., Stanley Esq., Joe, Boyer Esq., Kim, Meyer Esq., Matthew, Gengo Esq., Laurie B., Trapani Esq., Matthew, Borsen Esq., Andrew J., Dougherty Esq., Adam T.

Task Lyst

Hylbert, Scott

Scripted Unscripted

Miranda, Kristina

The Lairdbalor

Kaufman, Kathleen

The Ables

Scott, Jeremy

Diabhal: Diabhal Book 1

Kaufman, Kathleen

The Waiting Time

Price, Eugenia

Another Kingdom

Klavan, Andrew

Clashes of Cavalry

Hatch, Thom

Everything's Not Fine

Carlson, Sarah

School Is So Cool

Gluck, Ana Cristina, Medina, Lorelyn

The Best Kept Secret

Auerbach, Dr. Andrea

Conquering Jerusalem

Dando-Collins, Stephen

Constantine at the Bridge

Dando-Collins, Stephen

Paradise, WV

Rufus, Rob

Foul Ball

Bouton, Jim

All the Love: Healing Your Heart and Finding Meaning After Pregnancy Loss

Hooper, Kim, Resnick, Meredith, Diep, Huong PsyD

Cover Your Tracks

Auffenorde, Daco

A Season of Disruption

Walker, Jacqueline

Elizabeth has 3 reviews

Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Jacqueline P Walker
Elizabeth provided detailed explanations for her proofreading edits and went the extra mile helping to straighten out pagination issues. Her punctuality and courteous responses were also greatly appreciated.

Jacqueline P Walker, May 2021

Elizabeth Thorlton
Thank you, Jackie! It was a pleasure to work with you.

Reply from Elizabeth Thorlton

Mary Lindsey
Elizabeth did an excellent job of proof-reading my manuscript. It is amazing to me that, prior to submitting my manuscript to Elizabeth, I went it through three times, as well as two of my friends, AND still there was so much we missed and she caught!! Not only did she do an excellent job proofing the document, she explained what the correction was in a comment to me, and she attached a s...
Read more

Mary Lindsey, March 2021

Elizabeth Thorlton
Thank you for your review, Mary! And for collaborating with me. It was a pleasure to work on your project, and I wish you all the best as you continue on your publishing journey!

Reply from Elizabeth Thorlton

Jasmine Acquaah
Good. 🙏😇

Jasmine Acquaah, May 2020

Explore the Reedsy Community

Reedsy is a community of top publishing professionals. Join Reedsy today to browse 1000+ profiles.

Kristen Weber

Developmental Editor with 20+ years of experience. I know exactly what it takes to get your manuscript ready for the world.

New York, NY, USA

Cari Rosen

Editor/copyeditor of fiction and narrative non-fiction and memoir. Author and ghostwriter.

London, UK

To view 1,000+ more profiles, Join Reedsy