A proofreader is all about catching the last errors and checking the layout of the book on the page(s). They find and fix:
- overlooked punctuation problems
- transposed letters in words
- widow and orphan situations where a word or words is just left “hanging” at the top of a page.
- strange line spacing when text is justified
- Consistent styles for headings, subtitling, epigraphs, even endnotes, with regard to fonts and font sizes.
- Consistent spacing down the page for first pages of chapters
- Consistent formatting for paragraphs, indents and other “body text” issues
Different screen sizes may lead to a different page view for your story and weird page breaks or line breaks that can mess up the reader experience. Therefore, some proofreaders will check your book looks good in the different hardware e-readers and software apps.
The proofreader (line editor) is pretty much the last type of editor who will look at your book before it is publishable. Each time you do a conversion of the file to a different e-reader format, you’re going to want a proofreader to review it, to make sure that the conversion didn’t put in any strange characters.
Some converter programs don’t like “foreign” letters and replace them with boxes or even leave them out altogether, so this is very important if you use words like façade or mañana or über.