An Interesting Proposal

Two Sundays ago, I logged on to Facebook late at night and noticed  a somewhat-frantic Facebook message from an old university friend.

She was in a bind and needed someone to proofread 40 pages of her master’s thesis by Wednesday afternoon. Would I be able to help, or help her find someone who could do it? She was willing to pay.

I won’t lie. I was interested. So I started racking my brain.

Truth is, I didn’t know anyone offhand. And I was off on weekdays, which would make the proofreading job completely possible.

In the end, I wrote her back. And after a few missed phone calls and delayed e-mail exchanges, I was on the case.

By this point, it was Tuesday. She said she’d e-mail it to me by 7 p.m. so I could turn it around for her by noon (!) on Wednesday.

Well, 7 p.m. actually ended up being 11:15 p.m. And I spent a good part of the night, and almost all morning, to edit it. And she got her proofread thesis a couple of minutes after noon.

Yesterday evening, we met up for (non-alcoholic) drinks and dessert, because she wanted to thank me for my help, but also to catch up on each other’s lives.

But I totally wasn’t expecting what came next.

It came out that somehow – between working and earning her degree – she’d been writing manuscripts for novels. And she wanted to get the first of them published for this fall.

Now, she wasn’t going to go the traditional route, by finding a publishing company. She thought she’d lose creative control over her book, if she did that.

She was going to self-publish. (I can only guess what you might think.)

She’d already looked into getting someone to do the cover art, and was currently looking into getting an ISDN bar code for the book. 

She just needed to find someone who was willing to proofread her manuscript.

Would I be interested in taking it on? Or, would I know someone who could do it for her?

If I took it on, it wouldn’t be a rush job like her thesis. I’d apparently get a couple of months to do it. And the manuscript would be at least a couple hundred pages.  

So here I am again, mulling it over. 

On one hand, I’d get to do something that’s kind of interesting. And the compensation for the job might be sweet. (But then, it brings up another issue of dealing with the tax-man. And this isn’t something I can do under the table, because I’m SURE it would catch up with me later.)

But on the other hand, I’m not a professional proofreader. And besides, what exactly would I be getting myself into? And – heaven forbid – what if her book wasn’t any good

I have until next week to give her an answer.

Time to start thinkin’ about it.

*Image courtesy of smyles blog.


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