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Oops Detection®

Oops Detection® Final Pass Service


You’re almost ready to go. Your manuscript’s been through edits and proofreading, and you feel like you’ve read it so many times you can recite it by heart. But… you’d feel better with just one more set of eyes on your book before it goes live.


“Oops Detection,” often called a cold read, is affordable and it’s great for:

  • Putting that last bit of polish on your book.
  • Giving yourself peace of mind that it’s ready, already.
  • Evaluating your editor / proofreader.
  • Fixing Optical Character Recognition (OCR) conversions – That’s when a print document is scanned in preparation to convert it to digital format. OCR software can, will, and does do wonky stuff to text, such as replacing letters with numbers, dropping punctuation, and changing some words completely (wife to with, for instance).

Please note:

  • Oops Detection is not meant to be a shortcut around editing, nor is it even meant to replace proofreading. It is a LAST check, meant to catch that pesky handful of “oopses” that always manages to slip through. For more information about the production process, I invite you to read Courtney Milan’s excellent article about the subject.
  • Oops Detection is a service that I and an assistant provide in our spare time – our free time. That is why I am able to keep my rates low. I make no secret about the fact that I am a very small shop. It’s just me and a couple of assistants. Depending upon my own work schedule (i.e. manuscript editing), our collective family obligations, and how many books are in the queue, turnaround time on Oops Detection may vary.
  • If we feel your book needs proofreading, I’ll do my best to notify you as soon as possible. I’ll generally write up an Oops Report on the part of your manuscript that did get marked up, but, again–Oops Detection isn’t meant to replace other parts of the editorial process.
  • If you’re a new Oops Detection client, please refer to my Oops Detection FAQ.



Reading Fee

This is a flat fee that covers the time spent reading your book. It is assessed based on length and is nonrefundable once we start reading.


  • $.0011 per word
    Example:50,000 words x .0011 = $55.00

Charge per “Oops”

We look for errors such as missing words, double words, misspellings, homophones and usage errors (loose instead of lose, for example), and obvious punctuation errors (such as a missing period, a question mark instead of a period, missing dialog tags, etc.). We also point out any really strange formatting issues that we spot, though we don’t necessarily look for chapter breaks and such.

Hyphenation issues: We won’t flag hyphenation problems with compound adjectives, but will flag words that should be hyphenated (or one word, or open) according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

While I can’t guarantee that your book will fall under a certain budgeted amount, I do try to keep an eye on the number of oopses. If it looks like you’d be better served by getting a proofread, I’ll send you an e-mail and you can decide how to proceed at that point. You can have me continue, or you can opt to switch to proofreading. If you switch to proofreading, your reading fee will be credited toward the initial deposit on editing work (minus the prorated reading fee and oopses detected at that point). Alternately, you can pay the invoice as it stands and will hopefully make other arrangements for editing.


  • $2.50 / “oops”

Priority Status (Optional)

Got a deadline and need a quick turnaround? We may be able to bump you to the head of the line.

Note: This service may not be necessary, even if your book is an add-on. It all depends on the current queue. I’m always happy to share projected timelines with you, so feel free to ask what the schedule looks like. On the flip side, during holidays and other peak times, Priority Status may not be available.


  • $.0011 per word


Curious what an “Oops Detection” entails, what a report looks like, and how you’ll be billed? Debora Geary has kindly given me her permission to post her report for A Modern Witch.

Here’s the pricing break-down for Debora’s book:

Reading Fee: $89.10 (81,000 words x .0011)
“Oops” Fee: $27.50
TOTAL: $113.10


A Modern Witch – Oops Report