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Terms & Conditions

The Client agrees that by engaging ProofNik to provide proofreading and/or copyediting services the Client has read, and accepts, the Terms and Conditions listed below.

The Client is referred to below as ‘you’,
and Nikky Winchester of ProofNik will be referred to as ‘I’ or ‘me’.

General overview

  • These terms and conditions apply to any work ProofNik undertakes for the Client.

  • The work will be carried out unsupervised at such times and places as determined by ProofNik, using equipment owned by ProofNik.

  • ProofNik will provide services as mutually agreed by both parties and confirmed in writing by the Client.

Scope of work

  • The job will be completed according to the specifications as outlined in the quote; either proofreading or copyediting, or both.

  • The quote will be based on the information provided by you. Should this change, the quote will be adjusted accordingly and you will be informed prior to work commencing.​​​​​​

  • Should you decide after the job is complete that you would like the manuscript to undergo a further stage of editing, that work will be the subject of a separate agreement.

  • The copyediting and proofreading will primarily be carried out by using Track Changes and Comments within a Word document or Google Doc. In some cases you will be given a copy of my style sheet, which will include a list of all consistency-related style and spelling choices.


Copyediting is defined as enhancing the writing to ensure the target audience receives the intended message in the style that is required and fit for purpose. ​This includes checking and correcting:

  • ​Content and structure - I check if the manuscript is complete. Does the list of contents match the headings and page numbers? Are footnotes necessary? Do clickable links work?​

  • Correct sentence and paragraph structure and phrasing - Errors in spelling, punctuation, grammar, style and usage.

  • Consistency and appropriateness of language - I check that the language used is appropriate for the target audience. That is, is it at the right level, or is the slang used likely to be understood or match the character. In fiction, I also check that characters haven't changed their name or hair colour, look for sudden changes from first to third person and monitor the timeline, among other things. I keep a style sheet of decisions on alternative spellings, hyphenation, italics, capitals, units of measurement, how quotations are presented and much more.

  • Layout of headings, paragraphs and illustrations – I format headings and paragraphs using Word Styles or Google Doc style templates and I check that images support the text, with clear captions.

  • Accuracy – I will check for misquotations, factual errors, misspelt names, misused words, numbers that don't add up and incomplete references, and will check or query them. I will also query anything that does not seem to make sense. However, the author is ultimately responsible for what they write.

  • Legal issues – I will flag any instances I see of plagiarism or breach of copyright, libel, obscenity, incitement to racial hatred. However, responsibility for these remains with the writer and publisher.

Copyediting does not include extensive rewriting or restructuring, ghost writing, proofreading, text or cover design, indexing, research, copyright permissions or project management.


Proofreading is defined as correcting mistakes to ensure that there are no errors that could detract from the published work, and that the work looks polished and professional. It is usually the final step before publication, and after all other levels of editing have been completed. This includes checking and correcting:   

  • ​Spelling (following whichever convention has been decided on).

  • Punctuation.

  • Grammar.

  • Typographical errors.

  • Overall consistency throughout the document of spelling as well as of fonts, page numbers, headings, line spacing, and numbers relating to references, contents and diagram lists etc.   

  • Formatting the document using Word Styles or Google Doc style templates so that all parts of the document are consistent.      

​​Proofreading does not include copyediting (unless a sentence is grammatically incorrect, it will not be changed for style reasons). If extensive changes are needed, I will first discuss the situation with you. Proofreading also does not include indexing, page layout/design, seeking permissions.

Contract terms

  • Prior to commencement of work, the Client and ProofNik will agree, in writing, to the terms of the contract, including:

    • The level of work I am being asked to complete, being either Step One, Step Two, or both Steps;

    • Whether you want your work to be edited in New Zealand, British or American English;

    • The medium which will be used to complete the work (Word; Google Docs; paper; or a combination thereof);

    • The choice of annotation (Track Changes; traditional hard copy mark-up; or a separate list of comments and suggested changes);

    • The estimated fee payable;

    • Any additional expenses I am likely to incur on top of the fee (e.g. postage);

    • The date by which I will receive the material;

    • The latest date by which I will return the completed work.

  • You will also be asked to provide an email address that is checked regularly, in the event of any queries which arise during the course of the work.

  • If, in the early stages of editing, it becomes apparent that significantly more work is required than originally anticipated in initial communications with you or from the sample supplied, I reserve the right to renegotiate the terms of the contract.

  • If additional material or requests for service are made after the work has commenced, I may deem the terms of the contract to have been breached and may approach you to renegotiate the contract.


  • The date of the start of the project will be agreed in writing at the time of accepting the quote. This constitutes booking a scheduled service.

  • All material required to complete the project (as advised by me) will be required to be in my possession prior to 9.00 a.m. (New Zealand time) on the day of the agreed start of the project. Not receiving the documents prior to the start time may result in a cancellation of the project, with cancellation penalties as outlined below.

  • The deadline and manner of delivery of the completed document shall be set by mutual agreement. I shall make every reasonable effort to ensure, but shall not guarantee, that delivery dates are met.

  • The delivery date of the completed document may be changed by mutual agreement of both parties.

Pricing and payment

  • I will supply an estimate for services based on a sample of the work and the deadline for completion. 

  • You will pay a fee per hour to cover the total length of time spent on the work.

  • Any changes or alterations to the scope, content or specification of the job requested by you after I have commenced the job shall be charged to you at the full standard rate.

  • All charges are inclusive of any taxes payable by ProofNik.

  • I reserve the right to charge at a rate higher than the standard rate where the following circumstances apply:

    • The job is unusually complex;

    • The document has been written by a person whose native language is not English;

    • The job calls for highly specialised professional knowledge or skill in order for it to be successfully completed;

    • The job must be completed within an unusually short timeframe.

  • ProofNik is not GST registered.

  • Unless otherwise agreed, full payment will be made by Clients within 7 days of the date of the invoice.

  • I accept payment via bank transfer in NZ dollars.

  • Some fees may apply and will be itemised on the invoice.

  • Overdue accounts will attract interest accrued at 5% per month, after 60 days outstanding.

  • You shall be liable for any additional expenses or legal costs incurred by me when pursuing payment of arrears.

  • I shall be entitled to retain possession of the work undertaken for you until I have been paid in full for my work.

  • In the case of a delayed payment by you of monies owing, the start date of the project may be delayed. I will not be held responsible for deadlines not being met due to late payment.

Bookings accepted more than 30 days prior to the agreed start date

  • Booking fee: A NON-REFUNDABLE booking fee of 10% of the estimated total cost for all services scheduled (including estimated cost of agreed expenses) will be due at the time you agree to the quote and the terms and conditions. The booking fee will be deducted from the final invoice. A space in my schedule is not reserved until this fee has cleared.

  • Deposit: An additional deposit of 40% of the estimated total cost for all services scheduled (including estimated cost of agreed expenses) will be due 7 days prior to the agreed start date.

  • Balance: Payment of the balance for work completed (including actual cost of agreed expenses) is due 7 days after the return of the completed manuscript.

Bookings accepted within 30 days of the agreed start date

  • Deposit:​ A NON-REFUNDABLE deposit of 50% of the estimated total cost for all services scheduled (including estimated cost of agreed expenses) will be due at the time you agree to the quote and the terms and conditions. 

  • Balance: Payment of the balance for work completed (including actual cost of agreed expenses) is due 7 days after the return of the completed manuscript.

Cancellation policy

  • ProofNik reserves the right to turn down any job, especially if given less than 24 hours’ notice.

  • If you cancel the job within the agreed time frame and before it has been completed, you will still need to pay for whatever work has been completed up until the point at which the cancellation notice was received by me. It is your responsibility to ensure I have received and acknowledged the notice of cancellation.

  • In the unlikely case that I terminate the agreement, you will pay for work completed up to the date of termination. 

  • ProofNik and the Client both have the right to terminate a contract for services at any time if there is a serious breach of its terms.

  • If, once the booking has been cancelled, you decide to reschedule, your project will be scheduled for my next availability. There would also be a new non-refundable booking fee to secure the space.

Privacy policy

  • I respect client privacy and will not collect or retain information unless it is provided voluntarily for the purposes of emailing updates about specific services, special privileges and other items of interest. 

  • I will never sell, pass on, distribute, transfer or otherwise trade Clients’ material or information with a third party.

  • Personal details are required when a Client engages my services. Once the work has been completed, I will keep on record only such information as is necessary for continued contact, unless otherwise stipulated by the Client.

  • Document(s) will be deleted from the ProofNik computer after the completed work has been returned to the Client and full payment has been received.

Satisfaction policy

  • Unless agreed in the contract, my services do not include: correcting errors in information, shortening, reformatting, or improving the content of the text.

  • I will work with you to ensure satisfaction and all work will be returned as a draft, subject to amendments by you. The work will deem to be completed only when you accept and sign off the final draft.

  • Please notify ProofNik of any concerns within 7 days of receiving the checked document.

Limitations and liability

  • ProofNik does not guarantee a promotion, good grades or any other achievement as a result of services provided.

  • You accept full responsibility for accuracy and originality as well as any residual errors that appear in the final version.

  • To the extent permitted by the laws of New Zealand, I accept no liability on any grounds for consequential damages or losses arising from any cause, including omission or negligence.

  • I shall not be held responsible for any loss to you due to delays not caused by me, loss of the subject matter in transit, or legal action against you as a result of publishing the document. 


  • ProofNik is not to be held responsible, or any incur costs from you or a third party, for any copyright infringement or other issues such as plagiarism, libel, slander etc.


  • All content delivered to ProofNik by the Client for processing remains the property of the Client.

  • Unless otherwise agreed, the ownership of any content created by me in the course of providing services for you will become your property once payment in full has been received.

Public disclosure and promotion

  • Testimonials are the best way to thank me for a job well done, so if you feel inclined to offer one after I've finished the job, I'd be very appreciative. I may add this to my website testimonial page, and it can be anonymous if you require.

  • I enjoy promoting my clients through social media when there's news to share (such as publication). This is a courtesy service on my part, not an obligation. You may notify me any time you have exciting news I can share, such as winning an award.

  • Note that I reserve the right to decline public credit for editing your project, including in the Acknowledgments and on my website, and to request that you do not publicise our working arrangement. I will notify you of this request should I feel it necessary.

Applicable laws

  • All work is governed by the laws of New Zealand, and the Courts of New Zealand shall have the sole and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and determine all disputes in connection with claims arising from work produced by ProofNik.

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