When many people use the word "proofreader," they really mean copy editor. Also, in some parts of the English-speaking world, the terms proofreaders and copy editors do mean the same thing. Copy editors make a text accurate.
This is the service most people think of when they think of an editor's work.
I think of copy editors as the finishing carpenters of the editing world. Editing is best done in a series of stages, with copy editing being the final stage. This is the edit you ask for when you know for sure that everything else about your text is as good as it can be. The foundation has been poured; the framing is finished; the doors windows are in. Or in literary terms, the book has a worthy message; the structure meets the goals of the writing; all text is necessary to reach those goals; no information is missing.
A copy editor needs an eye for detail. She should be someone who follows rules, but she should also understand when to break them for good effect.
He should be familiar with a variety of resources like style guides and dictionaries and know when to use each one.
Here is what is included in my copy editing service:
I am Canadian, and I edit Canadian, American, British, and Australian English.
As you can see from the top of this page, definitions are important in determining what service you will get from an editor. Be sure to ask any editor exactly what is included in your contract.
When you are ready, submit a sample of your writing to get a sample of my editing along with a firm quote for services, including copy editing as well as other forms of editing you may consider before getting a copy edit.