Proofing Your Book’s Interior: What You Need to Know
Congratulations, and welcome to the Proof Round! Your book designer has completed your book’s interior and now it’s time for you to review the work and decide whether it’s ready for print, or if some changes need to be made.
In this video, I’ll show you:
- how to view your book’s interior,
- how to tell the difference between ‘author errors’ and ‘publisher errors’,
- and how to send corrections back to us.
- I’ll also discuss when and where interior corrections fees may apply.
How to View Your Interior PDF
To begin proofing, open the PDF file of your book’s interior. If you need help downloading the PDF or if you need it sent to you another way, contact a representative.
Once the file is open, go to “View” and “Page Display.” Make sure that “Two-Up Continuous” and “Show Cover Page During Two-Up” are selected. This will allow you to view your book’s interior in double-page spreads, exactly how the pages will appear when someone holds your final book open. All the even-numbered pages will be on the left and all the odd-numbered pages will be on the right.
If Everything Looks Good
If you approve your interior, all you have to do is notify a representative by email. But if you find any errors, or if anything needs to be changed, you’ll need to list the corrections on our Proof Form. I’ll show you how to fill out the Proof Form in just a moment, but first, I want to discuss the two kinds of errors and when corrections fees may apply.
Author Errors & Publisher Errors
There are two kinds of errors: author errors and publisher errors. Before you have approved your interior for publication, there is never a charge for publisher errors, but author errors are not always free of charge.
- “Publisher Errors” are generally design or formatting changes, where your book designer has made a stylistic decision you just don’t agree with, such as the size or spacing of the text or the appearance or placement of chapter titles.
- “Author Errors” are errors carried over from the original manuscript. They are most often typographical or grammatical mistakes, but can also include misuse of the spacebar, tab, or enter keys.
Each time you submit corrections, it is called a “proof round”. Publisher errors are free in every proof round, but author errors are not. In your first proof round, you may submit up to 50 author errors at no additional charge. After the first proof round, there are no free author corrections. If you have more than 50 author errors in your first proof round, additional fees will apply. If you do not use all fifty free author error corrections in the first round, they cannot be carried over into any later proof rounds. If you have more than 100 corrections, a re-tech of your interior may be a more convenient and affordable option. Ask a representative for more information.
The Proof Form
Filling out the proof form correctly will ensure your corrections are completed accurately and as quickly as possible. Here are some tips and guidelines to use while completing the form.
At the bottom of the first page, be sure to type in your book’s title, your name, your project ID number, and the date. On the next page, you can begin listing the changes that need to be made. You can type directly into the Proof Form. Please enter each correction on a separate line. When typing inside the form, you can easily use the ‘tab’ key to move from one block to the next.
The first three columns of the correction form are to help us locate the error.
- For page number, be sure you are entering the number printed on the actual page of your book, not the number provided by Adobe Acrobat, the program used for viewing PDFs.
- For paragraph number, please count down from the top of the page. If the page begins mid-paragraph, count the partial paragraph as the first paragraph. For example: you would say this error appears in paragraph 3.
- For line number, enter the line in the paragraph where the error occurs. For example: you would say this error appears in line 5.
In the next two columns, “old” and “new,” you’ll enter the way the error appears now, and how it should appear when corrected. If the error is a one-word change, we ask that you please include the words before and after the error. This will help us locate it more quickly. If the correction is a design or layout change, use the ‘old’ column to describe what you do not like about the current design or layout. For example: ‘lettering is too small’ or ‘image is in the wrong place’. Then, in the ‘new’ column, describe how you would like the design or layout to be changed. When making design and layout changes, be as specific as possible about how you would like things changed.
In the ‘comment’ column, you can enter any additional information that might help your book designer understand the correction.
Finally, if the error is a Publisher Error, place an ‘X’ in the last column. This is so that you do not get charged for any publisher errors.
Fifty lines are included in the form, but if you have more than fifty corrections, you can add additional lines by clicking inside the last block and hitting the ‘tab’ key. You can continue tabbing to add however many lines you need.
Submitting Your Corrections
When you’re finished filling out the form, save it under a new name to your desk top. Then attach the new document to an email and send it to your representative. If you’re not sure who to send the document to, please call us and we’ll be happy to look this up for you. Once we receive your corrections and any payment that may be required, it will take 1 to 2 weeks for us to prepare and send you a revised interior proof. Once you have approved both your interior and your cover, we can submit your book to the printer.
When reviewing your interior for errors, here are few additional things to look for:
- If your book has a table of contents, make sure the page numbers are accurate. If they are not, you do not need to list every instance where the page numbers are wrong. Just put “table of contents needs updated” on your Proof Form and mark it as a Publisher Error. We’ll correct all the page numbers for you.
- If a word is misspelled throughout your book, you do not need to list every instance of the word on your proof form. This kind of change is called a “global change”. On the proof form, under page number, type “global change”. You can skip paragraph number and line number. Under “old” type the word as it appears now, and then under “new” type the word as it should appear when corrected. Global changes are usually reserved for proper nouns, such as the names of certain characters or cities. It is important to be careful when making global changes. For example, you might not want to globally change the word ‘red’ to ‘orange’, because ‘red’ is also a part of many other words.
- If you’re replacing, removing, or adding images, please give your designer a specific phrase of text with which to pair each image. This is more reliable than using page numbers, as your text may shift during the corrections process.
- The cut lines, gutter marks, and watermark visible in your interior will not appear in the final book.
- If you have purchased a Library of Congress control number, this number may not appear in your interior until after the book has been submitted to the printer. This is the only item that will be added to your book after you have approved it.
- If you have purchased index creation, please check the index to make sure the page numbers are accurate. If they are not, you do not need to list each incorrect page number on the Proof Form. Instead, simply include on the form that ‘index needs updated’. If you are supplying your own completed index, it will be your responsibility to review and update the index whenever changes are made in your interior. We cannot update an author-supplied index.
- Finally, be as thorough as possible with your first proof round. Submitting additional rounds of corrections will add to your book’s production time, and if you find any errors after the book has been released, a resubmission fee will be required before any changes can be made. There are no free author error corrections during the resubmission process.
If you have any questions or concerns about the Proof Round or the Proof Form, please contact a representative.