Proofing Your Interior Files

As you review your book’s interior, please keep in mind that any changes made at this point should be limited to correcting outright errors. Once a book is laid out, it’s important to avoid making any changes that would result in repagination of the book. Repagination primarily occurs when too much text is either deleted or added to a page, thus causing all the lines that follow to shift either up or down to compensate for the change.

When reviewing the files, there are a few things to know:

  • The PDF you received will look different on the screen than it does in print. I recommend that you print out the pages before proofing so that you get a better sense of how the book will look in a reader’s hands. When you do, make sure you choose to print it off at actual size through your print options.
  • If any errors are to be found at this stage, they are typically not in the body of the text. They usually show up in text added after the bulk of editing is done (such as front and back matter).
  • If your book contains blank pages, those are intentional. The PDF displays the book one page at a time, but readers experience the printed book in two-page spreads. I have the book set up so that each chapter starts on a recto (right-hand page in a spread). If you thumb through a few books from your shelf, you’ll see that that’s common practice. To make sure this happens, I had to insert a blank verso (left-hand page) in places where the previous chapter ended on a recto.
  • If you revise a whole phrase or sentence at this stage, try to replace any omitted text with the same number of characters to avoid repagination.
  • Anything on the copyright page marked with a TK means “info to come” and will be filled out before the final version goes to print.

To indicate changes you want made to the proof, my preference is for you to use the comment tools in Adobe Acrobat Reader to mark up the file and then send it back to me. If you are unfamiliar with these tools, here is a helpful YouTube tutorial on how to use them: (Note: Please do not use Adobe’s “Edit PDF” tool to make changes. Changes made using that tool aren’t trackable, so I won’t be able to incorporate your edits into the design file.)

If you aren’t comfortable with using Adobe Acrobat, you can also indicate changes in one of these ways:

  • Print out the pages, mark the changes you want made, and deliver the pages to me (either physically or by scanning the pages and emailing them to me).
  • Send me a digest of the changes you need made in a Word document. When doing so, indicate both the printed page number and line number (from the top) where the change needs to take place. (Eg. P. 126, Line 15: Change “to there own homes” to “to their own homes”).

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