9 Items to Check on Your Book’s Proof

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When it’s time to check the proof copy or the Advance Reader Copy (ARC) or the galleys–all those terms refer to a copy of you your (Thanks, Andrea, for catching that typo!) book that is pre-publication and is one of the last chances to make corrections–take your time. It’s a last chance at perfection.

Here’s a brief look at what you should check:

Proof your Book Cover

  • Spelling of everything. How many times have you seen a crazy sign that has a misspelling that someone failed to catch? Don’t be that person!
  • Placement of crucial elements. Do any of the cover art elements interact with the text elements in odd ways? Is anything too close to each other, too close to the spine, too close to the edge?
  • Promo copy. Have you gotten any new promo copy, new blurbs, new reviews? If anything new has come in since the proof was typeset, this is the time to update any promo copy you can.
  • Color Reproduction. Probably the cover artist/designer and/or the art director/editor will do most of this. But they will value your input. Speak up if something bothers you.

Proof your Book Interior

New official author photo of Darcy Pattison

New official author photo of Darcy Pattison

  • Spelling of everything. Ditto from above.
  • Grammar of everything. Likewise, this is one last chance to prevent the grammar witches from haunting you.
  • Facts. If there are any factual elements to your story, this is the last chance to check and make corrections. I recently found a wrong date in a book!
  • Layout and design. Mostly you’ll look for consistency of design. Are the same design elements applied at the beginning of each chapter? Are scene cuts in the middle of a chapter indicated the same way?
  • Author Biography. Update your author biography one last time, if needed, adding in any new and appropriate promo material. At this point, you can even insert a new author photo, if you like.

Think of the proofing process as your last chance at perfection. If something is less than perfect–speak up. Make changes. Don’t let this opportunity pass without making the changes needed to produce the best book possible.

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