#3: Proofs

After months of working with plain Word documents, our creative director, Jane Matthews, brings the book to life at the proofs stage. Proofs are the laid-out pages as they will appear in the final printed book.

All our books go through five rounds of proofs:

  • Proof 0: This is really a pre-proof that only the designer, editor and illustrator see. We use this proof to gauge the exact space available for Nicky Hooper's illustrations (more on that in next month's newsletter).
  • Proof 1: Once Nicky has finished all the artwork, it's set with the text to create the first complete proof. This is the proof that the author sees and is the version that they and the editor proofread.
  • Proof 2: The editor checks each and every change from proof 1 against this new, updated proof to make sure they've all been made and interpreted correctly. The author also casts their eye over this proof to make sure they're happy with it.
  • Proof 3: Any changes from proof 2 are double checked and the author signs off on this proof. It then gets sent to a proofreader for a final read by a fresh pair of eyes. The index is also created during this stage.
  • Proof 4: The final changes from the second proofread are double checked. No further changes should be made after this point.

Once the editor has signed off on the final proof, everything gets bundled into a packaged design file or a press-ready PDF to send to the printer.

Did you know that proofreaders have their own shorthand for marking up corrections and changes? At Blasta Books we're old school and still proofread on paper, but the changes are marked up on a PDF and emailed back to the typesetter. Gone are the days of queuing at the post office two or three times a week to mail back printouts marked up with all those symbols.  

You can read the rest of the newsletter here.

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