Manuscript Proofs - Our Publishing Process

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What are Proofs?

Proofs are a pre-publication copy of your finished book.

They can be printed – but we work with electronic versions. These consist of two PDF files:

  • Your full cover, back and front with the spine
  • The interior of your book, as it will look printed

The Proofs Workflow Section

The Proofs Workflow Section focuses on the interior of your book. It's the stage of production when we do the proofreading – the final checks on your text before printing.

Given that the final manuscript came through reasonably clean, and the copyediting was done well and we proofread, the book should come through with a minimum level of errors (it is almost impossible to eliminate every one).

The Designer uploads the first Proofs PDF. The Proofreader uploads the proofread PDF, with corrections highlighted. The Designer uploads the corrected, final proofs.

If it is unacceptable, we will correct and reprint.

You won’t have access to the Proofs Workflow Section.

Proofs are for internal use at John Hunt Publishing, and we do not accept author changes at this stage.

How long does proofreading take?

The usual time for all editing, design, and proofing, for a straightforward plain text paperback, is two to three months: one month for copyediting, then one to two months for design and proofreading. More complex books can take longer.

Once the proofreading is completed, where can I find the final Proofs?

You can find the final Proofs in the Final Files section of your book’s Production Page, under Final Cover PDF and Final Text PDF – these are the files we send to the printer.

You can access a final PDF, without the printers marks, which you can use as a review copy, on your book’s Marketing page in the Publicity section, titled MS no trims. We prepare it after the files have gone to the printer. We use this for "search inside" programs on Amazon and other online sites.

What about Widows and Orphans?

You may have heard the term Widows and Orphans in relation to text, but what do the words actually mean?

  • Widow: is a word or line of text that is forced to go on alone and start its own column or page.
  • Orphan: is a single word at the bottom of a paragraph that gets left behind.

It is increasingly standard practice not to bother about these. They are not all that unsightly, often less so than stretching or squashing up letter spacing.

They are not worth rewriting your book to remove them.

More to the point, as more and more books are consumed on a variety of different sized screens, widows will become increasingly difficult, and eventually impossible, to control. Which means that they will become more prevalent, and accepted; and orphans will disappear along with page breaks.

What did you think of the copyediting process?

Add a note to the Author Forum under Editorial and Production if you thought it well or poorly done – it helps us to know.