Posted by: nancycurteman | July 4, 2013

How to Review The Publisher’s Proof Copy of Your Novel

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th-1You’ve finished writing your novel and a publisher has accepted it for publication. In fact, the publisher has sent you a proof copy for your review. Now is not the time to sit back and relax. Now is the time to pour over your book as though you were looking at it through a microscope. This is your last chance to guarantee your book is perfect before a million copies are printed. Here is how to review the publisher’s proof copy of your novel.

Check the book cover.

• The title and the author’s name must be spelled correctly and easy to see.
• On the back cover, the ISBN number and barcode are listed and no words are misspelled in the story blurb.

Check the general formatting of the book:

• Fonts need to be consistent
• Make sure line spacing, word spacing and margins are uniform throughout the book.
• Make sure em and en hyphens are used correctly.
• Each chapter must start in the same place on the page.
• Ensure you have clear and consecutive page numbers with all odd-numbered pages on the right. Blank pages should have nothing on them.
• Paragraph indents must be the same throughout the novel.
• Make certain the publisher has listed author’s name in the header on one page and the title is listed in the header of the facing page throughout the book.
• At the beginning of the book the title page is first, next is the Copyright/Printing Information page then Acknowledgments/ Dedication pages

Check the story itself:

• Make sure no chapters, pages or paragraphs are missing.
• Every word must be spelled correctly including character names and places.
• Review punctuation, capitalization, sentence structure, paragraphing and word usage.

Now take a deep breath. Your publisher’s proof copy of your novel is perfect. It’s ready for printing and selling a million copies.

More Tips:

Use Editing Tools With Caution
Developmental Editing: How to do it


  1. Good advice, NC. Hope you’re having a Happy 4th! It’s stormy here, so the only fireworks may be lightning.


    • It’s pretty hot here. We’re going to watch the fireworks on TV.


  2. These are great things to look at but are probably missed by writers them selves.


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