3 Reasons why is it important to see your manuscript in print before it is published: Susan Day

3 reasons why is it important to see your manuscript in print before it is published, Papyrofix
Writing any kind of novel or non-fiction piece is a rewarding experience for many writers. The amount of work that goes into it is often underestimated, as many long hours are needed writing, re-writing, and painstakingly going over every word ensuring that it is correct.

Once a writer has completed his or her manuscript some make the mistake of thinking that their book is perfect and ready to print. This is certainly not the case.

It is essential to see a printed copy of your book before you approve it for publication. This is called a ‘proof’ copy and, depending upon the publisher, it will have the word ‘proof’ printed on the pages somewhere. If you haven’t been published yet, you’ll be surprised how differently your manuscript looks when it is published as a book.

Here are three things you should look for when you receive a proof copy of your book.


  • Check for typos


Read through your proof copy very carefully and look for any typing errors. Ask someone else to read it too. That way a pair of fresh eyes will see mistakes that yours have missed.

You’ve been doing most of your editing on your computer screen. And, you probably printed your manuscript of A4 paper to edit it. Some errors, however, will be more obvious on the smaller pages of your book.

Also, you’ll also be able to consider if the story flows well. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to lose the flow of a story over consecutive pages.

  • Look at the formatting issues


The formatting of your book encompasses line spacing, page margins and even font size. If you are self-publishing I always recommend you follow industry standards. If you are not sure what these are, go online and check or go to your local library and see what other publishers have created.

When you read a document on the screen or even on A4 paper we often use wider margins, and larger fonts. However, your proof copy will have to be formatted quite differently.

You don’t want the margins pushing too far towards the edge of the page. They should also be equally spaced at the top and bottom.

  • Check the cover

The cover of your book involves more than the front cover. In fact it means the back, the front and the spine.

Pick up your book and turn it over in your hands. Is the back matter centred well? Does it line up with the images and text on the front? Is the information on the spine centred both vertically and horizontally? If you are not sure, sit your book on a shelf next to other books. Does it look okay or is there something not quite right?

Getting published is an exciting adventure for writers. However, it can be marred by not paying attention to small details.

Whether you are self-published or not, you should receive a proof copy of your book. Use it to further enhance the quality and feel. You have concentrated on your words for a long time, checking your proof copy is ensuring they are presented in the best way to your readers.


About the author - Susan Day


Susan Day is a children’s author and writer. Her blog, Astro’s Adventures Book Club is full of ideas and tips for grandparents who want to build a strong relationship with their grandchildren. In particular, Susan specializes in helping grandparents share their love of books with their grandchildren. Susan is currently writing a book titled, The Top 10 Things Happy Grandparents Never Regret Doing!

Susan lives in country Australia with four dogs, three boss cats, three rescue guinea pigs, and an errant kangaroo. And, apart from blogging, writing and reading; she loves drinking coffee, painting and learning to box.

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