Step 5. Pre-Edit Printed Proof

5. Pre-Edit Printed Proof

I think this is so important I make it a step all by itself. This is a technique that I use and recommend all the time to authors. You have pretty much finished the manuscript and have maybe gone through some basic editing. The book is just about ready to move to the full editing and layout stages. The task is to create a physical version of your book, including a rough cover. You will see things on paper that you never see on the computer screen. This also makes a great proof copy to send to the editor. A physical proof will start getting you excited about your upcoming book. It is really going to happen. There is something about touching and feeling it. Turning the pages, that gets us to completion.

A. Create a pdf at the correct size of your book. You will need to change the document size in Page Setup in MS-Word in the File pull down menu to change the standard page size to maybe 6” x 9” or whatever your book final size is. Save the file as a pdf and print it out. Also be sure to change the page size in the print menu, otherwise it will print at 8.5” x 11 and not look correct. I usually take this pdf file to Staples or OfficeMax and have them print it out. Try to have the text on the pages back to back. Even if it comes out at 8.5” x 11 that is fine also. The goal is a printed version of your book.

B. Print the book out and have a spiral binding put on it. Be sure to put a cover on it, even if it is just the book title. I also put the clear plastic front and black plastic back on the book. Staples can do all this stuff.

C. Review the physical paper proof and do any of your own edits and once those are updated you are ready to send off to a real editor.

D. You can have just a copy editor for spelling and grammar or proof reader or you can go deeper with a line editor. But all books need some editing.

E. Update your book. After your book is formatted and laid out but before publishing have it printed out for review and re-edit again. You might just need a Proof Editor at this point.,,,