If you're proofreading final designed page proofs, there's more to look out for than the odd typo or double space. Professional proofreaders identify and find solutions to a range of layout problems too.
This post featured in Joel Friedlander's Carnival of the Indies #84
Who's this checklist for?
This is for anyone checking final designed page proofs. For example:
I've proofread over 500 books for the mainstream publishing industry. The checklist below is based on the house guidelines provided by the publishers I've worked for.
The titles I've proofread include social science textbooks, handbooks and monographs, and works of fiction and narrative non-fiction. And while the subject matter has varied, the requirements for checking final page proofs hasn't.
Note my use of the term 'final designed page proofs'. This checklist is not for those doing a final quality-control check in a Word document. Rather, we're dealing with a typeset PDF or hardcopy of the book as it will appear when printed or published online.
For that reason, the proofreader is tasked with ensuring that the appearance of the book is consistent and correct according to client preference. This PDF provides a summary of the required checks.
To get a free copy, sign up to The Editorial Letter, monthly news about fiction editing and editorial business growth.
Louise Harnby is a line editor, copyeditor and proofreader who specializes in working with crime, mystery, suspense and thriller writers.
She is an Advanced Professional Member of the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP), a member of ACES, a Partner Member of The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi), and co-hosts The Editing Podcast.
5/9/2017 10:44:24 pm
Thank you for this checklist! Very generous of you.
28/10/2017 05:28:24 pm
You are so welcome, Susan! Hope you find it useful!
19/9/2018 10:36:01 am
Thank you so much for this. I found it very helpful and informative.
20/9/2018 05:43:59 pm
Thanks, Sarah! That's great to hear.
28/11/2018 08:59:26 am
Thanks for sharing this really useful resource!
26/3/2020 12:01:48 am
Glad it helped, Merridy!
10/4/2019 06:47:31 am
I'm glad to say I do all those things, bar one, as well as:
26/3/2020 12:01:05 am
26/3/2020 05:13:11 am
Hi Louise. Hope you're handling the current crisis well.
25/3/2020 08:58:35 pm
For marking-up page proofs for professional publishing houses, are you using Adobe? And do you have guidance on specific tools within that program you use to mark-up pages, utilizing basic proofing marks, etc.?
25/3/2020 11:47:35 pm
Hi, Susan. Check out the Stamps and Proofreading Markup archives in the blog sidebar to the right. I use PDF-XChange. It's a lot cheaper but has Adobe's functionality. Just a personal preference.
18/5/2020 07:52:01 pm
Thank you for another wonderful resource Louise!
19/5/2020 05:20:11 pm
You're very welcome, Mindy!
18/6/2020 11:23:59 am
Thank you Louise. This is a very useful article - one of the very many that you produce for us. I enjoy reading them and obtain so much useful information from you. Thank you very much.
18/6/2020 05:33:02 pm
You are very welcome, Patricia!
30/7/2020 04:55:49 pm
I'm so glad I stumbled upon your blog - you share so much valuable information!! Thank you :)
30/7/2020 09:08:24 pm
Thank you so much, Anna!
21/10/2020 09:42:58 pm
27/10/2020 12:17:26 pm
27/10/2020 05:26:26 pm
Hi, Sarah. I recommend you ask your tutor for advice. I'm not aware of a symbol for inserting an entire table, but I'm not your tutor or the course creator, so it's inappropriate for me to guide you!
2/1/2021 11:54:25 am
I've enjoyed browsing a few of your pieces today, but I found that the proofreading checklist offered here has a dead link (the image you direct the reader to click). Thanks for letting me know if it's still availabile.
2/1/2021 03:11:38 pm
All fixed, Cindy. Sorry about that. Not sure what went wrong. You can download it now.
2/1/2021 03:35:05 pm
You're welcome, and thank YOU!
28/10/2022 05:41:10 pm
Hi Louise I don't seem to be able to download the Proofreading Checklist.
28/10/2022 06:04:15 pm
Did you click on the newsletter subscribe link above the image, Kirsty?
1/11/2022 01:05:40 am
Hi. I signed up for the Newsletter but didn't receive the Proofreading Checklist. I received a different book. How can I get the Checklist? Thanks!
1/11/2022 01:22:25 am
Sorry, Carla. I've fixed the glitch. If you could email me using the contact form on this website, I'll send the checklist to you.
17/11/2022 11:17:49 am
Hi Louise, I'm already signed up to your newsletter, but I'd find a copy of your proofreading checklist really useful. Am I still able to have a copy? Many thanks for all the fantastic resources on your website, which I'm gradually reading through.
17/11/2022 10:48:31 pm
Email me, Kath, and I'll get it sorted!
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'Louise uses her expertise to hone a story until it's razor sharp, while still allowing the author’s voice to remain dominant.'
'I wholeheartedly recommend her services ... Just don’t hire her when I need her.'
J B Turner
'Sincere thanks for a beautiful and elegant piece of work. First class.'
'What makes her stand out and shine is her ability to immerse herself in your story.'
'A million thanks – your mark-up is perfect, as always.'