Approving Proofs

How you respond to Book Services proof requests depends upon the format the proof is in.

Manuscript Proofs

Manuscript Proofs are used when rewrites and/or extensive edits have been made to the original manuscript. Book Services is seeking responses from the client regarding textual content; not format, layout or style.

  • Margins are formatted to fill letter sized pages.
  • Paragraphs are formatted to clarify paragraph breaks and to indicate special functionality (bullet or numbered lists, tables, etc.).
  • Font(s) are selected to avoid ambiguous characters (O/0, I/l, etc.)
  • Text overrides are usually limited to Italics, Bold, and Underlined. False colors may be used to assure the override is not missed.
  • Headers, footers, page numbers, etc. are for reference use only.
  • In most cases images and diagrams are not inserted in the proof, but are included as separate PDF files or on separate pages.

Any other attributes of the proof’s layout, font, and text should not be assumed to have significance or be indicative of use in the final book.

Layout Proofs

Layout Proofs are used when minimal editing has been done to the initial submission, or since a prior proof. Book Services is seeking responses from the client regarding both textual content and layout.

The book appears in its final format including all attributes. In some cases layout proofs may be limited regarding content to focus attention on a specific portion of the book.

Book Services is seeking response from the client regarding all aspects of the layout including:

  • Book Size
  • Pricing (Is it included in the bar code?)
  • Cover Design, including cover content (the blurb).
  • Title Page
  • Copyright Page
  • Contents Page
  • Margins
  • Font(s), including size and leading(space between lines)
  • Paragraph Format, including special paragraphs.
  • Table Design (Glossary, Index, etc.)

All attributes of the proof’s layout should be assumed to have significance and be indicative of use in the final book with the following exceptions:

  • Pages include a bleed area (usually 1/8 inch) on the top, bottom and outside edge.
  • Pages include a binding area (usually 1/8 inch) on the inside edge. The exception to this is saddle stitched or stapled bindings.
  • Blank pages may be added at the end of the book to achieve a multiple of four and to allow for the mandatory blank last page which gets a barcode.
  • Image attributes relating to color balance, contrast, and tonal values will be different when the book is printed on the POD (print on demand) press than when viewed on a computer display or printed on the client’s printer.
  • The proof PDF will include spreads (opposing pages) and may be too large to print on letter sized paper. While printing is possible by reducing the page size it will not be indicative of the font size and layout appearance.

Paper Proofs

Paper Proofs are available from Book Services for an additional fee per proof. Cost is dependent on the number of pages and shipping costs. Proofs are provided on letter size paper. The spreads of Layout Proofs for books larger than 5×8 inches will not fit on letter size paper. While printing is possible by reducing the page size, it will not be indicative of the font size and layout appearance. Printing on larger-format paper, which is possible, is often more expensive than printing a proof copy of the finished book.

Providing Feedback on Paper

Use clear annotations written in a contrasting color, preferably red. Use accepted Proofreading Symbols whenever possible. Attach additional pages with notes summarizing the changes that include references to page, paragraph and line number. Return the complete printout to Book Services.

Electronic Proofs

Portable Document Format (PDF) Files.

Book Services uses PDF files to submit proofs to clients for review, feedback, and eventual approval.

Providing Feedback in PDF Files

  • Use annotation tools that are available in most PDF viewers. Return the PDF file to Book Services.


  • Send Book Services detailed notes regarding each change. Include references to page, paragraph and line numbers. (Email, Microsoft Word or text file.) Please give your corrections in the context of complete revised sentences or (if necessary for clarity) paragraphs.