Your Self-Publishing Questions (#49-50): Economy and Accuracy

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1106 Design

December 16, 2013

Self-Publishing Question #49 of 52: What is the most efficient way to make changes to a book layout?

First, make all your changes in one pass so that your typesetter can implement the changes in one pass. It takes a typesetter many hours to change an entire book multiple times. Consolidate your changes into one or two rounds and you won’t have to deal with “sticker shock” later. Second, add several weeks to your prepress schedule for changes. It’s stressful for everyone and unfair to your typesetter to hold to the original deadline when days or weeks of work have been added to the project. If you finish early, you can celebrate!

 

Self-Publishing Question #50 of 52: My manuscript was edited and proofread before layout. Must I proofread it after layout as well?

In a word, YES! It’s a dangerous practice to not proof your book after the typesetting is complete.

Back in “the day,” book publishing followed a standard procedure: The manuscript was edited and proofread multiple times. Only when all the editors, the author, and senior staff signed off on the manuscript did it go into production (typesetting). Typeset “galleys” were produced, meaning, the type was set in long strips of paper, produced by the phototypesetting machines of the era. These galleys were sent to the author, and reviewed yet again by editors and staff. Corrections were made, and only then was the book “pasted up” into pages and sent to the printer. While the procedure sounds archaic now, it did accomplish one major goal: corrections were very rare after the book was paginated. Today, the use of computers and software means that changes can be made whenever and however the author wishes. We are no longer invested in “getting it right” before typesetting because we know changes can be made after typesetting is done. Unfortunately, the opportunity to proof after typesetting is often overlooked, as can be seen in the number of errors that get through to the printed book.

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