After your book has gone through the editing process but before final printing, you should receive a printed copy of your book. This proof copy may or may not be bound. This is a great time to read your book yet another time and look for any typos or words that aren’t quite right. Hopefully you won’t find any. A good technique is to read it out loud. Even better is to have someone who has never read it proof it for you.
Some other things you should be specifically looking for at this point are as follows:
______ Trim size
______ Page numbers should be in the middle or on the OUTSIDE margin of each page
______ Odd numbers ALWAYS on the right side
______ Blank pages should not have page numbers on them
______ Chapter headers (font and placement on page)
______ Chapter references, if used (are they still accurate?)
______ First paragraph in each chapter is not indented
______ Novels indent paragraphs (except first in chapter) and no space between paragraphs
______ Nonfiction can be formatted like fiction OR no indents, with an extra space between paragraphs—NOT both!
______ Length of chapters (approximately the same or intentionally otherwise)
______ Break in scene markers (if applicable)
______ Dedication (author’s choice)
______ Table of Contents (if applicable—fiction often does not have)
______ Author Bio (and illustrator if applicable)
______ End of book marker (many times ###### but it’s up to the publisher/author)
______ Paragraphs are blocked (not jagged on the right side)
______ Cover art (title, and size and placement of author name)
______ ISBN on cover and copyright page match
______ Back cover wording
Take Your Time
You may want to keep this list handy and refer back to it. Don’t get complacent and think you will simply remember everything. It’s exciting to get a solid product in your hands, and it’s easy to overlook things in your rush to get the book out. Slow down and be methodical. You will soon have many copies, and you want them error-free.