AUTHOR REVIEW

Review of
Copyedited
Pages

Review of
Page Proofs

Review of
Electronic
Copyediting

Review of
Electronic
Page Proofs:
"Softproofing"

In the Author Review process of production, there are two stages: review of copyedited pages and review of page proofs

Your involvement in Author Review depends on the production schedule of your textbook and your contract. These Author reviews are very important - this is where your content is checked and double-checked for accuracy and consistency. You are the author of your textbook, and are thus considered the expert on this manuscript. Your involvement is considered most important because any errors that are missed or misunderstood by a copy editor, proofreader and production editor, are most often discovered by you, the author.

Review of Copyedited Pages

Reviewing copyedited pages may be done electronically or standard. The same guidelines of reviewing apply to you as the author regardless of the medium in which you view your copyedited pages. The only difference is the actual process of review. There will never be a time in the copyediting stage where you will be reviewing the editing both electronically and standard. The determining factor in how you will review your copyediting will depend upon you and your editor. Please refer to each subsection for more details.

The copy editor is responsible for reading a manuscript word for word from beginning to end. All manuscripts are copyedited using reference material such as Webster's New World Dictionary and The Chicago Manual of Style from the University of Chicago. They also follow specific instructions set by Prentice Hall Business Publishing.

The copy editor has two responsibilities: (1) to make sure that the manuscript is complete, free of errors, and is as consistent as a whole; and (2) to code the manuscript for typesetting.

If there are any specific components of your manuscript that you are concerned with, please be sure that your Production Editor is aware of them.

The copy editor searches for

  • Misspellings
  • Grammatical errors
  • Syntax errors
  • Typographical errors, and
  • Punctuation errors.

The copy editor also checks for accuracy, and completeness of

  • Endnotes
  • Source notes, and
  • References.

Finally, the copy editor crosschecks internal references to

  • Figures/Exhibits
  • Tables
  • Other sections of the manuscript, and
  • In-text references.

The copy editor is not responsible for checking facts or verifying data.

When you review the copyedited material, please be sure to follow these guidelines.

  • Note the due date for return of your manuscript - you must complete your work on time for the book to remain on schedule.
  • Resolve any outstanding permission or art problems - your manuscript cannot go into composition until permissions and art problems are resolved.
  • Use a pencil of different color than that used by the copy editor
  • Answer all editor's queries about missing or unclear material
  • Give careful thought to editorial suggestions¾if the copy editor misunderstood a concept, so might the reader
  • DO NOT ERASE anything. If there are text changes that you would rather return to their original state, circle them and write STET next to them.
  • Please note that this is the last time to make any changes or updates without incurring author alteration charges (please refer to your contract for details). Changes made in the latter stages of author review may not only affect the budget, your royalties, but also the book's schedule.

Art, Screen Captures, Ads, and Photos:

  • Go over each aspect of the artwork and carefully check labels, figure identification, and accuracy.
  • Return art proofs as soon as possible with your changes and/or corrections.
  • Verify that photos, ads, and screen captures correspond with text material.

To aid you in understanding the marks on the manuscript use these Proofreader marks.

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Review of Page Proofs

Reviewing page proofs may be done electronically or standard. The majority of the same guidelines of reviewing apply to you as the author regardless of the medium in which you view your page proofs. The only difference is the actual process of review. There will never be a time in the page proof stage where you will be reviewing the editing both electronically and standard. The determining factor in how you will review your copyediting will depend upon you and your editor. Please refer to each subsection for more details. The proofreader is responsible for comparing the copyedited manuscript and the page proofs word for word from beginning to end.

The proofreader may also conduct a sense read and accuracy check if the manuscript requires such procedures. However, proofreading is not what it used to be when a trained printer's proofreader scrutinized every word on a proof while a copyholder read aloud from the copyedited manuscript. Currently, proofreading is done by a single proofreader who can only glance at the manuscript from time to time while reading rapidly through the proofs before sending them back to the compositor for corrections. This is why it is very important for an author to do a thorough read through of the page proofs because, once again, you are the author and considered the expert on the content of the page proofs.

The proofreader has two responsibilities: (1) to make sure that the page proofs read word for word from the copyedited manuscript; and (2) to make sure that the page proofs are complete, free of errors, and is as consistent as a whole.

The author review of proofs is often conducted in two stages: first and second proofs. However, depending on scheduling it may be done in just one stage or in a briefer two-stage process where the proofreader and author review the proofs simultaneously. No matter which way it is conducted, there are specific guidelines you should follow.

Please note that quite often an author will review first and second proofs. The later the corrections are made in the production process, the more expensive they are. According to a normal author contract and textbook budget, Prentice Hall Business Publishing will cover author alteration fees that total 10 percent of the cost to produce the textbook. So, if your book costs $27,000 to produce, Prentice Hall will cover $2,700 in author alteration fees during page proof review. Any more after that will be charged against author royalties. This amount is reached and often surpassed.

When you review first and second page proofs please be sure to follow these guidelines.

  • Note who you should return the page proofs to. Quite often, you will receive proofs from the compositor with directions to return the proofs to your production editor.
  • Note the due date for return of your page proofs - you must complete your work on time for the book to remain on schedule.
  • Use a pencil of different color than that used by the proofreader and/or compositor
  • Answer all editor's queries about missing or unclear material
  • Give careful thought to proofreader or compositor queries.
  • DO NOT ERASE anything. If there are text changes that you would rather return to their original state, circle them and write STET next to them.
  • All changes you wish to make should be made in the margin next to the line of type in which the correction is to be made as well as in the line. Never just write it above the line of type, because the typesetter will only scan the margins.
  • If there is more than one correction to be made in a line, the corrections should appear in the margin in the order they appear in the line and separated by slashes.
  • Verify that photos, ads, screen captures, marginal elements, and boxes correspond with the surrounding text material.
  • If you need to delete a large section of text, or add a large section of text please note that it is best if you compensate for the amount of lines that you are losing or gaining. You want avoid repagination of an entire chapter (something that is very expensive and easily avoided). Your production editor can help you with line compensation if necessary.
  • Any long corrections or additions should not be handwritten in the margin, but should be typed on a separate sheet of paper and attached to the page. On the page write "Insert Attached" in a circle next to the text that needs to be corrected.

To aid you in understanding the marks on the manuscript use these Proofreader marks.

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Review of Electronic Copyediting

Note: Microsoft Word 98 works across both PC and Mac platforms to view copyedited files.

  1. Open file in Word.
  2. When you're document opens, it should automatically open revealing the copy editor's changes. If all you see is a straightforward document, containing only black and white text as you had submitted it, go to Tools: Track Changes: Highlight Changes.
  3. Make sure the first two boxes are checked (Track changes while editing; Track changes onscreen.) The third box is optional depending on what you want to see if you print the document.
  4. Click OK. Now you will see that wherever the copy editor has made a change, there will be a red line crossing though the original text. New or reedited text will still appear in black. Also note that wherever a change has been made in the document, there will appear a vertical rule in the margin encompassing the lines that were affected by the change.

As you review the text, you will see small yellow boxes with letters and numbers. They act like footnotes and are actually comments that the editor or copy editor has made. The letters are the initials for the person who asked the question. Sometimes, a copy editor may use AU (addressing the query directly to you) instead of using their initials.

Note: If the box is too small for you to properly view the edits, go to View: Zoom and choose the percentage that will allow you maximum readability. Views can be changed for both the comment box (See next section) and the actual file screen.

To View Comments

If a second window doesn't open up on the bottom of your screen when you view the copyedited changes to reveal the comments, go to View: Toolbars: Reviewing. This will bring up a toolbar allowing you to add/change comments, but it won't necessarily open the second window. To do that, go back to View: Comments and the second window will open

To Add Comments or Answer Queries

To add your own comments in the document, place your cursor anywhere in the text you wish to make a comment upon and click once. Then click on the yellow Post-It icon in the toolbar and a smaller box will appear as a split screen in your document, if the screen isn't there already.

NOTE: The word preceding where your cursor is placed will be highlighted with a small footnote inserted with the commentator's initials.

Next, type your comment in the comment box. To get back to the main document, simply click anywhere inside of it.

To simply reply to an existing query, you may type in your answer in the bottom screen following the copy editor's query. Working in this bottom screen is like working in an entirely different document. This is also where you will be able to mark "Stet" to any text changes the copy editor made that you don't agree with. Even if there isn't a query or comment callout in an area of text you wish to remain as you wrote, it, simply add a comment near that area of text, and write "Stet" in the comment box.

If You Feel Adventurous...

The color of the person making changes/comments/and the initials in the pop-up Post-It box can be tailored your responses.

To change the name or initials used in comments, go to Tools: Preferences, then click the User Information tab. Type in your name and the initials you want in the appropriate boxes.

To change the color of the comments/changes, go to Tools: Track Changes: Highlight Changes: Options. A new dialogue box appears called Track Changes. There are many other options for the appearance of the editing onscreen available here to tailor for easier reading. It's a matter of preference.

Any further questions can be answered using the Help option in Microsoft Word. It's as simple as typing in a question such as "How do I track changes?" and you should have the answer to your question or at least a direction to head in.

The Last Word in Reviewing Electronic Copyediting

Finally, please remember to save your work. Please ensure that all files on disk and after working on the file, are saved as a Word document. Do not save in RTF (rich text format). This will wreak havoc in the conversion of readability from Macintosh to PC.

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Review of Electronic Page Proofs: "Softproofing"

Softproofing is done using Adobe's Acrobat Suite, version 4.0 or higher. If you and your editor agree to do softproof review using PDFs, Prentice Hall will either supply the software or reimburse you for the cost of the software.

Softproof review has the same guidelines as regular page proof review, except everything is done electronically from start to finish. For instance, instead of receiving the page proofs in the mail, you will receive them via e-mail, FTP transfer, or Wam!Gate. Instead of handwriting changes in the margin, you will type them in electronic post-it notes. The only guidelines that don't technically apply are the proofreading marks and rules. Instead, be as specific as possible with your changes in Acrobat. Use any tools necessary. When the typesetter reviews your comments, they will be reviewed from a list, not from the margin.

Please note: if reading the manuscript on the computer screen proves to be straining to your eyes, you can print out the pages. The images may come out in a low resolution, but the overall text should be legible. However, any notes or comments that the proofreader or compositor makes can only be viewed on-screen. You can answer these comments as you create your own comments and changes in the PDF file.

Once you acquire the Acrobat Suite, download the two PDF files below that serve as a quick tutorial on how to softproof your electronic page proofs. One is the guide and another is a sample proof that has been edited using the tools provided in the Acrobat Suite. Your production editor will also assist you in guiding you through the PDF softproof review if necessary.

Author PDF Guide Sample

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