A proofreader checks through the first proofs and marks up anything which is wonky, missing, wrongly formatted or just plain incorrect. Then they send this corrected set of proofs back to the production department, who collate them all and send them back to the typesetter, who takes in the corrections and generates a new set of proofs.
This second set of proofs is sent back out for the production department to make sure all the requested changes have been made. At Unbound, we send the proofs to an author at first and second proof stage so they can check through for any errors too.
It’s worth noting that this stage is not for making edits on the book – just corrections. Changes to proofs are very expensive and time-consuming to make.
This is a dramatic time for any author. Suddenly your book looks very book-like! It can seem tempting to try and rewrite passages, but at this stage that’s not possible, which is why it’s so important to make sure that the manuscript you send off for typesetting is the final version.
Finally, when any last corrections have been taken in, the typesetter generates final proofs (in some publishers these are referred to as ‘galley proofs’).It is these that then go to the Production. Exciting!