How (and Why) to Proof Your Book

Look, I’ve done it too. And I work here. You know what I’m talking about: Submitting a book to print and realizing there’s a spelling error, grammar problem, wonky layout, inconsistent wording. It’s human nature. We’re really bad at noticing errors because our brains know what we wanted to say.

The number one reason people ask to cancel an order after they’ve made it is because they’ve noticed a spelling/grammar/pagination issue when it was too late.

So, we packed a neat little feature in to Blurb BookWright: And it sounds boring. But it’s great: Save as Test PDF.

You’ll find it right under the File menu (to print your saved PDF just open it with Acrobat, Preview, or another PDF reader).

First, here’s what the Test PDF is not: It’s not for proofing images. The PDF prints low-resolution—so go ahead and save your color ink and just print it out in black and white.


But it is great for old-fashioned, pen and paper copyediting. It’s great for checking your layout. It’s perfect for pagination and sequencing. Most of all, it’s great for making sure you’re saying what you want to say.

Plus, you can print out a copy and bribe a good friend, or pay a copy editor, to spend some time go through it and give it an extra set of eyes.


And it works! I used it for a recent portfolio and it’s the first time I’ve received a book where I didn’t curse myself for stupid little errors.

Try it. You’ll be glad you did.


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