What is a Proof Copy?

On the surface it seems to simply be a regular printed copy of your book.  Nothing more, nothing less.  But when you look at the final page…

Okay?  So it has “PROOF” printed on the very last page, so what?

That one word let’s you know that you are holding an uncorrected, unedited version of a book. These are what come before even a 1st Edition of a book is created.  Before electronic books, Proof Copies (also known as Galley Copies) were what publishers would create and send out to the editing staff for corrections and proofreading.

These copies were also referred to as “Advanced Copies” and would be sent out to critics and advertisers in advance to get them fired up about the upcoming final version of a book.  The critics and company would build hype for the novel before it was released thus getting the readers anxious for the release date.

However, with Indie Publishers like Smashwords, Createspace and others, are Proof Copies even worthwhile anymore?  Do they serve any purpose?

In my opinion the answer is a resounding “YES!”

Sorry for the shout there, but this is a subject I feel is important.  First off, I will tell you right now that if you work with Kindle, Smashwords, or Createspace you will have a chance to look over your entire book right there on your computer so you can look for issues.  Basically you have an e-proof copy available.

So shouldn’t that be enough?  I cannot speak for everyone else, only myself.  But in my case I would much rather have both the E-Proof AND the printed Proof Copy to look over.  Why?  Simply because, even when reading one word at a time on the computer, errors still slip past me.  I only found them when I was actually reading the printed book.  My eyes tend to fill in or glance over problems when I’m looking at a computer screen.  These errors even got past half a dozen Beta-Readers who had the electronic version of the book.

So, for me, having a printed Proof Copy is simply another extra tool in my arsenal.  It only costs a few dollars to get one done on Createspace and to me it was totally worth it.

In the end it’s up to the individual author what they want to do.  I’ve simply shared my experience and why I find them useful.  What are some of your experiences?  I’m sure me and the other readers will find various points of view quite useful.  Leave your thoughts in the comments below and thanks for reading.

Until next time, take care everyone and keep writing.

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