Setting Expectations with Your Contributors Cont.

Copyediting and Proofs Review

Occasionally, authors will ask that their contributors receive a copy of their submission after copyediting or a copy of the page proofs after layout and design have been applied. Cognella strongly advises against this for the following reasons:

  • We do not build time for this into our standard production schedule, so we would have to make adjustments. This could mean shortening the development timeline to extend production, squeezing the amount of time we can spend on other phases of the production process, or pushing out the book’s target publication date.
  • To involve contributors so late in the process is to invite delay. If even one contributor fails to return their review on time, it puts a hold on production and we risk not being able to meet the target publication date.
  • At the stage that proofs are available, the contributor ultimately has little control over the kinds of changes that can be made. They are essentially limited to checking for typos and minor factual errors. The manuscript has already been reviewed for these things during development and copyediting. No substantial revisions, additions, or removal of content can happen at this point, nor can layout or design be changed.

However, if you still feel that contributors must be given an opportunity to review the proofs, speak with your project editor about it right away, so a plan can be put in place. If sharing proofs with contributors, we recommend that you:

  • Consider limiting distribution of proofs to only those contributors you believe expect them or would be upset if they did not receive them. The fewer people involved, the less chance of delay.
  • Give your contributors a strict deadline by saying, “We have only one week for this review and will have to move ahead on Monday, even if we haven’t received your comments.”
  • Ask your project editor for clear, detailed instructions regarding what changes can be made by contributors.