Overview of the Production Process

Once you have submitted your final (and complete) manuscript, your acquisitions editor will transmit it to a production editor, who will guide it through the production process from manuscript to print and digital book. Your production editor will be your chief contact during this period, establishing a schedule and advising you throughout the production process. The various steps are outlined below.

Copy Form

UBC Press begins marketing your book right after it is transmitted, beginning with the copy form, which you will be asked to review. This form contains varying lengths of descriptive copy about your book, largely derived from the description you provided in the book information form. This important copy will be used in various promotional venues, including catalogues, the website, ads, and the back cover of your book. But it also forms the basis of critical metadata about your book that will increase its online discoverability by libraries, retailers, and distributors.


After the production editor has assessed the requirements of the work and prepared the digital files, the manuscript enters the copy-editing phase. It will be assigned to an experienced copy editor, although the production editor will continue to manage the process. The copy editor will perform the following tasks:

  • Apply UBC Press style (based on Chicago Manual of Style) for abbreviations, measurements, numbers, capitalization, spelling (Canadian Oxford), and so on.
  • Correct errors in spelling, grammar, punctuation, syntax, and usage and, if necessary, address stylistic or structural issues.
  • Point out redundancies and/or wordiness and excessive signposting.
  • Edit the documentation to comply with the appropriate style.
  • Identify and query inconsistencies in logic, factual details, and cross-references.
  • Ensure all tables, photos, and other visual elements are presented clearly and with adequate captions.
  • Identify and query items that you should check for accuracy (names of people or places, titles, quotations, bibliographic entries, web links).

After copy-editing is complete, the production editor will email you two copies of the manuscript for review. The first, a Word document, incorporates editorial changes into a clean, legible copy; the second, a PDF file, shows every alteration made. You will be asked to type your revisions directly into the Word file. (If your work is a collection, the copy-edited manuscript will be divided into chapters that you will email to your contributors to review.)

You should review the manuscript carefully. Make necessary revisions and reject changes that you feel may have changed your original meaning. This is your last opportunity to improve the text or provide updates, but you should not undertake major rewriting. You will usually have about three weeks to check the copy-editing, although this varies with the length of manuscript and the demands of the schedule.

Cover Design

Your acquisitions editor will ask for your input on the cover design for your book and for suggestions for images that might appear on it. If you think that a particular image would be especially appropriate, please let your editor know as early as possible. If your work has illustrations, one of these may be chosen for the cover. These ideas will be discussed at the Press when the manuscript is transmitted into production.

A mock-up cover will be sent to you as a courtesy. Your comments are welcome, but the Press reserves the right to choose a cover design that best fits the marketing and editorial plans for the book. Comments on subjective graphic design matters such as color palette, font choice, and layout will receive a fair hearing, but Press policy is to defer to the aesthetic judgment of the designer once a design has been approved by the Press.


Once you have returned the manuscript, your production editor will review your changes and send the revised digital file to the designer/typesetter to be formatted into page proofs. The first proofs will be emailed to you as a PDF file to review. (If your work is a collection, the proof will be divided into chapters that you can email to your contributors to review).


The page proofs will be reviewed by production staff for errors in formatting and such, but it is the author’s responsibility to proofread the proofs carefully. If you’d prefer, the Press can hire a proofreader on your behalf (please consult your production editor regarding the cost). Outright errors and typos will of course be corrected, but rewriting and stylistic revision should not be undertaken at this stage. No changes that affect pagination can be accommodated. If such changes occur, you will be charged back for the cost of implementing these changes. You will have three to four weeks to proofread your book.


You will be asked to either prepare an index or pay for an indexer to do this work. The Press can hire an indexer for you if you wish, or advise you on the process and format if you prepare your own. Indexing is done from first proofs, concurrently with proofreading, and typically takes three to four weeks.

Printing and Conversion to Digital Formats

Once you have reviewed the proofs, your editor will arrange for second proofs and will check that the corrections have all been properly made. The final files are then sent to the printer and are also formatted as an e-book (epdf, epub, and mobi for Kindle). Complimentary copies of the print book will be shipped directly to you from the printer. It is at this point that the focus of attention for your book shifts to the Marketing Department.

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UBC Press is the Canadian agent for several international publishers. Visit our Publishers Represented page to learn more.