Pre-Pub Cheat Sheet

A pre-pub cheat sheet can save you time, money and avert a potential headache. You might think it could never happen to you, but we’ve seen some egregious (if at times funny) mistakes in books that come off press. This is true for major publishers and self-publishers alike.


I keep a running pre-pub cheat sheet at my desk. It gets updated frequently. Missing something? Let me know and I’ll add it to my list!


ISBN – Check your ISBN on the copyright page and on your bar code (make sure your eBook ISBN is on your eBook and your printed book ISBN is on your printed book)

Title – Check the final spelling of your title and subtitle on the front and back cover of the book

Author Name – Check the spelling of the author’s name on the front cover, copyright page and title page (yes, I’ve seen it happen where the author name was incorrect in a key spot)

Price – Does your price match with your listing on Bowker and Books in Print

Table of Contents – Check the page numbers of the final manuscript against your TOC.

Headers/Footers – Confirm that the headers and footers are correct and change appropriately (check for typos)

Copyright page – Confirm the date, disclaimer, author name, publishing info, designer credit, ISBN and all other information needed is listed appropriately

Chapter Titles – Chapter titles may change during the editorial process. Make sure your TOC and headers reflect any changes

Trim Size – Ensure the final print-ready interior file and print-ready cover file have the same (correct) trim size

Proofread your cover. Again.

Confirm your index, front matter and back matter are IN the final book. If it’s listed in your TOC, you should be checking to confirm it’s in the final book.

Proofread your dedication and acknowledgements. Again. Spelling your Aunt Daphne’s name wrong won’t win you any points!

Check your acknowledgements one last time – Make sure you haven’t forgotten anyone that should be thanked. For example, your spouse might like a mention (or two)

Proofread your spine – Is the full cover there? Is it spelled right? Is your name spelled right on the spine?

Confirm your publishing logo – It should show on the spine, back cover, copyright page and title page of your book

Check the front matter – at a minimum (bare minimum) you should have a copyright page and title page. Other front matter may include a dedication, acknowledgements, Table of contents, Preface and/or Foreword

About that Preface and Foreword... – Make sure you’ve spelled the expert’s name correctly. Double check that their attribution is correct.


My list grows daily. I’m open to suggestions! What do you have on your pre-pub cheat sheet?


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