What do I need to do, as an editor?
Editors are central to the publishing process - you may have commissioned or acquired the book, worked with the author to develop the content, and generally made sure that the book will meet the needs of the readers. One of the most crucial stages of production (especially because it's the last stage) is proofing - when the words, artworks, photos etc. are brought together with the visual design, turning a bunch of files into a Book.
Futureproofs helps you and the rest of the team review and correct the proofs quickly and efficiently. We make it simple for all members of the team to enter corrections easily and quickly, and to ask and answer queries. We help you to quickly collate the team's input into a single authoritative master proof to send to the designer, as well as providing tools to check the revisions against the previous master.
Futureproofs is a web-based application, which means that it runs in your web browser. We support all modern web browsers, and the chances are you already have the software you need.
When you log in, you'll be shown your Futureproofs dashboard. This lists all the projects you are a member of. Initially, there will be an introductory project called "How to use Futureproofs". This steps you through the basics of marking up a proof in Futureproofs - there are more details in the next section here. (You may also see one or more other projects, if your colleagues have invited you to work on them.)
Creating a project
Although you may only work on projects set up by other people, it's easy to create your own projects.
First, you need to create a Publisher account (or join one created by one of your colleagues). This provides the information we need to invoice you, as well as ensuring that you can cover for colleagues if they're off work around a deadline.
Once you're a Publisher, creating a project just involves clicking the big + sign on your dashboard. You need to give your project a name, and you can choose to edit a few other options, too.
With the project created, you can then upload your proofs, either as single files or in batches, depending on your needs.
You will probably also want to build a team to work on this project - your authors, proofreaders, designers and perhaps also key colleagues who need to review the content.
Marking up a proof
To mark up a proof, you hover your mouse over it on the dashboard and click the 'Check proofs' button that appears. When the proof loads, you'll see a toolbar at the top of the window that provides all the tools you'll need.
The key concept in Futureproofs, though, is that you just draw on the screen with your mouse or trackpad. Futureproofs will then suggest actions to you in a menu, and you choose the one you want. The correct markup (set by the project's owner - BSI or Chicago) is then shown on the screen, and you can make your next correction. When you need to type a correction, you can format your text or even enter Maths.
There are several ways to move around the proofs - you can change page one at a time, jump to a specific page number, browse the book pages visually, use bookmarks or even search for specific words or phrases. (When you've been jumping around, it may be useful to know that you can jump straight back to the page you were viewing immediately before the jump.)
When you're finished, you should mark your proof as complete. This confirms that you've finished and is shown in the proof-status report - and also means you won't get any nagging emails about deadlines!
Dealing with queries
On your dashboard, you may notice a message on the left-hand side about queries. This lets you know when one of your queries has been replied to, or when someone else on your team has asked you a question about the proof.
To deal with these queries, you hover over your project again and click the 'Queries' button. You will see all the queries for your project, in order. In each case, the full conversation is stored so that it's always clear what decisions have been made. There's a simple button to see each query in context and respond to it.
If you're a Project Owner then you will be able to view the queries of any member of your team, as well as the usual filters for status, proof and page.
If you don't respond to your queries, you'll get a reminder email each day, summarising all your queries and giving a link straight to the relevant page of the proof.
Dealing with the master proof
Once your team has finished adding their markup, and the queries have all been resolved, you need to collate everything into a single master that can be shared with the designer (or whoever is implementing the changes). To do this, open the master proof, view the markup of each user in turn (or all at once) and copy in whatever markup you need.
To share this master proof with your designer, there are two options.
- Get your designer working in Futureproofs, where they can review the master proof (but not change it), check off each correction as it's implemented in the source files, and raise queries about anything that's not clear.
- Export a PDF file containing all the markup for your master proof. (This can also be useful if you want to store milestone assets for reference.)
Both options can work well and you should choose the one that fits your team and workflow best.
Proofreading the new version
Before you send the corrected proof out to the team for checking, you will usually want to have someone proofread it against the previous version. Futureproofs provides a split-screen mode for this purpose, which shows the master proof and the new proof at the same time, and lets you step through all corrections on the master and copy across any that were missed.
Once this proofread is complete, you're ready to have the rest of the team check the proof again. And so the cycle continues until the proof is signed off and ready for print!