Production Process

Every book follows a slightly different production schedule but they all have one thing in common: HPP gives each manuscript individual attention and works hard to ensure quality at every stage.

The following sections will give you an idea of what you can expect after you submit your manuscript.

The guide below is intended for current authors and editors of Health Professions Press titles. Prospective authors should consult our submission guidelines for information about working with HPP.


After you submit your manuscript, we check that the text and references are complete, log incoming permissions releases, and contact you with questions. We also perform a “cast-off,” a chapter-by-chapter tally of your manuscript that we use to estimate the length and complexity of each of the components (e.g., text, lists, figures, tables, photos, references) that make up your book’s interior.

Now the production process begins in earnest. The first step is the launch meeting: The individuals who will be involved in editing, producing, and marketing your book meet to discuss your manuscript, set a schedule for its production, and make formatting and pricing decisions. This meeting gives members of each department the opportunity to learn about your book, ask questions, and outline how production and marketing efforts will proceed.

At the end of the launch meeting, your acquisitions editor formally passes your manuscript to a book production editor who will work closely with you during the next several months. He or she is responsible for overseeing your book’s copyediting and production and keeping you apprised of deadlines so that your book prints by its projected publication date.


Your book production editor begins editing your manuscript online with the electronic files you provided for the final manuscript. He or she edits the manuscript for spelling, punctuation, grammar, clarity, consistency, and so forth, making sure to query you along the way if questions arise.

After the book production editor has finished copyediting, he or she will send you the electronic files of the edited manuscript for your close review. The files will contain “tracked changes” that show all additions, deletions, and queries made in the text. (Additions will be in boldface, and deletions struck through.) Carefully respond to all queries and suggestions. Because making substantial changes to the text after typesetting is costly, authors and editors should take this opportunity to make all necessary changes.


If more than one author wishes to review the copyedited manuscript, coordinate your changes and responses to queries so that all are marked in a single file that gets returned to the production editor.


Each lead chapter author will receive the edited file of his or her chapter to review; in rare cases the lead volume editor will simultaneously review the chapters. Chapter authors and editors should coordinate their changes and answers to queries so that they appear together in a single electronic file that gets returned to the production editor.

After you have reviewed the copyedited manuscript, the book production editor incorporates your changes and prepares the electronic files for the typesetter.




While you review the copyedited manuscript, the graphic designer oversees the design of your book’s interior pages. During the design process, the content, audience, and reading level of your book as well as its trim size, binding, and the complexity of its elements (e.g., sidebars, wrapped text, figures, tables, photographs) are all carefully considered.

Once we have created a design that maximizes the readability and sales potential of your book, the typesetter creates sample “dummy” pages of the design. You will have an opportunity to review these samples before the complete manuscript is sent to the typesetter. (Don’t be alarmed if the text used in the sample pages is not from your book—these samples are for design purposes only!)


Early in the production process, we begin the collaborative task of designing your book’s cover. Covers should be both visually enticing and appropriate for your book’s content and audience.

You will have the opportunity to provide input on the design and to review a cover sample and back cover copy. Once the design has been finalized, the cover files are prepared for the printer. We use the approved cover design on our web site and in our catalogs to help market your book even before the book has published.



Page proofs may be sent to you as hard copy print-outs or electronic PDFs showing your book as it has been laid out by a professional typesetter. This stage is exciting, as your manuscript will look like a book—unbound, of course—for the first time. Depending on a book’s schedule, the lead author or editor will be asked to carefully review one or more sets of page proofs before the book is considered ready to be printed.

Essentially, what you see during your final review of page proofs is what you will see in the printed book. At this stage, all major changes have already been incorporated into the text, and new changes are kept to a minimum. You will be asked to double-check the following during your review

  • running heads
  • tables and figures
  • references
  • misspellings
  • final queries


Lead chapter authors are expected to review page proofs carefully and answer any final queries as completely as possible. Lead volume editors will have the opportunity to review each chapter at a later proof review stage.

A professional proofreader simultaneously reviews the proofs. Once the book production editor receives changes from you and the proofreader, he or she carefully reviews the proofs again. The typesetter then incorporates all of the changes into the text and rushes final “confirming” proofs to the book production editor. Once the book production editor confirms that every change has indeed been incorporated, the book’s files are sent to the printer.

HPP’s careful and extensive proof review process ensures that each book is of excellent quality before it is printed and bound.



The front matter of your book comprises the copyright page, the title pages, and the table of contents, plus optional items such as acknowledgments and dedication pages, author bios and affiliations, a preface, and a foreword.

Front matter proofs deserve special mention because the lead author or editor is typically the only author with the responsibility of checking them. An accurate copyright page is critical because it must contain all required disclaimers and credit lines for photographs and other copyrighted material. All author names, addresses, and affiliations should be carefully checked for accuracy and spelling as well.


During the production process, contributing authors will receive Contributor Information Sheets asking for the names, affiliations, and mailing addresses they would like listed in the front matter. The lead volume editor should carefully double-check this information when reviewing proofs.



While you are reviewing proofs, the book production editor provides another set of proofs to a professional indexer. After the indexer completes the index and the book production editor has carefully reviewed it, the lead author or editor of the book will have the opportunity to review it as well.

You, as an author or editor, have the responsibility of checking the index for clarity and accuracy (though not whether each entry matches up with its page number references). Be sure to make every necessary change at this stage to avoid costly changes once the index has been typeset. You’ll get a second opportunity to review the index to confirm that all of your changes were incorporated.



Once the book production editor confirms that all changes have been incorporated into the text, the typesetter finalizes the book’s electronic files, which are then sent to the printer. The printer makes the plates from which your book will be printed directly from these electronic files.

After the plate has been made, the printer sends a full set of digital proofs to the book production editor. Digitals are proofs of the actual representations of each printed page of your book.

Immediately upon receiving the digital proofs, the book production editor reviews them to ensure that no errors have been introduced during the printing process. He or she also checks imposition at this stage, as this is the first time we’ll see the book’s full interior spreads. Once the book production editor returns the digital proofs to the printer (typically within 48 hours), the actual printing and binding process commences.

And a few weeks later . . . bound copies of your books are shipped to the warehouse! Your book production editor will send you advance copies as soon as they arrive, and two copies will be sent to the Library of Congress for archiving.


Contact your editor at Health Professions Press by calling 410-337-9585 x180, faxing 410-337-8539, or emailing