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 Publishing With UBC Press

Now That Your Manuscript Has Been Approved

Once the Publications Board has approved a manuscript for publication and Press management has determined that it is financially feasible, a contract is issued and a deadline set for receipt of the final and complete manuscript and files. You will also be asked to fill out a Book Information For and an Author Marketing Questionnaire.


The contract sets out the responsibilities of the Press and of the author. The author grants the Press an exclusive licence to publish the work. Copyright is usually registered in the Press’s name because it will be administering rights while the book is in print. Ownership of copyright, however, remains with the author, and all licences revert to the author on request once the title is out of print. The contract establishes the royalties, division of rights income, and the gratis copies of the book that the author receives. It also describes the deadlines that the author must meet and stipulates requirements for financial subsidy.

For edited works, the editor(s) will be offered a contract and asked to arrange for all other contributors to sign sub-contracts.


The next stop is the Production Department, where your manuscript will be turned into a book. However, before any work can begin, you must provide the following:

  • The final text, which includes a title page, table of contents, the main text, notes, and bibliography (or references). It may also include a dedication, list of tables and/or illustrations, foreword, preface, acknowledgments, introduction, appendices, glossary, and tables. See Manuscript Preparation Guide.
  • All final artwork (photographs, graphs, diagrams, maps) along with captions and credits/sources and a completed Artwork Inventory Form.
  • All final permissions for any copyrighted materials used in your book (text, data, or figures) along with a completed Permissions Inventory Form.
  • A completed Book Information Form, which is vital in preparing descriptive copy for the back cover of the book, various catalogues, and the website and to apply for library cataloguing information.

Manuscript Preparation Guide
As you prepare your manuscript for final submission, we ask that you carefully review the guidelines in our Manuscript Preparation Guide, which can be downloaded here. This document contains important information on how your manuscript and artwork should be submitted. Following these guidelines will facilitate the work of our staff and prevent delays in the publication of your book.

You may also want to refer to the following instructions:
Documentation Samples (PDF file)
Artwork Guidelines (PDF file)
Permissions Guidelines (PDF file)

Or download the following forms or templates:
Artwork Inventory Form (Word file)
Sample Permissions Request (Word file)
Permissions Inventory Form (Word file)


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.

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 with adequate captions.
  • Identify and query items that the author should check for accuracy (names of people or places, titles, quotations, bibliographic entries, web links).
  • Identify elements that require copyright acknowledgment and permission to reproduce.

All manuscripts are edited directly in the digital file. Queries are embedded in the text and highlighted for your attention. 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 and query replies directly in 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. The Press reserves the right to implement any editing that appears in the bulleted list above. 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 the 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 mockup 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 designer is responsible for the look of the page – the typefaces and sizes for text, headings, and notes; the layout of elements; and the treatment of photographs. 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.)

Proofreading and Indexing
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 don't have time to do this, the Press can hire a proofreader for you (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.

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 is expected to take three to four weeks.

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. 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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