My Physics teacher is currently writing a book and he provides us with PDFs of his work while we study the chapters. Having read other sources such as Principles of Physics and other textbooks I feel his work to be mostly lacking and doesn't have any good diagrams or examples. He said he plans to get out at least one of the volumes by next year while he hasn't completed writing it just yet. Suppose he completes it by next month how long would it take for the proofreading because I think it takes longer for some scientific work as all questions and proofs need to be checked independently. Also another physics books with hundreds of people being acknowledged for the contributions to the book especially for proofreading so is it possible to proofread a book within a few weeks for a publisher?

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  • 2
    When you refer to proofreading, are you referring to checking for content or only for language? Also, how long is the book? – Allure Jul 14 at 9:22
  • 8
    "as long as it takes" – virmaior Jul 14 at 9:23
  • 3
    What is the point of your question? Are you in a rush to buy a copy? Do you want to volunteer to do the proofreading? – Solar Mike Jul 14 at 9:27
  • I don't think that it's doable but my teacher says so. I was just wondering is it really possible – StackUpPhysics Jul 14 at 12:01
  • Clearly it depends on how careful a proof-reader is. One can certainly read a book in a few weeks. If that counts as thorough proof-reading is a different question. – xLeitix Jul 15 at 13:55

I think that you may be confusing together two different things here:

  • Peer review of a work to validate its correctness, and
  • "Proofreading" in the sense of looking for errors in formatting, spelling, and grammar.

Peer review to validate correctness may take quite some time indeed, and is known to be particularly lengthy for papers more theoretical subjects.

With a textbook, however, the process might be much shorter, since a textbook is generally expected to be a summary of well-known and accepted work, rather than novel work requiring in-depth peer review. Thus:

  • Some publishers may not bother with peer review, but just to proofreading
  • Others might do peer review, but it may go much more quickly because they are just validating that well-known material is presented comprehensibly.

Finally, do note that many textbooks have errata published afterwards, so it's certainly not unusual for errors to slip through the process.

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