Awaiting the return of a book from the printers is a nerve-racking time. Authors worry about errors, page ordering mistakes, the cover design and the overall feel of the work. In the end, a book is an artefact as well as a collation of words and ideas. If the book looks flimsy, poorly bound, the cover curls up and the paper type feels wrong, disaster may be in the offing. What many authors don't know is that printers are happy to make up a 'dummy' of their book before printing. The dummy replicates the paper type, weight, cover stock, binding style and page extent, but is completely blank. It is not a proof -- that comes later in the process. A book dummy allows the author or publisher to assess the feel and quality of the book before printing it. In conjunction with the printers proof and thorough checking, it is a means of ensuring the quality and accuracy of the whole production. In addition, your leftover book dummy will make a dandy notebook.