My friend and I are writing a book in English in the Electrical Engineering field. At this stage, we need someone to proofread our texts and also to design the layout of the book, so we will need to entrust them with our manuscript. I was wondering, how can we trust that the proofreader and designer of the book will not plagiarize our work?

  • Register your work with the US Copyright Office: google.de/url?q=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
    – user5645
    Dec 24, 2014 at 7:04
  • That's interesting. But it raised some questions:1) I don't live in U.S, But I want to publish it international, So Can I still Register there? 2) Do I need to finish the manuscript of the book before restringing it, in other word, Can I register the draft of some parts of book there?@what
    – SAH
    Dec 24, 2014 at 7:17
  • Yes and yes. You can also pay a notary in your home country.
    – user5645
    Dec 24, 2014 at 10:49

3 Answers 3


Work with reputable proofreaders and designers, who have proven track records with satisfied clients.

Anybody with a reputation to maintain will have no profit from plagiarizing clients' work. First of all, a manuscript on its own isn't worth a whole lot (it takes a lot of work to earn good money off a manuscript), and secondly, they'll stop getting clients.

  • 1
    Working with people you don't trust is a bad idea to begin with. A much more common problem is simply getting work on your book that isn't very good.
    – Standback
    Dec 24, 2014 at 11:07
  • How can you find reputable proofreaders and designers?
    – user8727
    Dec 24, 2014 at 11:11
  • Same way you find a reputable plumber. Ask for recommendations; google for recommendations; google for the type of job you want done, and then check out reviews of the names you get.
    – Standback
    Dec 24, 2014 at 11:34
  • With books it's actually fairly easy, because the final product is usually made public. If you're looking for a cover designer, they should ALWAYS be able to point you to books they've already designed covers for.
    – Standback
    Dec 24, 2014 at 11:34

In addition to "Work with reputable proofreaders and designers," as Standback correctly notes, you can also add a non-disclosure agreement to your contract. The language might state that the contents/cover/etc. of the book is to remain strictly confidential until official publication by X publishing house or Y printer.

Honestly, I don't think this is something you need to worry about. Any proofreader or designer who plagiarized clients would be out of business the next day. Nobody is going to work with someone who steals from the client. It's utterly self-defeating.


It is not clear from your question if you intend to publish your book with an established publisher or in an independent way.

In scientific fields, proofreading is typically done, at least partly, by colleagues who know the subject. Here confidentiality is commonly guaranteed by trust. Then there is the publisher's editor. Here confidentiality is guaranteed by the contract.

The book design should typically follow the publisher's style, which can depend on the book series. Many scientific publishers distribute style guides and LaTeX classes to their authors. If you want to follow your own design you should probably make an agreement with the publisher.

Finally, take into account that the yearly income which can result from selling a scientific book is typically very limited and hiring a professional proofreader and a designer can be onerous.

  • I am trying to design the book in my way with Adobe-Indesign software. I dont like to follow publishers style. so, I must print it out at a Printery and register it myself. I am familiar with designing and graphic process so I can do most of it.But, I must take care of proofreading too. So I was thinking to engage an undergraduate student to proofread my book and in return I give the the Editor credit. So, I was worry about plagiarism as we may not have any physical contact. @massimo-ortolano
    – SAH
    Dec 24, 2014 at 21:37
  • Then ask him to sign an NDA. I'm perplexed, however, by the approach you've chosen to publish. Dec 25, 2014 at 19:59
  • Thanks, so where can he sign a NDA in U.S, a notary? Why are you perplexed man? @massimo-ortolano
    – SAH
    Dec 25, 2014 at 23:10
  • @Electricman: I'm not from US, so I can't give you advice on how to find a notary there. If you are affiliated to an institution you might ask to the legal office, maybe the NDA can be signed under the umbrella of the institution. Dec 26, 2014 at 15:43

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