When I got my proof copy back from the printer, I was upset. There were pages missing and the colours on the cover weren't as punchy as I would have liked. At first I wanted to blame the printer, thinking that something had gone wrong on their end. However, I realized after checking my files, that the problem occurred my end.
How did this happen? I'm still not sure, but I do know why I didn't catch the problems. I have a fairly new computer and I never put on the program Adobe Reader. Generally this hasn't been a big deal because I haven't been doing a lot of work that requires using it, and most pdf's will open in the Mac image program. Rather than install the program like a smart person and check the file before I sent it to the printer, I trusted everything was alright.
Lesson learned. Check every file sent, AND check every page within the file. Otherwise, pages could be missing entirely, out of order, or parts of the text could be messed up.
A tip I was told was to read the last line of a page and the first of the next page to make sure they match up, and to go over every single page number. Of course, this doesn't help with copy edits, but it makes sure the proof is in order.
Now to find the time to fix all of this for Magic High.