Tear sheets are traditionally printed pages that were wasted in the set up of first rate book printing. Availability was generally limited to waste that was good enough to use in marketing. Tear sheets are actual book pages, and are a great way to allow book buyers to “get a taste” of your work. With digital printing, and the elimination of traditional “make ready” waste, digital tear sheets are generally purpose printed.

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This section is drawn from
http://www.gregathcompany.com/service/TearSheets.html