Friday, September 14, 2012
The page proofs for the next Sebastian book, What Darkness Brings, arrived on my doorstep this week. Galleys are, for the author, the last stage in a novel's long path from manuscript to printed book. At this point, I've addressed my editor's suggestions, reviewed the copy edited pages, given my (limited) input into the cover, and helped write the "cover copy" that tells prospective readers what the book is about. This is the last time I'll see a book before it is published (and yes, sometimes changes are made by someone after I see the galleys, sigh).
"Galley proofs" get their name from the days of hand-set type, when print was manually set up, page by page, in metal trays known as "galleys." "First pass pages" would be run off, which were sent to the editor and author to check for errors. Any necessary corrections would then be made by the printer before the final copies were produced. Of course, these days, most of this is done electronically, but thank heavens I still get actual paper pages to look at, because I have a hard enough time spotting errors as it is, without the added difficulty of trying to read a manuscript on a screen. Most authors will tell you that the brain has a terrible tendency to see what it expects to be there, not what actually is there.
Galleys can be frustrating, since when they arrive I have to stop work on the book I am currently writing and turn away for a few days to do something else (particularly frustrating this time since I just lost over a week to Isaac). But since I know my readers are looking ahead to this book, and not even thinking about Why Kings Confess, which is my own focus at the moment, I thought you might enjoy seeing that things are progressing!
On a side note, one of my readers sent me a link to some more of my covers. These are some Russian editions of one of my romances--another red Midnight Confessions. Thank you, Irin!