Mark Terry

Monday, March 19, 2007

Galley Proofs

March 19, 2007
I've been spending the last week proofing the galleys for my next Derek Stillwater novel, THE SERPENT'S KISS. For anyone not familiar with the term, a galley is an intermediate step between turning in a manuscript and getting a completed book. It varies a lot from publisher to publisher, even book to book. In this particular case, I received the 370+ pages loose, like a manuscript, but the pages themselves had been laid-out to look like the book will. Although it's on regular manuscript paper, there have been markings to show where it will be cut to fit the book size.

Sometimes authors get bound galleys. They'll be double-sided and bound in some fashion. Sometimes it resembles the book itself. Sometimes authors who are published in hardcover get a version that resembles a trade paperback. Sometimes it has the cover art on it. Sometimes, like my previous publisher, it was done entirely on-line via either a PDF or a Word doc.

My job is to carefully read it and catch any corrections or make changes. I got a page of possible editorial notes from my titles editor, Wade (versus the acquisition editor, Barbara). Some were just alerting me to changes he had made, like noting that two characters owned Hondas and there were car switches and calling one a Honda and the other a Civic would clarify things a bit. Sometimes there are continuity issues, like Derek's good luck charms and what they are. Sometimes just a question about something.

I also might find a typo or two or a clunky bit of writing that bothers me.

It's sort of exhilarating, but it's exhausting, too. It takes me a while to do this because I really concentrate and go slow. It's really my last chance to fix anything before the book goes to press. Yeah, some things probably will slip through, hopefully minor. I find I can't do huge chunks. I usually proof maybe 20 or 25 pages at a time.

Still, it's another way you're convinced you're a real writer, and that's pretty cool.

Mark Terry


Anonymous Eric Mayer said...

It is really cool to see the galleys. However, it is even cooler that Mary deals with them!

8:01 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

I can see some advantage to having somebody else read it simply because they see things with fresher eyes. Plus, some people are just good at that copy editing sort of thing.

9:00 AM  
Blogger spyscribbler said...

Good luck! I like the cover on the second one, by the way. :-)

11:15 AM  
Blogger spyscribbler said...

LOLOL ... Therese Fowler just blogged about receiving her galleys today, too! :-)

6:27 PM  
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