Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Galley Day

This morning I got a visit from the FedEx man. Don't you love it when that happens? I live in a short cul-de-sac, and we as a neighborhood get lots of FedEx and UPS traffic. It is a rare treat for the truck to actually land outside my door.

Today he came, and he delivered my galley proofs. If you don't know what that is, you're in the right place. I'm going to tell you! Lucky, lucky. Galleys are the printed pages (on regular 8.5 x 11 paper) that look like book pages. They're laid out with pretty font and page numbers and "Becca Wilhite" on every other page. It's very fun to read through the galleys. I get the responsibility of carefully reading every word on every page to make sure there are no random mistakes. I need to send my corrections back to the publisher within 2 weeks. (It's not a very long book. It won't take too much time.) But I need to be careful and precise. This is not the time for me to make revisions. I can't put stuff from Chapter 2 into Chapter 17 (I don't think I actually have a Chapter 17, and I can't change that now, either). I can't take out characters or make new plot points. That is called editing. The time for that has passed, and that's why I did so many drafts over the last year and a half. That's why I had so many people read it (and some, so many times - Hi, Em!) and offer suggestions. Now is the time for careful proofreading (which is just not the same thing as editing, you know).

And one other thing:

This may be the last time I actually read all the way through this book. It doesn't really do me any good to read my books after they're published. It only makes me itchy. I think of how it could have been better, funnier, longer, more precise. So this may be it, and that's a happy (and nostalgic) thing. So off I go to pick carefully through galley proofs - see you on the other side.


  1. What an exciting day! My friend Linda's a picture book writer and the day her galley's came, we all just oohed and ahhed around the table. Fun times!

  2. HOORAY HOORAY HOORAY! What fun... and what a perfect thing to do on a dark and dreary day like this.

  3. Happy Galley Day! Can't wait to wish you Happy Book in Stores Day because that means I can buy it. :)

  4. So teach me, my already published friend. How long is it between getting galley proofs and your actual book coming out?

  5. Melanie - it depends. We'll talk.

  6. That must be such a bittersweet experience!


If you want to say it, I want to hear it. Bring it on.