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.