Early last week my editor let me know that my galleys would be delivered Friday and I counted each day in anticipation of finally holding my “almost” finished book in my hands. When the FedEx man rang the doorbell on Friday I bolted downstairs, only to see him climb into his truck. I started to yell when I looked down and saw it....the most beautiful innocuous cardboard box ever to hold fifteen galley copies. I grabbed the box and I raced upstairs to my office. With the assistance of a pair of scissors I tore into the box, and paused when I saw that the cover was not the vibrant red-and-black that I expected; it was yellow with black lettering and devoid of photographs. I grabbed a book and caressed it to my chest. It was still gorgeous, and it was mine. This moment was a long time in coming. Sigh.
I perused the front cover and discovered a rectangular box near the bottom that contained the statement, “Uncorrected Proofs for Limited Distribution, NOT FOR SALE, A NOVEMBER BERKLEY ORIGINAL TRADE PAPERBACK.” On the back cover inside another rectangle it said, “UNCORRECTED PROOFS – NOT FOR SALE” and added, “If any material is to be quoted, it must be checked against the bound book.” I flipped to the introduction and I choked up. Tears welled in my eyes. Staring back from the bound page were my words, written from the heart to help others. Oh my God, the fairy tale is coming true.
So, what is a galley? It is simply the typeset pages bound into book form. Photographs are not included and the cover is plain cardstock. Publicists send galleys to book reviewers, distributors and book clubs that like to see a copy of the book three or four months before its official publication date. My galleys are “in the mail” to these guys and I can’t wait to see what interest evolves from this step of the publishing process. Other reviewers like to receive an Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) that has a full color cover. The publicist sends these out about one month before publication. The journey continues.....