Before I became published, I didn't have the foggiest notion of all the steps that occurred between submitting a manuscript to a publisher and seeing the finished product on the shelves of a bookstore. Now, 3 books in and 2 more to come in 2010, I have a better idea. And I'll be honest: it's a long, lengthy process. Right now, I'm tackling the galley of One Night in Napa, which will release May 1, 2010.
What is a galley? It's the final author look at his/her manuscript before it's released in print, permanently. This means that the publisher sends you the complete document for you to read through, page by page, to catch any last-minute errors or wording changes before it's immortalized on the page. Ugh. Utter tedium, as far as I'm concerned.
OK, it's nice to have that last look at your words before they release in print. But for me, it requires so much close attention that I can only read through a few chapters at a time. I feel wholly responsible for each word, each letter, and I tend to lose concentration after 30 or 40 minutes or so.
So the reading of my galley is consuming my life this week. I try to tackle it little bits at a time, though October 19 is my deadline, so I don't have too much time to play with.
The nice part about the galley? It allows me to fall in love with my story again, to remember why I love these characters their story so much. So as much as I complain about the close reading, I do like being reminded of why I wrote it in the first place. And I hope you'll feel that way as well!
Less than 7 months until One Night in Napa releases in print...I can hardly wait! Can you??