In my attempt to drag you through EVERY SINGLE STEP in the transformation of just a fun little idea into a full-blown book series, I finally have something else to report! I’m starting to understand that the process goes through long periods of absolutely nothing happening, punctuated by really exciting events that get my adrenaline shooting right back up to “can’t sleep”-level.
So the latest happening is…drumroll…the “galley pass of the manuscript”. I’m putting that in quotes, because that’s what my editor called it, and I would normally not know enough about the technical side of publishing to figure out what the hell she was talking about. But since she explained it in her email, I’ll explain it to you, and then we’ll all sound like experts talking about “galley passes” left and right.
The galley pass is basically my manuscript formatted so that it looks like it will when it is printed, including all of the pages (title, copyright, dedication, epigraph, prologue, text, and acknowledgments). It includes the amazingly awesome graphics that were designed specifically for DIE FOR ME’s title and chapter headings. (And when I say “amazingly awesome”, I mean the designer created a separate image for each letter. Trust me – it’s amazingly awesome.)
My editor sent the galley pass to me electronically (I told them that the PDF was enough – I hate to waste paper and have the whole thing sent by mail), and told me that it was my “last real opportunity to sit with your book, give it a read through, and make any final adjustments”. They specified that, “Your corrections should be kept to a minimum since the manuscript has been typeset.”
So, for example, I had previously noted that I was missing an accent in the name “Genevieve” and that I called my fictional café “Café Saint-Lucie” instead of “Sainte-Lucie” (with the “e” for a female saint, or course!). So I’ll make note of that kind of stuff. But I’m not going to go through and rewrite whole sections even though I will be tempted to since I CAN’T EVER STOP PICKING AT WORDS…*deep breath*, *attempt for zen-like peacefulness*, whew, anyway…
There are a couple of other purposes for the galley pass. 1) A proofreader is going to take it and hopefully catch any typos or bad page breaks. And 2) bound copies of the galley pass are being made and will be sent to “advance readers.” (Whence comes the cryptic acronym “ARC”, or “advance reader copy,” which I had to google when a book reviewer asked me for one.)
And it is #2 that has me in a tizzy. People are going to read DIE FOR ME soon. People who are not my best friend or family member. And they’re going to tell other people what they think about it. And I’ve already told you how even thinking about reviews makes me hyperventilate.
All this to say we are inching inevitably towards release day—sometime next May or June—and things are going to be heating up very soon. I’ve got my flip-flops and sunscreen ready. And, thankfully, I’ve got you to hold my virtual hand come freak-out time.