I got my galley copy the other day and let me tell you…it was great! I loved seeing my work bound between two covers. It made everything seem so real, like I was finally a real writer. So I picked up my solid, very real book. I viewed it from different angles, held it up to the light, bit it to be sure it was solid gold (oops, not that last part). It was a glorious experience. All that hard work had finally paid off. I was an author.
And then, I made the mistake of starting to read it…
Oh, dear, I thought to myself as I read along. Did I use the word ‘exceptionally’ too much in this paragraph? Is rear window spelled as two words or is it all one word? Why am I seeing this all now? Why not when I was editing it, for the love of Pete!
That’s the curse of the galley copy. Really, once you have your galley copy, you should only be looking for big mistakes - glaring errors. Because any changes from that point on cost the publisher money. And no one is going to spend money because the author is freaking out about her word choices. And I was definitely freaking out. I e-mailed my publisher at midnight the day I received my book - I couldn’t sleep. "Can I make any changes at this point?" I pleaded. "They’re all very small. Not very noticeable. Except to anyone with eyes, that is!"
He said no. Actually, he clarified that no. Unless it’s a big one, he wrote, don’t sweat it. Easy for him to say. He’s not the one with his name on the book! This is my baby! And my baby wasn’t absolutely perfect! What was I going to do?
Okay, I do have a point here. Make sure that when you are done editing, you are done editing. Maybe it’s different when you’re dealing with big publishing companies, but for the little presses, every penny counts. If you’re self-publishing, as well. Though maybe you have the money to fix the mistakes. That’s great. But as my publisher pointed out to me, I could spend forever fixing mistakes, and then my book would never get published. He had a point, even thought it was one I desperately wanted to resist. But, for the sake of money and my sanity, I didn’t.
In summary, I will give you an extra bit of advice… If you find any mistakes in my book, blame my publisher, not me.