Thursday, August 18, 2011

Galleys - and not the cooking kind

Camy here! As I write this, I have just finished going through the galley proofs for my November humorous romantic suspense novel, Protection for Hire. But as soon as I finished it, I started on my galley proofs for my January 2012 Love Inspired Suspense novel, Stalker in the Shadows, which are due in less than a week.

So what are galley proofs? For those of you who don’t know, they’re the typset version of your book--the manuscript has gone through a special software that changes it into the special file format used by the printing press. No, the printing press doesn’t use Microsoft Word documents! Galley proofs are also sometimes referred to as copy edits.

For Zondervan, the galleys look almost exactly like the book, with extra space around the edges where the pages will be cut:

I got the hard copy of the galley proofs--yup, a huge manuscript mailed to my door in a box. I made changes to the galleys--but because this is such a late stage of the manuscript production process, the only changes I can make are very small, which will not alter the layout much. So I’m mostly changing any errors I catch like typos or misspellings, or any story consistency errors that need to be fixed.

I also type out the corrections in an email to my editor. For example, for the page above, the corrections look like this:

page 7 line 16. Change "Glock" to "gun"
page 7 line 17. Delete "any more"

For my Love Inspired Suspense galleys, I get them as a .pdf file. They look different from the Zondervan galleys since Love Inspired uses a different program for their printing presses:

Since I got the .pdf file, if there was a change I wanted to make, I printed out the page in question, made the change by hand (which you can see I did above), and then scanned the page using my scanner. Authors don’t always have to do this, but since I had a scanner, and since it makes it easier for my editor, that’s what I did.

Like my Zondervan galleys, I also had to write out the corrections. Love Inspired has a form to fill out called AAs (Author Alterations). Here’s what mine looks like so far:

(AA = author alterations, PE = printer’s errors) Also like the Zondervan galleys, I can’t make major changes, only things that won’t alter the typesetting--errors and story inconsistencies, and I made a few changes above because the reading flow was confusing, but all the changes are only minor and necessary.

When I self-published my fourth Sushi novella, Weddings and Wasabi, I went through lots of galley proofs also, but they were all in .pdf files, not hard copies. Below is a page from the galley .pdf file:

I caught an error near the bottom, so I filled out an action required sheet for WinePress that listed page, line, and change:

So there you have it, more information than you ever wanted to know about galley proofs from three different publishers, Zondervan, Love Inspired, and WinePress. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment!

Camy Tang writes romance with a kick of wasabi. Out now is the fourth book in her Sushi series, Weddings and Wasabi. She is a staff worker for her church youth group, and leads one of the worship teams for Sunday service. On her blog, she ponders frivolous things like knitting, running, dogs, and Asiana. Visit her website to sign up for her quarterly newsletter.

Click here to find out how you can join my Street Team—it’s free and there’s lots of chances to win prizes!


  1. I hope to know the pleasure of going through this someday.

    I also downloaded Weddings and Wasabi to my Nook. I look forward to reading it.

  2. It's so interesting to see how each publishing house handles the galley stage.

    I love galley edits. :)

  3. Ditto what Walt said. On both counts.

  4. Thanks for the look at your galleys, Camy, and for the explanation of how you edit them and report your changes to your publisher. Let's me know what to expect when I'm going through the process this coming spring.

  5. Thank you so much for this timely post Camy! My next stage is copy edits and now I know exactly what to expect! Have I mentioned how much I love Seekerville lately? :) Oh well, look for it on my acknowledgement page too! :)

    Have a great day everyone!

  6. Hey, girl! I met Tosca this weekend. It was so great! You should have been there. :D

  7. Camy, I had no idea you could make any author changes, even very minor ones, that far into the process. I'm very visual so the scans were great to be able to see.

    I know Helen will be here with the coffee soon, so I'm leaving kolaches. Sausage cheese jalapeno ones right out of the oven. =)

  8. Camy, can't wait to read W & W!

    Thx for helping me brainstorm yesterday!

  9. Linnette, did you go to the Ragged Edge? I SO wanted to be there. We are close to Nashville.

    Maybe next year.


  10. Nancy, yum!

    Walt and Patricia, we hope so too!

    Walt, didn't I hear you finaled in a contest recently? Tell the good news!

    Erica, isn't it?

    Eva and Keli, I am so excited for the both of you!


  11. *snort* The spammer would have a lot more business if he/she could get a galley proof of that post!

    This was really interesting since I'd heard the term, but hadn't seen any actual examples.

  12. Walt, awesome! I hope you enjoy it! So did you final in a contest recently?

    Erica: I have to admit I like galley edits over line edits or macro edits, but I still don't like doing them. I'd rather be done with the book already! LOL

    Patricia: I hope you like Weddings and Wasabi!

    Keli: You're welcome! I know each publisher is different, but hopefully yours won't be much different from these.

    Eva Maria: Awesome! If you can get hold of a scanner for your LI edits, your editor will love you. :)

    Linnette: Oh my gosh! How awesome! I wish I could have been there!

    Nancy: Great to know this was helpful for you! Yum, kolaches sound good right now!

    Cheryl: Welcome, sweetie! Anytime! It was fun!

    Virginia: LOL! I just deleted the spam comment. I hate those! I'm glad I was able to show you several examples of galleys. Each publisher is different, but since I write for 3 of them (4 if you count Winepress) I thought it would be fun to let people see the differences.


  13. Thanks for all the work so we can enjoy your books.

    Erica -loved meeting Bat Masterson in your book. That encourages me to research history.

  14. Camy is this what they use in netgalley and for ARC's? or is that after this process? I have been sent pdfs which are set out with the marks around the page also to read at times. I will admit it was one of these the author used the wrong heroine several times but am hoping it was picked up before the final product.

    Do you also have anyone else read them at this stage to help with spelling or small errors.
    inquiring reader needs to know.

  15. Hi everyone! I'm off from night shift so still up..supposed to be working on some quilts but am at a part I don't like so I'm stalling online!

    what was wrong with 'Glock'?!

    ok back to the quilt..sigh...pretty bad when I have to remind myself I do this hobby because I love it(I actually do but some parts of the process aren't as fun as others)


  16. Thanks Judy! You're welcome!

    Jenny: sometimes, yes, the galley you get via Netgalley is this .pdf galley file. For ARCs, however, it's typically a bound book with a slightly different cover to differentiate it from a real print copy, and you don't see the edges of the pages like on these files. That's kind of weird that you got the corrected galley for your review copy! At this stage, usually I don't have other people read the galleys because the editors typically want them back so fast. I tried asking people to read the galleys, but it was too difficult for people to get them back to me so quickly. Also, I don't usually get warning before I get the galleys—it's usually "Here you go! Have them back in 7 days."

    Susanna: Hey another night owl! How neat you do quilts! I'm one of the writers on the Patchwork Mysteries series from Guideposts Book Club and it's all about quilting. I've been very inspired by the research I've done and have more appreciation for the quilts I have. Oh, and I changed it from Glock because I wasn't entirely certain a mafia person would have a Glock. That seems more like a law enforcement handgun.


  17. Camy think it was my Aussie way of saying something. I meant the book I read I picked up several errors and I am hoping the final book doesn't have the error of the wrong name for the heroine.
    when I have been sent PDF's to read they look like what you got from Zondervan's. I can read them on the kindle by turning the kindle onto its side and it fits much better.

  18. Wow that was interesting how you make changes. I enjoy your writing very much. Looking forward to your books.

  19. Oh my gosh! I am just checking in really quick because I'm going through my book one last time. I never get to see my galleys, maybe because my book is published under Zonderkidz. I don't know, but it put the panic in me. Which is why I asked to see the final edit. I am freaking out right now because it has so many mistakes, and I'm having to go through and tell my editor the page number and sentence of each change that needs to be made. Yesterday I worked all day and into the night, and I'll be doing the same today! Pray for me.

  20. Hi Camy! Fun to see that galley formats vary by the publisher. I'm doing galleys now for my January release An Inconvenient Match. I try to read carefully during this last look at the book and hope I catch everything.

    Congrats on the release of Weddings and Wasabi! Can't wait to read it!


  21. Camy, how fun to share the galleys. Its good to know that each publisher has their own method. They also have their own policy for grammar and punctuation.

    I recently revised a manuscript for Avalon and they added tons of commas. Another publisher always took them out. So funny.

    Nancy the jalapeno kolaches are yummy.


  22. Camy, Tosca mentioned you guys like to hang out. :D

    Cheryl, yes, I was at The Ragged Edge. It was totally amazing! So much so that I've been rendered nearly speechless. Boys started school this week. Once things settle down a bit, I'll try to put pen to paper and blog about what I can form into words. It was definitely life changing for all of us there.

  23. I hadn't realized galleys could be different from one publisher to the next. Or that there could still be so many errors at that stage of the book.

    Camy, thank you so much for enlightening me on this. Now when someone says they're working on their galleys, I'll send up a prayer for them. It really is quite the task.

    Anita Mae.

  24. CAMY ... oh, I LOVE galleys of any sort, so this was fun to read to see how other publishers do it!!

    I think one of the reasons I like galleys so much is because it's the first time I see the book in actual print format, so it helps to remove me as the author in order to assess as a reader might. My favorite galleys, however, are the final ones with page numbers and my title/name at the top of each page, because THAT is the read where I actually sit down to enjoy the book -- sooo fun!!

    Congrats on the release of Weddings and Wasabi, girl, you are getting as prolific as Mary and Ruthy!!


  25. Camy, Cheryl, and Sandra, thank you. Yes, I finaled in the Maggies.

  26. Oh cool! Yet another facet of publishing explained and shown. Thank you. It's really neat to see some of the behind the scene stuff that takes place before a book hits the shelves, and it's encouraging for those of us pressing on in this marathon. Thanks, Camy. =]

  27. Thanks for sharing photos of the galleys Camy. It was interesting being able to see what they look like, for the eventual day when I'm going through my own. :)

    Jodie Wolfe

  28. Oh, thanks for reminding me, Julie.

    Congrats on Weddings and Wasabi, Camy. Love the title.

  29. Camy, what a great idea to show the various ways we get our galleys and have to indicate corrections!

    Until I received my first galleys (all have been emailed as PDFs of the actual book pages), I had no idea what to expect. For the Heartsongs I just had to list my changes in a Word doc like this:

    Pg. 74 third paragraph
    Find: Hi Uncle Ed.
    Replace: Hi, Uncle Ed.

    Anytime I'm arguing about style, usage, punctuation, etc., I usually add a line with a dictionary or CMS reference to back me up.

    Yes, I'm picky that way.

  30. Thanks, Camy. I always wondered what galleys were. Now I know!

    Best of luck with your new releases!


  31. Thanks for the peek at the galleys, Camy. I'm with Walt and Patricia - I hope to be going through my own galleys some day! It was very helpful to see that all publishers aren't the same and what kinds of things you expect to look for.

    I always learn something new when I come to Seekerville!

    And congrats to Walt!

  32. Thanks Cheryl!

    Camy, I do like the idea of making my editor love me :) So I'll put my scanner to good use :)

  33. Interesting! I've never seen any of those forms, so it's great insight to see the various ways editors and publishers do things. Great insider peek.

    And how fun to be that busy! You are blessed.

  34. Melanie, good luck! Hope you near the end soon!

  35. Thanks for this, Camy. I hear you guys talk about AAs and now I have a visual for it.

    I think of galleys as 'MY LAST CHANCE'. Anything I miss here, goes into the book.

  36. Walt, congratulations on finaling in the Maggies!

    Camy, I'm sure I'll love it. Whittling down the obligated TBR pile so I can start reading the pleasure pile.

    I've read a number of Harlequins in galley format, but didn't know that's what it was. They sometimes send these out for review.

  37. Jenny: Oh, now I understand. Yes, the galleys are uncorrected proofs so there will be typos that happened when the file was transferred from a Word .doc to the file used by the printing press. The software to transfer the file isn't perfect so sometimes weird typos happen, or there are typos the author didn't catch.

    Patsy: Thanks! I hope you enjoy my November release!

    Melanie: Ugh! So sorry to hear that, Melanie! I'll be praying!

    Janet: Thanks so much! I hope you enjoy Weddings and Wasabi!

    Sandra: Yes, I forgot to mention that each publishing house usually has its own style sheet for grammar and stuff. It really varies a lot from house to house!

    Linnette: What is the Ragged Edge? Sounds like a rock band. LOL

    Anita: Thanks Anita! Yes, this stage is where you really have to read carefully for small mistakes. Some people are good at it, but I'm not, so it's slow going for me. I'm glad you like the title of my new book! I actually picked that one out myself for a change. :)

    Julie: That's an interesting take on galleys, but you're right, it totally does help remove you as the author to see it in that format.

    Walt: Congratulations!

  38. Patty: You're welcome! I figured this would be a unique blog topic. :)

    Jodie: Let's hope that day is soon!

    Myra, that's great you use CMS. I haven't had any weird style issues with my book yet, so I'll keep that in mind.

    Susan, thanks! It's only a novella, but it's a nice release to tide my readers over until my November book.

    Jan: I'm glad that was helpful for you! When you're published, you'll probably have a slightly different procedure, but basically the same.

    Eva Maria: Awesome! Not everyone has a scanner—I only got one recently. But if you've got one, it's nice to know the editors like getting the scanned .pdfs.

    Ruthy: thanks so much! I do feel very blessed to have so much work!

    Mary: Yes, our AAs are basically the same as galleys anywhere else, although they look a little different. I like that the AA galleys have the lines numbered. That's helpful.

    Patricia: That's neat! I have never seen a Harlequin galley aside from my own.

  39. Ted Dekker's conference where I met Tosca over the weekend.

  40. Camy,

    Thanks for sharing a few of your galleys. It's always interesting to see how different publishing houses handle them.

    I've only seen galleys for non-fiction histories and large pamphlets. Those came by mail and we used red ink and post-it notes to make changes then mailed them back. A little different in that there were pictures involved so if a better one was found we sent a new digital image.


  41. Hi Camy:

    All the galley proofs I’ve corrected were on a kind of sticky gray paper. I guess they don’t do that anymore. Do you find that noticing typos is much easier on galley proofs? I do. In fact., typos are even easier to spot once the book is printed. They just seem to jump off the page!

    I was going to ask you about making changes to an eBook after it is posted on Amazon and the other sites. Since it is an eBook, it would seem to be an easy thing to do. Is it possible?

    BTW: I thought I saw only one typo in your entire book “Weddings and Wasabi” so, for this post, I went back to find its location. I think it was a single letter after a period that needed to be deleted. However, I could not find the typo but I got hooked again and read the book for a second time.

    And do you know what I missed? I missed having the old folks not speaking in the native language. I’m not sure what language they would have spoken: Chinese or Japanese. I’m also not sure if the children can speak the old language. I’m so sad that when my grandmother tried to teach me her native Norwegian, my mother told her not to do it. What a loss that was.

    In your other books do you have characters speaking Chinese or Japanese?


  42. Thanks for sharing, Camy! It's really interesting to see the different ways publishers do this.

    I actually enjoy the AA's. I've usually been away from the book for a while and just read straight through it like a reader would. I'm always a little surprised, because there are things I don't remember (I know, I probably sound half crazy.) :)

  43. Linnette: Aaaah that's why it sounds like a rock band. :)

    Kirsten: I still do hard copy galleys for Zondervan, red ink and all. The only difference is that instead of Post It notes, I write out my changes in an email. :)

    Vince: YES! I can totally see typos much better in printed galley form, which sometimes makes it hard when the galleys are .pdf files. That's funny about Weddings and Wasabi—if you do find that typo again, let me know. As for native languages, most of my characters are Asian American, so the parents are already second generation and they're bilingual, but mostly comfortable speaking English rather than Japanese or Chinese. Only a few of the cousins (Jennifer's generation) are bilingual. So the answer to your question is, no, in my other books, the characters mostly speak English since they're all second generation or higher.

    Missy: I noticed that, too! I was like, "Did I really write that? That's not half bad!" or "Did I really write that? That's awful!" LOL

  44. I had no idea what galleys were until this post! Thanks for sharing, Camy! Did you get the tingles the first time you held them in your hand? I was just picturing the movie "Little Women" when Jo has her manuscript all finished in a nice big stack, wrapped with twine and a flower stuck in and she's so happy. Then looking at your examples, I was thinking how it must feel to have your own stack in your hands...exciting! Blessings on your upcoming books! Stacey

  45. I have heard of galleys and had an idea about them...but it is great to actually get to see them.

    In my biz, we call them dummys or dummies..seen it both ways.

    I don't think we could ever learn too much about something, Camy!

    Great post. Thanks!

  46. Thanks Stacey! I have to admit, it didn't really give me tingles so much … but I did feel pretty excited when I first held my ARC in my hands. :)

    Jennifer: That's really neat! I've never heard of that term for proofs.

  47. Thanks Camy for letting us know about all those details. It really helps to know what to look forward to:)

    Look forward to reading your book!


  48. I had no idea. Thanks for sharing!

  49. Okay, Camy
    (great post, btw)
    PLEASE explain humorous suspense novel.
    I'm liking that descrip A LOT!!!

    Is it like....
    Mr. & Mrs. Jones?
    Knight & Day?
    wait, those are probably action/humor - like modern-day Mary Connealy

  50. I heard the term galleys a couple weeks ago and I was wondering. I even Googled it and it brought up the origin of how it was named instead of telling what it was haha. Thanks for sharing. The visuals really helped.

    Congratulations on Weddings and Wasabi!

  51. I love an inside look at the publishing world, so posts like this intrigue me. At this stage of the game, does a new set of nerves begin for you, where you start wondering if you've missed something? "what if there's a type I haven't caught? did I ever fix that one scene? Did I make changes from all of my old heroine's name to her new name?" Are you bombarded with "what if's?"

    Nancy! Sounds so yummy! Maybe I'm hungry...


  52. Hi, Judy! I'm so glad you enjoyed Bat. He's a fascinating character, and he had the most amazing eyes!

    Camy, I have such a poor memory, it's almost like reading a new book by the time I get to galleys. :D I'm such a goldfish!

  53. Yay, Walt! I was so happy to see your name!

  54. Erica, that's what I've felt as well. Glad it's not just me! :)

  55. Yay! Walt!!!!!!!
    What.An. Honor!

  56. Camy,

    Very interesting post!


    Congrats on the final!

  57. Thanks, Lorna! I hope you like my books!

    You're welcome, Jackie!

    Pepper: Have you read the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich? That's what it's like. :) Yes, like Knight and Day although not as many guns and explosions.

    Natalie, sounds like my post had good timing!

    Whitney, no, by this time I'm so sick of going through the book that I have no nerves whatsoever!

    Erica, it's like that a little for me, but I've also read through the book so many times by that point, I just want it to be done with by then! LOL

    Thanks, Rose!

  58. Thanks for all this info., Camy! And congratulations on your newest book! :) Blessings, Patti Jo

    p.s. Congrats to Walt!!! :)

  59. wow Guideposts has a quilt series? still trying to find it..saw a few on amazon but I guess it's one of those monthly things you sign up for? I didn't see your book but saw another author I've read - Susan Page Davis.

    my quilting is all by machine - quicker LOL! I haven't found a must-read quilt series yet - one has quilt titles but no quilting and the others have been ok ut nothing I run out to auto-buy.


  60. Camy,

    Wish I had had this info before I got The Call! Great examples of the AAs.

    Thanks for sharing!

  61. I have to admit. I've never seen that form before. Intriguing@!! May have to BORROW it.

  62. Hi Camy:

    My mistake!

    When I was growing up most of the grandparents, my friends' at least, were from the old country. I just assumed the same would be true for the Asian-Americans in your story. However, now that I think of it, many Asians came over decades before Ellis Island.

    This gives me an idea for your next book. Tish is waiting on line at some government office and when it comes her time to be waited on the official says:

    “Are you an American?”

    Tish looks at the man oddly and says something in Japanese or Chinese.

    The official then says,

    “I can’t understand you.”

    “Oh, I said I’m a seventh generation American.”

    “You have to stop doing that,”

    says Jenn.

    I think this dialogue would educate readers like me. : )


  63. I just finished the galleys for my third novel set to come out in November. It gets tedious reading your own work again and again! Thanks for sharing, though. I would havea appreciated knowing this before my first book ...

  64. I'm loving Camy's books and am a part of her Street Team. She's a great writer! I met her thru this Seekerville. Keep promoting yourselves, Writers!

  65. Thank you Camy for the insight to proofing your Galleys. Very interesting.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.


  66. This was great! Thank you fro sharing, Camy. I always wondered what it looked like.

  67. Thanks so much Patti Jo!

    Susanna: right now the series is only available to the Book Club members, but I think it'll be available to buy at online stores in a year or so. The ones for sale on Amazon are from private sellers. I enjoy writing for the Patchwork Mysteries series. Each story has a quilt or quilting involved in it, usually a historical or antique quilt.

    Debby, by now AAs are probably old hat to you! :)

    Tina, really? I thought they sent it to all the authors to do their AAs. Maybe it varies by editor.

    Vince, I know mostly Asian Americans as opposed to Asians who have come over only recently, which is why I write mostly Asian Americans. Also, there are a lot of writers who write about first and second generation Asians (Amy Tan, Lisa See) and I didn't want to just copy what they did, so I gravitated more toward Asian American culture, which is slightly different from their books.

    Tracy, I completely agree, it does get tedious! Some authors love galleys, but I'm not crazy about them.

    Kayleen, Thanks so much! I'm so glad you enjoy my books and thanks for being on my Street Team!

    Cindy, you're welcome!

    Martha, I'm glad this was helpful to you!

  68. Thanks for sharing, Camy! It was interesting to see the different types from those specific publishers.