My book galley is here! My book galley is here!
I cannot tell you how exciting it was to receive the hard brown cardboard box containing my paperback book galley. I was expecting it, of course, but it came two days late, and I was chomping at the bit waiting for it to arrive.
The packaging was great. A simple pull-tab released the proof into my waiting hands, and there it was.
There is was? No! Here it is! My first book, only a proof, a galley, but a book I could hold in my hands nonetheless.
It felt wonderful. I was filled with a sense of pride. The hard-won reality of what I had finally accomplished lay in my hands.
The cover is spectacular. The picture, the colors, the typography all add to the attractiveness of the book itself. However, the most sensual reward was the heft of the book in my hand. I flipped through the pages, raising and lowering the book in my hand, feeling its weight. Here it is! And it’s real.
I did get a rush when I published my eBook, and saw it listed on Amazon, but that feeling was minimal compared to how I felt holding a thing of substance – the book – in my hand.
An aside here about the cover. Because I do not draw, I hired a professional to do my book cover, and, unless you are an accomplished artist in that discipline, I recommend that you hire one as well.
As the author, I knew my story, and I had structured it a certain way to help get my message across. Consequently, I had a snapshot in mind for what the cover should look like. The story tells of a boy’s search for the answer to a riddle by looking in my book. That painted the idea for the cover in my mind – a boy sitting in a chair reading a book. We are looking over his left shoulder as he is reading and twin dragon-heads erupt from the pages of the book in his lap into his face.
I explained my idea to my designer. He did the rest, and I could not be happier with the results.
But, alas, the book is not perfect. I had gone through the editing and proofreading processes so many times, I thought I had found and corrected all errors. Such was not the case. As anyone who has gone through this process knows, after a certain number of readings your eyes go numb. You can no longer see the words you are reading. The brain is so familiar with the content is has read so many times before, that mistakes no longer register.
The good news is that, at least for me, once I picked up the actual book and started reading it, it took on a completely different persona. It was now a real book. I was no longer reading a manuscript off the computer. I was reading a book like any other book I’d read. This made all the difference.
Now as I was reading my book, even though the story was still the same, and the words were still the same, I was no longer word-blinded. The book seemed fresh, and I enjoyed reading it. In fact, numerous times I sat back in amazement, in wonderment at the beauty of what I had created. I had actually written these words, put together those sentiments. I amazed myself that it was that good. Please forgive the braggadocio, but that is exactly how I felt. Holy cow! I wrote that? Yes I did.
So, with these fresh eyes I reread my book. This time the errors became obvious, and embarrassing. I had to shake my head in disbelief that I had left out a necessary word, had left in a word that need to be removed, had actually repeated a whole paragraph twice without even noticing. This time the errors were a joy to correct. I was happy polishing my work of art.
Then off it went once more, back to Amazon. The temptation to bypass another proof was strong – just get it out there now that it was perfect, but I thought better of that idea and ordered another proof just to make sure.