My Publishing Journey: Getting the Galley Proof

Screen Shot 2015-06-16 at 5.10.53 PMIn my previous post in this series, “Photo Shoot,” I wrote about my experience with getting an author photo taken that I actually liked. While it took a bit of scheduling, let’s face it, having your photo taken isn’t exactly what I’d call arduous work (and in truth, it was kind of fun).

This past week bolted me back to reality as I received my first Galley Proof for The Hanged Man’s Noose from the publisher at Barking Rain Press. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term, the purpose of the galley is to catch any remaining niggling errors which remain after months of editing. You might think that after a couple dozen reviews the manuscript would be perfect, but here’s the thing: read something in a word document format long enough, and you’re guaranteed to miss the odd thing. Not to mention that after about read #10, there’s a tendency to skip over stuff because, well, you’ve read it nine other times—and you know how it’s going to end.

I can’t speak to what other publishing houses use, but Barking Rain uses a software program called ProofHQ (if you click on the ProofHQ link, there’s a little how-to video you can watch). The idea is that multiple users can make suggestions, corrections and comments on one shared document, which saves on misunderstandings and emails back and forth.

But it’s even more than that. My ProofHQ of The Hanged Man’s Noose looked just like an eBook, with the same formatting, fonts and style that you’d find in a print or digital edition! Suddenly, things that had looked just fine in Word looked a bit wonky in book format. As an example, to my eye, I had overused italics just a smidgen—not a lot, mind you, but enough times that I felt it needed addressing.

There were a few other minor things, such as an incident where I used “loft” instead of “lot” (you see, spellcheck really doesn’t catch everything), but a few hours of concentrated reading, spread over a few days, and now the Galley Proof will be reviewed by the publisher (again) before going to a professional proofreader for one final review.

Next steps? To be honest, I’m not entirely sure. But I promise to keep you posted, just as long as you keep on reading.

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11 responses to “My Publishing Journey: Getting the Galley Proof

  1. Judy Penz Sheluk

    Gillian, it really was a blast! Honestly, I am loving the entire process. Barking Rain Press is wonderful!!!

  2. Gillian Hobbs

    It must have been a real thrill to hold the galley proofs in your hand. Exciting weeks ahead. Good luck!

  3. Susan Van Kirk

    Ha, ha. So wise of you to proofread, move, publish your book, unpack, and keep all the plates in the air!

  4. Judy Penz Sheluk

    Thanks Kathleen!

  5. I really appreciate your Publishing Journey blogs, Judy. I read every word carefully; twice!

  6. Judy Penz Sheluk

    Thanks Kristina, I’m enjoying every step of the journey. Your tip is a good one. Thank you for sharing it.

  7. Judy Penz Sheluk

    Susan, I’ve had no time to be excited. We moved yesterday after many years in the same house/town. We’d be renovating the new house before moving in. I have finally plugged in my computer but that’s about it. No idea where ANYTHING is, including my mind!

  8. Kristina Stanley

    Good luck finding the typos… One trick I use is to have my mac or kindle read the book aloud to me. I set the speech to slow and watch while it’s read. I find more little errors, like using it instead of is, this way. When I read my own work, I think I see what I think I wrote, not what is actually on the page. Have fun with this phase. Can’t wait till your novel it out.

  9. This sounds familiar, Judy. Aren’t you becoming excited? Almost there.

  10. Judy Penz Sheluk

    Thanks Grace.

  11. Grace Topping

    Thanks, Judy, for sharing your experiences with us. I think we all reach a point where we are sick to death of our own manuscripts, so we do scan a lot, and we also see what we expect to see. You are getting close to publication!!

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