WHAT ARE GALLEYS? (OR GALLEY PROOFS)

by Sonne T. Hart on May 2, 2011 · 2 comments

In the last post I told you about my story that turned into a manuscript, and its’ journey to Author House.  I also talked about the submission process and how my manuscript had to be edited and formatted to the publisher’s specifications.  So, today the process continues with information about the book galleys. Exactly what is a galley?  I know you’ve heard of galley kitchens and boat galleys, but how many are familiar with a book galley or galley proofs?  Until I wrote a book and began to think seriously about having it published, I truly never thought of a galley being anything but a place to eat on a boat or in a hallway type kitchen.

My manuscript, HEROES is now in the capable hands of Author House’s Production Department.  The next step will be the actual printing of my story into book form, and dressed in an, oh so pretty jacket.  You read before on this blog site about a book jacket and how it came to be.

But, right now I want to tell you a little about how galleys earned their name. In the days of hand-set print type, the printer would set type into galleys, the galleys were long narrow metal trays into which type was laid and tightened into place.  Through this process pages were printed.  These pages were called galley proofs. The printer would make a copy, (in some cases more than one copy), of the entire manuscript using this method.  The copy or copies was then sent to the author for corrections, changes, or in some cases additions. The next time I hear from Author House will be when they send me the galleys to be proofed.  This is what the publishing house calls a galley proof.  It will be my last chance to change or correct anything on the printed page.

To say I’m excited would be a gross understatement.  The work that has led up to this moment has been mind boggling at times.  I had to give thought to the designing of a book jacket, a logo, and a book trailer, which you will see soon on my website. I also needed a way to connect with the reading public. I wanted them to learn along with me how the process of self publishing worked.  I wanted readers to get to know me, the person, as well as the author. I hoped that in turn they would want to read my story, Heroes.

 

 

 

 

Mac Brake May 2, 2011 at 10:20 PM

I’ve had a little experience with galleys! I worked for six years as a newswriter for Uncle Sam, then joined the staff of an eight page religious weekly published in Missouri.

The editorial staff was small–three women, three men–and the paper had only 30,000 in circulation among the members of some 1,500 churches. The revenues were very modest, so the whole staff did double duty in all phases of production and circulation.

One of the extras for editorial staffers was reading the weekly galley proofs. In that day [mid ’60s], the type was set “hot” on linotype machines operated by the publishing staff of the broader organization. The galleys were run [printed], sent to us in duplicate, then read and proof-marked by hand. The process took a full afternoon.

The galley corrections were made on linotype, the full page was blocked up from them, with half-tone photos inserted, then we read again! This time it was final and the paper went “to bed” from there.

The afternoon of the next day, we got our hands dirty again, this time running the folded paper through the addressograph machine which produced the final product–yet to be ZIP-sorted by hand and bundled for the post office!

Yup, galleys are fun! Go for it, Sonne!

Wilburta Arrowood May 5, 2011 at 3:56 PM

Galleys are the last step prior to the book actually being published, and as that time draws nearer and nearer authors tend to get more and more excited, and even panicked. “There are a thousand things I should change,” but alas, other than major grammar errors, or technical errors, it is too late. That baby is on its way! 😉 Eagerly awaiting the birth of your baby, Sonne.

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