Today I went over the galleys for "A Wall To Keep The World Out," the short story I sold to Sword and Sorceress 25. The anthology will on sale in October and is filled with really good stories, especially the one mentioned above, so hurry out and reserve your copy today!
Plug over. Hey, I have to earn my paycheck, you know.
Galleys are the writer's last chance to fix a story. It's the typeset book, with everything in place. The pages are all justified and prettied up. Everything's done but the printing. So the author(s) get one last chance to look through the story and discover, OMG, I have attributed Mike's sexual fantasy to Sue in chapter 26. So there's one last chance to do a quick name change on the sentence. This is also the last chance to discover the missing period and the unclosed quotation.
And that you mangled the name of the main character's home country in chapter three.
Going over galleys is time-consuming and more than a little boring. After all, you've been over this story half a dozen times before submission, and done a couple of readings of it in the weeks after submission. But they are _important._ Why? Because, one, there are Gremlins who get into typesetter's computers and change your text, ommiting letters and punctuation. Two, because you don't want older, more accomplished authors giggling at you. And three, most important -- you really don't want to see the fan fiction that will be sparked by Sue's strange fantasy. trust me on that.