Galleys, galleys, galleys!



One of the downsides of book tour — a downside I didn’t even talk about — is what happens while you’re away from home.  There are all the unanswered emails that cram your computer’s in-box, the piles of letters and magazines you have to sort through.

And the galleys.  My goodness, the galleys.

In the photo above are the thirteen galleys and manuscripts that were mailed to me while I was on tour.  All in a span of three weeks. These were sent by editors, agents, and authors who are hoping I’ll read their upcoming books and offer a quote. 

Now, I love being able to help out a fellow author.  I love discovering an exciting new voice, a unique new character.  But I admit, when I look at this pile of galleys, I feel a twinge of desperation knowing that I’ll never be able to get through all of these.  In the meantime, new galleys continue to arrive at my home every week.  Plus there are the galleys left over from last month that I haven’t read yet.

All this while I’m trying to write my own book, keep up with my correspondence, and stay up to date with the news.

It’s gotten to the point where I’ve had to stop accepting any new galleys for awhile because, quite honestly, I’ll never be able to read what I’ve got.  It takes me a week to read just one (I reserve my galley reading for bed-time), which means that just getting through what I have now will take three months.  And that’s not going to be fast enough to be helpful to these authors. I have to pick and choose which manuscripts I even open.

So how do I choose?

Urgent requests from my own editor or agent take priority.  But after that, it’s a matter of which storylines appeal to me.  And that’s all a matter of what mood I’m in.  Historical settings call to me, so I’ll gravitate toward those first.  A hint of archaeology is a plus.  Cat detectives, or any animal detectives, I’m sorry to say, give me allergies.  Paranormal detectives … um, not really my cup of tea.  Humorous mysteries are a plus-minus.  Sometimes I get the jokes, sometimes they leave me cold. 

In short, I’m like an editor in any publishing house.  I go with my own taste.

Today I’m off to Boston and Cape Cod to teach some writing courses over the weekend, so these galleys will have to wait until I come back.  In the meantime, more of them will probably arrive in the mail and the pile will grow higher. I’ll be even further behind.

So if you’ve sent me a galley in the past few weeks, and you don’t hear back from me, you’ll know why. Chances are, I just didn’t have the chance to read it.  I start off with the best of intentions, but sometimes, I just bite off more than I can chew.



15 replies
  1. struggler
    struggler says:

    Could you squeeze in another quickie, Tess? It may appeal, as it fits your ‘historical settings’ interest. Basically it’s a sequel to War and Peace, just a little bit longer, that’s all…..

  2. Loreal
    Loreal says:

    I can only imagine just how amazingly swamped you are for time! The way you describe it, I have no doubt the amount of reading material sent to you must be staggering to say the least and overwhelming at times. Hopefully those folks who send you these literary readings will be understanding of the time contraints you have. Good luck, and remember to take a mental break every now and again. I’m a 25-year-old over-worked, under-paid workaholic who doesn’t stop. And even I have to force myself to take breaks from everyone and everything demanding something from me! Again, good luck!

  3. Meike
    Meike says:

    Aw. Poor you! Don’t you ever get tempted of just sending random stuff back to your editors and using the galleys as a pillow or a coffee table?

  4. knaster
    knaster says:

    Hi Tess, it’s Abe.
    Take time to stop and smell the roses. This is your time to get some much needed R&R. The galleys can wait. Good luck in Boston and Cape Cod, and please slow down. We need you around for a long time.

  5. Rachael from NJ
    Rachael from NJ says:

    Send them my way! I would love to read all of those! I doubt anyone would want a quote from me though since I am not an author. Still I am very envious of all those free books you are getting Tess!

  6. joe bernstein
    joe bernstein says:

    tess-the Cape is nice this time of year,albeit a little chilly-take some time to relax out there and enjoy the uncrowded scenery

  7. Gabriele
    Gabriele says:

    Nice to know you like historical settings. And don’t worry, it won’t be any time soon. 😉

    If you want to procrastinate a bit, you can visit my blog, I’ve quite some posts about history.

    you can send that thing to me (after all, I wrote War and Peace fanfic as teenager). Not that a quote by an umpublished author will be worth much, but I’ll give you one. 😀

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