Part of the schedule of “from contract to book on a shelf” includes the galley. This is the pre-printed version of a manuscript. The pages appear exactly as they would in a bound copy, except each line is numbered down the left margin. It’s the author’s job to re-read the entire galley and find any errors, typos, etc. The author makes her comments (Page 37, Line 18: change period to comma) and sends them back to the editor. When those changes are made, the galley goes out one more time to a “reader.” The reader re-reads the book, looks for any errors an author might have missed and sends those recommended changes back to the editor.

I’m currently at that juncture with the third book in the Kismet series, Kismet’s Salvation. And the other day I received the reader’s recommendations, along with the following comments:

Kismet’s Salvation is a wonderful story. It reminded me of a classic Jude Deveraux historical, a timeless effortless piece. The story was a rollercoaster of emotions which brought me tears and laughter. To tell the truth last night I stayed up until 1:30 in the morning because I could not put it down and it was well worth it.”

These are the comments that keep a writer going, that keep us fueled to pen our stories, that give us joy that somewhere, someone understands and appreciates the blood we spill on the page.

So to that reader: Thank you!