Oh by the way, I have some changes...

This is more a question for a publisher, I suppose, but how much "fixing" of a manuscript can be done when it's in galley form? I'm thinking in terms of a non-fiction book in which circumstances are likely to be different by the time the proof is done, and it might be necessary to add some material, not more than one page. Plus, little diddly things, rewording a phrase, adding a sentence here or there -- is that reasonable? Or should one only count on making changes necessary to, say, dodge a libel suit?

Don't plan to change anything once it hits galley stage. Fixing typos is one thing but you start mucking around with page order and they're going to send you an invoice.

Your publishing contract will cover this. Standard terminology is usually they'll fix errors but not something you change your mind about.

However...there are several stages before you get to galleys that allow for all sorts of changes. There's time between "yes we want to publish this" and "here's your book" to fix all sorts of things but earlier is MUCH better.

If you KNOW things are going to be last minute, you work with your editor on this so it's not a big surprise to all concerned.


Yasmine Galenorn said...

Oh yeah...listen to Miss Snark. You either fix things during the revisions phase, or the copyedit phase. The galleys are strictly "did somebody mess up the typesetting or did they move one of my paragraphs to the wrong place" check. And if you even so much as anticipate something last minute happening, talk to your editor. Now. Or you may not be asked back to play again.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Miss Snark. It's amazing how galley proofs seem to invite author changes.