Galleys of THE BLOODBOUND have finally started doing the rounds. This is the part of the process where reviewers get a sneak peek at an upcoming novel, in the hopes that they’ll post a nice review before release date and help build up some buzz. Galleys are printed out of typeset page proofs, so the novel is 99% finalised, but usually still contains a (highly annoying) handful of mistakes. (In the case of THE BLOODBOUND, that included spelling my name wrong on the copyright page. Really?)
If you’re curious what galleys look like, the two mint green books in the centre of this stack (as posted over at SF Signal) are galleys. The Golden Princess is another, and the Tor book looks like one too. These are generic covers that don’t yet feature the cover art and blurbs you’ll find on the finished product. Books published by Roc have a sort of peachy colour, and apparently Ace goes in for green.
This is always a nerve-wracking time, but in many ways I’m finding it even more peptic than I did with my debut novel, DARKWALKER. I’m not sure why that is. In many ways, I should be less worried. Not only have I been through this once before, but it was with a novel that was never going to be everyone’s cup of tea. DARKWALKER is… well, dark. Not only that, its hero spends at least half the novel being a complete and utter dick. There was every chance that the book wasn’t going to turn the critics’ crank. At yet it worked out; DARKWALKER ended up being very well received.
THE BLOODBOUND, on the other hand, is about as approachable a fantasy novel as you can get. And maybe that’s what worries me.
You know how they always say on those reality cooking shows that if you’re going to do something simple, you’d better damn well get it right? It’s kind of like that with books, I think. If you’re trying to achieve something really complex and subversive, people tend to cut you some slack. If, on the other hand, you’re not interested in re-inventing the wheel, but just making it the shiniest fastest funnest wheel it can be — well, then you’d better get it right. Really right.
So colour me Pepto Pink.