Earlier this morning, I finished the galley proofs for my upcoming book, The Way of the Heathen: Practicing Atheism in Everyday Life. This is the final step before the book goes to the printer. “Galleys” means the typeset pages of the book: the author makes sure there aren’t formatting mistakes, does one final round of proofreading and minor editing, signs off on the project, drinks or screams or does something else celebratory, and immediately goes into a panic about that paragraph that they were going back and forth on and whether Alex was really right about the word “green.” (Long story. We might do a podcast about it someday.)
And yes, I’ve been doing this at the same time that I’ve been co-building and co-launching a business. If any of my friends and colleagues have been wondering why I’ve been even more exhausted, overworked, scattered, terrible about returning emails, and impossible to schedule with than usual over the last few months — yeah, this is why. Sorry I couldn’t tell you about it sooner. Loved writing the book; loved building this blogging site. Doing both at the same time — yeah, that was interesting.
So the book is done! Well, except that I’ll have to take one more look at the next round of galleys to make sure all the corrections were done right. And then there’s getting the ebook formatted. And recording the audiobook. And publicity. And… Writing a book and getting it published is funny: it happens in so many stages, each stage seems like the final one until you remember the next, and to some extent it’s never really finished. (I’m still doing publicity for my other books. Have I mentioned that I’ve written some other books? I have. I’m author of four books: Comforting Thoughts About Death That Have Nothing to Do with God, Coming Out Atheist: How to Do It, How to Help Each Other, and Why, Why Are You Atheists So Angry? 99 Things That Piss Off the Godless, and Bending: Dirty Kinky Stories About Pain, Power, Religion, Unicorns, & More. They’re all available in ebook, print, and audiobook, they’re all awesome, and you should buy them.)
But being finished with galleys is a hugely important version of “done.” At this point, I am not making any more changes. I’m double-checking the changes I’ve made, I’m putting the book into different formats — but The Way of the Heathen: Practicing Atheism in Everyday Life. is done. It is what it’s going to be. I’m really, really happy. I think you’re going to love it.