Now we have more than two weeks to read and obsess about every detail. The note attached to the galleys thoughtfully reminds us that any changes we make at this point are expensive and could be charged to our royalty account. Any changes that are not factual in nature or that involve adding more than a few words should be submitted on disk in a certain format. There's a whole tea ceremony involved for that. This is good information, because I read the first page and wanted desperately to rewrite every word of it. I felt visceral, palpable shame while reading those first paragraphs. I thought: This is a disaster. The whole book is a disaster. We have to stop this from happening.
Fortunately, I called my co-author at home. He answered and before I could get into my shame-a-thon he went on and on about how much he loves the book. This is the book he wanted us to write. This is the book he's ready to promote. "Don't the galleys look great?" he asked. And I found myself saying, "yes, yes, they do" while my worry leaked out of me. The good thing about having two authors is that we can take turns being crazy.