For those of you who aren’t familiar with the pre-publication process, “bound galleys” are the first-pass typeset pages of a book (“first-pass” means straight off the typesetter’s computer, pre-proofreading, pre-correction), bound with soft covers and sent out to reviewers so that they have plenty of time to see the book before publication date.

Receiving bound galleys is a mixed experience. It’s reassuring to see that the manuscript you’ve been laboring over is beginning to assume final shape. But…because bound galleys are uncorrected, there are always massive mistakes in them, and reviewers are looking at those mistakes.

This is a traditional part of the publication process, so responsible reviewers never point out typos and technical mistakes in their reviews; the assumption is that those mistakes will have been corrected in the final book. And, in fact, every bound galley says on it somewhere, “ADVANCE UNCORRECTED PROOF. Please do not quote for publication without checking against the finished book.” (Although I suspect most reviewers don’t bother.)

But there are mistakes, and there are mistakes.

In a lot of ways, these bound galleys are much cleaner than others I’ve seen. The timelines were in good shape, most of the maps and graphics were properly set, and there were no more than the usual number of dropped lines, skipped pages, missed corrections, and general flub-ups.

There were, though, two mistakes–both of which have now been corrected and will not appear in the final book–that caused me to bang my head against the nearest hard surface.

The first was (sigh) the cover. Here’s the cover…


Does that look familiar to you? It ought to–it’s the color scheme for the History of the Medieval World, just reversed. This color scheme was floated early on in the design process and I asked for it to be changed because it was far too close to the previous volume. The designer agreed and offered a different, much superior color scheme, which is in fact the picture on the back cover of the very same bound galley:


Somehow, the wrong version of the cover got sent out the door on this galley. Which just bugs me.

The second mistake…well, I named the first section of the book “Renaissances.” The plural was intentional. As the section makes clear, there is more than one “renaissance.” The typesetter then placed the title on every other page of the first section as a running head. Like this.



Argh, argh, argh.

However…having said that, if you’ll ignore the misspellings and the miscovering, the rest of it is pretty darn good. So I’m going to give away two copies of the galleys to my readers. If you’d like one, post a message here, and next week I’ll draw two names at random.

(To get you enthusiastic about what you’ll be reading, I’ve posted the table of contents right here: Final TOC Click on it for the PDF!)

UPDATE: So many of you are interested (thanks!) that I’ll give away three copies instead! I’ll close comments at 8 AM on Monday, May 27th, and announce the winners on Tuesday.

Showing 143 comments
  • Heather Aliano

    Oh a copy sounds lovely- I’m dying to read it!
    Two big errors doesn’t sound bad for a first pass. πŸ™‚ Congrats on this step.

  • Lesley Saunders

    Oh, pick me, please! I’ve so been waiting for this!!!

  • Peter G.

    Count me in!

  • Anne Gilson

    Having been through the proof-reading process myself, I would love a galley!

  • TG Barnes

    I’d love a copy. I’m using your books for homeschooling

  • Monica Sharman

    My 6th grade son is reading the History of the Medieval World as I type this (really). If you pick me, I will certainly NOT be saying “argh” (and we’ll be all set for when school starts in the fall). In any case, thanks for your work.

  • facebook_jlpope76

    ooh, ooh! pick me, pick me!

  • Beth McCloy

    My daughter and I would love a copy!

  • renee

    i would love this!!! what a great idea!

  • Bene

    Pick me!

  • Mary B.

    Congratulations! What an accomplishment! My family would love a galley copy! Great summer reading!

  • Nicole

    An Uncorrected Proof would simply give one the luxury of forgiving SWB. Congrats, and looking forward!

  • Geoff Sheehy

    Looks good to me…

  • Karen Martz

    Yes, I would like one of your galley on the Renaissance πŸ™‚ Pretty please with cherry on top!!!!

  • Mike Ballentine

    Ms. Bauer: Thank you so much for writing these books. I cannot wait for Renaissance to come out! Do not be discouraged about the proof mistakes. They are what they are. The important thing for your fans is that your talent continues to pump out history that reads like fiction. A thousand thank yous for the gift you have give us and a thank you to God for the gift He gave you. Thanks again and take care! Regards, Mike.

  • Lynette

    Pick me please.

  • Carrie Frillman

    Sweet! Best wishes as you near the finish line for this publication!

  • Clare Marks

    Trying out this “connect through facebook” thing. Are those translations of the series in the pile in the first photo?

  • Dawn Hudson

    I would love one.

  • Usman

    Nice work!!! Can’t wait to read this!

  • Nazly Nardi

    Susan, we’ve enjoyed reading the first two volumes and are looking forward to the third installment…. It would be great if we are lucky enough to get one of the Galley Copies you’re giving away. Fingers Crossed.

  • Madison Sargent

    Susan – my husband will not know what to do with himself if I give him an advanced copy of your book. Please help me look good!

  • facebook_megan.krejci.9

    sweet! put me in the drawing! *grin*

  • Katherine Harrison

    YES I want one!

  • Sharon Autenrieth

    I’d love to have a copy, warts and all.

  • Brian

    I would love one!

  • Emily T.

    me, me, me!

  • Elaine Eshleman

    Yes, please!

  • Mike Young

    Wow – what a great tool to help equip me to be a better teacher to my children. I am glad the next volume is almost here.

  • facebook_jen.naughton.5

    I can’t wait to read this!

  • Will Anderson

    I’d love to have an advance copy! I read the previous two as soon as they came out and can’t wait for this.

  • David

    I’d love to get it early! Congrats on getting the galleys back, Ms. Bauer!

  • carrie

    Want! I just ordered the first one for my 9th grader.

  • Jennifer

    Ohhh! So exciting! I would love to read it.

  • maha

    I would love to have one!

  • Nely

    Ohhhh, how I would love an advanced copy!!! So excited. Really hope I’m picked. πŸ™‚

  • Audria Story

    Please pick me!!! My kids love Story of The World. We just started Volume Two last week. They love your history books so much that they insisted on using Writing With Ease this year…just because you wrote it. Thank you for writing such wonderful curriculum for us to use in our home.

  • Bruce Laks

    Wow, I would love a copy! Drove friends crazy talking about the first two books.

  • Jeremiah Valenzuela

    Congratulations! The process proceeds. I would love a galley edition! And thanks for Well-Trained Mind!

  • Gerald Liles

    Just to warn you, if not selected I will not read the book for a few months in protest.

  • Erin Johnson

    I’d love a copy!!

  • Katherine

    I would love a copy!

  • Terrianne Swift

    I’d love a copy…

  • Erin

    How fun!

  • Kelly Offolter

    I would love a copy!

  • Melissa Rappaport

    Pelase choose me. I’m so sick right now…a warm cup of renaissance would do me good.

  • Sherri Canaday

    Sign me up! I am excited to read it!

  • dangermom

    OOH! Me me me!! I’ll even promise to review it on my booky blog for the release date.

  • Ben Embry

    I’m in!

  • Greg M.

    Susan, I’d like a copy! That would be so cool to have!

  • Jodie

    We have been waiting for this to complete our set. (Waiting really is the hardest part!)

  • Carol

    I, for one, am very eager to read the next volume of the History of the World, and that was before looking at the table of contents!

  • David Withun

    I’m looking forward to reading this. Please enter my name for the drawing!

  • Jenise Leaser

    I would love to have a galley copy! Congratulations on finalizing your latest work!

  • Sara R

    Oooh, goody! Please enter us in the contest!

  • Tammy

    Please add me to the drawing. I can’t wait to read it!

  • Sara

    Despite any errors at this stage, I’m certain that the final copy will be wonderful. I’m eagerly awaiting it!

  • Dakota

    I can’t spell anywayÒ€”but I would appreciate the copy!

  • Vicki

    I am so excited. I wait somewhat patiently for each new volume to come out and then read them at least three times to hold me over for the next volume. πŸ™‚

  • Erin Willis

    Of course, I’d love one. I’ve read the other two thus far and (I probably shouldn’t admit it) I’ll buy the Renaissance as well. I believe in supporting companies and authors I like so they can continue to create works I’ll buy.

  • Tiffany Lufkin

    We want one! πŸ˜€ How exciting!

  • s.

    I love your books! I’m looking forward to reading this one too.

  • Jody Strom

    This looks great!

  • Priscilla van Ballegooy

    I think you should take the number of comments as a compliment to your writing skills and not because our base instincts are motivated by the word ‘free’!! Well done, and thanks for all the wonderful books that we love to use in our homeschooling.

  • Nicole

    Well, I’ve never won anything except spelling bee, but it would be nice to win one of these. Please include my name in the drawing.

  • Beth

    Congratulations! Can’t wait to read it.

  • Sandi Calhoun

    Our family has been anxiously awaiting this next book.. Would be thrilled to win a copy!

  • Meghan Armstrong

    I would love to win a copy of this book, even if it is uncorrected!

  • Jodi P

    the boy is looking forward to this one. (As am I!)

  • John Adams

    I’ve read the first two in full and am looking forward with baited breath to the third. I would LOVE a copy!!! πŸ™‚

  • laura l

    Just wondering if it was easier to give birth the third time around. I’d love to see what your galley looks like. Thanks.

  • Michael Ray

    I’ll buy it for my Kindle anyway but I’d love to have the galley.

  • Felicity

    Oh, I’m so excited to see this! We are planning to go slowly through this book next year with our oldest. Thanks.

  • Brian

    Great work. I continue to be amazed at the amount you churn out…Thanks for it all. Our kids and family are better for it!!

  • Lauren

    Yes, please. I am new on my discovery of home school and the classical/trivium approach. I love every word of everything I’ve read so far by you and yours on the subject. I’m stocking up for the three roads ahead.

  • Amy H.

    Looking forward to reading this, and an advanced copy would be great! I could pretend I was a reviewer…

  • Ben

    We have been waiting eagerly for this next installment!!!

  • Deborah Alderman


  • Deborah D-P

    I would love to have a galley copy; I’ll still purchase the “official” book either way. Thank you for the opportunity.

  • Denise in NE

    So excited to read this book! Hurray!

  • Michael Johnson


  • Shannon

    Oh, I would love to read this as we begin the third Story of the World book in our home school! Thank you, Susan!

  • Justin White

    Pretty please. I am a teacher of history, and my students need this enlightenment (after I absorb it myself)!

  • Sara Scott

    Exciting! I’m a long-time fan of your books and would love to win this volume.

  • Pam in Missouri

    I would love a copy to fill in my own gaps in history education. Thanks for sharing.

  • Michele Buchina

    So excited for it to come out!

  • Susie

    I look forward to reading it!

  • facebook_sashadcollins

    Pick me!

  • erin livingston

    I’d love one!

  • Andrea

    Happy the wait is almost over.

  • Joy

    I’ve been looking forward to this volume … a galley copy would be really cool to have!

  • Jacey

    I would LOVE a copy!

  • Ann Therese Weber

    We homeschool and are studying the Renaissance… so we’d love a copy of this! Thanks for the giveaway…

  • Kelly

    What a fun giveaway!!

  • Jennifer

    Finally! One of the best parts of our homeschool was reading through your ANCIENT WORLD and MEDIEVAL WORLD together! We began to recognize patterns of history and were often able to predict what would happen next given a set of circumstances…fascinating. I can’t wait to read this one.

  • John Majors

    love your books!

  • Sarah B.

    Oh, my goodness. I’d really like this!

  • Seth Stephens

    I’d like a galley of a History of the Renaissance World.
    I just found and started reading a History of the Ancient World. My kids thought I was joking when I was telling them about the Scorpion King.

  • Dennis Doty

    I have loved all your other “History of…” books and your “Stories of the World.” This should be a fun read!

  • Meagan

    So excited for it to come out. Please enter me too!

  • M.L. Tuggle

    I’d love to have a copy!

  • Tami Witt

    Very excited to see this is so close now.

  • Kayla

    A great set of books!

  • Jayne

    Love the books. I know the new book will be awesome!!

  • Debbie

    I would love to win a galley copy! Thanks!

  • Daniel H

    I’m a huge fan of this series and would love the chance to receive a copy of your galley! Even started re-reading “History of the Ancient World” to warm up for “Renaissance”!

  • Richard

    Please enter my name in drawing

  • Michael Tadros

    We’re planning on using The Well-Trained Mind as a primary source for homeschooling our baby girl. Reading about the history that we will be teaching her has me excited about re-reading (re-learning) history. Please include my in the drawing!

  • Lynne

    We would love to have a copy of this! I am sure that it is wonderful.

  • Ginger

    I would love to win a copy!! I am excited to read it!!

  • Tracy

    I would love to win a copy. Thanks.

  • Kristi Gatzke

    I would love a copy of this book!!!

  • Ginger Zagnoli

    “pick me, pick me, pick me”….the little random said as it poked Susan in the finger hoping to be noticed.

  • Heather

    I was just thinking about this series yesterday as I’m thinking about my summer reading list. I need this volume to add to my SWB collection!

  • Cindy D.

    Reading the TOC got me excited about the book! I recognize some of the key figures from reading SOTW with my children (um… 8 years ago? 10?) But don’t enter me in the drawing; I will purchase my own copy, in hard-cover, from Barnes and Noble, just like I did Ancient World and Medieval World. Looking forward to it!

  • Neal Mann

    Here’s hoping you pick me.

  • Lauren

    This would be great to add to my growing library! Keep up the good work!

  • James U

    Me please!

  • Cathie McCabe

    I hope you pick me, I’d love to have a copy of your book. Thanks!

  • Ashley McG

    Thanks so much for doing this! Please count me in.

  • Keith

    I’d love a copy!

  • Matthew Winslow

    I’m really looking forward to this book. Just this past week, I was looking at my bookshelf where there’s a gap for the next volume to go. Can’t wait!

  • Sarah Wallace

    So excited about your book on my favorite time period finally coming out!

  • Chad

    I’ll add my name to the list of contestants. Thanks for the offer!

  • Amanda R.

    This would be a tremendous addition to my library. Thanks for the opportunity, and congrats on being so close to another release!

  • Amanda Berridge

    We use all your materials for grammar level history and are looking forward to using your tomes during the rhetoric stage. We have the first two; can’t wait to see the third installment! Thanks for persevering in your quest to present a thorough, accurate and enjoyably readable journey through history!

  • Landi Martinez

    I have been waiting so long for this book! Well, it seems like a long time, but I’m very excited to add it to our high school curriculum! I would love a copy.

  • Lisa

    Love the giveaway! Looking forward to one of my kids reading Ancient World this summer. :o)

  • Traci

    What a treasure that would be to our home. Thank ou for the opportunity. Thank you for your work.

  • Alejandra

    I returned one of you books back to the library today (overdue may I add). Hope luck will be on my side. Thanks for inspiring me!

  • Marla Schultz

    I’d love a copy of the galley. The cover is beautiful, by the way.

  • Nicole

    I would love a copy!

  • Kim

    Already pre-ordered the final from Amazon, but would love an early copy!

  • Jeanne

    So exciting to see your new book, even if the cover is wrong!

  • Sarah Dwelle

    Congratulations! Put me in the drawing, please! πŸ™‚

  • Amy in NH

    Oooh! Me! Me! Pleease?

  • Joy Pullmann

    I want one!

  • Courtney

    Looks great – would love a copy!

  • Naomi Y

    Our family has enjoyed the first two volumes and have been looking forward to the next in your series. Please enter my name in the drawing.

  • Nancy Larimer

    Please include me in the drawing. I would really like a copy. Thank you so much. God bless you!
    Nancy Larimer

  • Gretchen Schmahl

    So excited to read this!

  • Joy Sherfey

    Count me in! Thanks!

  • Bryson

    I suppose I can stomach a few superfluous N’s and a color scheme that looks like it forgot to phone the last volume to see what it was wearing, just so long as it contains the same great substance I have come to expect from you. Besides, I’ve never owned a galley.

    Count me in the contest, please.

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