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 Please do not quote for publication without checking against the finished book.”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
  • 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! 🙂

  • 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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