Just got the "bound galleys" for the production book. A bound galley is a low resolution copy of the actual book, with the final cover. The spine and back page are blank white paper.
The cover design is gorgeous and the text has a wonderful typographic layout.
It's really cool to get a cardboard box from UPS and find actual books inside which have my name on the cover.
I spent five days reviewing the bound galleys, making final tweaks to words here and there, and correcting a couple typos. I thought the bound galleys were for review, but what bound galleys *really* are is the FINAL book.
The bound galleys come out when everything has been set into print, and the only question for the writer is "Do we push the print button and crank out 20,000 copies?"
Fortunately, the publisher is willing to go back and incorporate my tweaks. Next time I write a book, I will spend a lot more time on the UNBOUND galleys, so all I have to do is just nod "yes" or "no" to the BOUND galleys.