If you're familiar with the usual steps of the traditional publishing process, you know that novels go through several rounds of edits, and then they are typeset into galleys.
Galleys look like the actual pages that will appear in a bound novel. When you get the author copies of the galleys, you have your last chance to proofread your novel and make minor changes before it goes to print.
My second novel, Sweeter than Birdsong, ended up needing a very quick turnaround in line edits (the stage right before galleys), an unusually grueling, fast turnaround for both me and my editor. As a result, the galleys were not as clean as I would have liked. There were some errors, and there were a number of stylistic things that needed to be cleaned up. This was only natural because of the time pressure, and I managed to get everything shipshape for publication by some judicious work with the galleys (and with the help of my excellent copy editor and proofreaders).
Still, in an ideal situation, I would like to produce much cleaner galleys, and I think I have done that for my third novel, Lovelier than Daylight.
Why does it matter? Because galleys turn into what are called the ARCs, or Advance Reader Copies.
I was chagrined to realize that the readers for my second novel's blog tour had received ARCs, because I did not want my dear readers to read the flawed copies made from my galleys. I wanted them to read the real thing, the cleaned up version! But that's the way it often works in publishing. Reviews, both formal and informal, require advance copies.
So, when it's your turn, keep in mind that your galleys will go to Publishers Weekly. They will go to Library Journal and RT Book Reviews and every other advance reviewer.
My advice: get your manuscript as close to perfect as you can during line edits. Sometimes, circumstances will really make that close to impossible, as with our editing time frame for Sweeter than Birdsong. But when you have the time, go over your manuscript with a fine-toothed comb during line edits! Get rid of every word repetition, every slightly cloudy phrasing, every metaphor that has even a *whisper* of overwriting about it.
You'll be glad you did when you find out a hundred reviewers are reading your galleys. :-)