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« Defacing Books: Why don't Authors Have Respect for their End Result? | Main | 7 Ways to Promote Your Book With Video »
Friday
Apr162010

Creating Bound Galleys and Advance Review Copies

Authors benefit from having their books reviewed before publication so the reviews appear simultaneously with the publication date. Book reviews can often take months to receive, and because bookstores require quick turnaround for the shelf life of new books, an author usually cannot afford to wait for post-publication reviews. Authors and publishers should send out pre-publication copies of books to ensure timely book reviews.

Bound galleys and advance review copies (ARC’s) are sent to pre-publication reviewers 5 to 6 months prior to publication date. Keep in mind the reasoning—not only does it take time for the mailing and reviewing process, but most publications and periodicals have editorial calendars at least 4 to 6 months prior to production. For example, Christmas themed books must be sent out for review in June or July at the latest, because by the beginning of September, the publication is already in process. Many publications will feature Christmas themes as early as in their November issues.

Whether you use a bound galley or an ARC is entirely up to you. What is important is to make the publication easy for the reviewers to use. It is extremely important that all the information listed below is included and placed in specific areas. Remember, you are competing with 200,000 other book titles annually needing reviews. Reviewers are busy people—if they don’t have the information they need readily available to them, your book will be rejected or ignored. They will not take the time to “hunt down” the information. Another important reason why all information should be on a bound galley or ARC is that the publication copy will end up separated from the media kit or supporting documents, such as the sell sheet or press release.

Here are some guidelines and definitions for preparing a Bound Galley or Advance Review Copy.

Bound Galley

A bound galley looks like and is the same size as the final book but has a plain cover. The cover may be white or colored. If you are using a colored cover, be sure the black printing is easy to see on it. (Red or dark colors are not a good idea. Use white, yellow, buff, light blue). The cover doesn’t indicate what the final book will look like and will still need several passes of editing. It is created at least 6 months prior to publication date. Bound galleys are sent to pre-publication reviewers.

The front cover should have:

  • Name of book
  • Author name
  • Category (e.g. Fiction—Mystery; Nonfiction—Memoir)
  • Size specifications (e.g. Trade paperback 6 x 9, # pages)
  • Price
  • ISBN
  • First print run (number of copies). Keep in mind many large pre-pub reviewers will only review books of 5000+ copies on the first run.
  • Promotional plan (e.g. direct mailings, book tours, bookstore displays, book release party, etc.)
  • Promotional budget
  • Available from (e.g. a distributor such as Baker & Taylor or Ingram)
  • Publisher (name/mailing address/website address)
  • Primary Contact (publicist, consultant, author—name, address, email address)
  • Statement: “Uncorrected Proof—Not for Sale” (Make this bold and easily seen)

The back cover should have:

  • Brief Synopsis (The hook—same as on the book. The synopsis will entice the reviewer to read your book. Remember, the supporting documents may get separated from the actually galley).
  • Author bio

The spine should have:

  • Name of book
  • Name of author
  • Publisher

Advance Review Copy

An ARC looks like and is the same size as the final book. It indicates what the final book will look like, but it still needs one more editing. It is created at least 6 months prior to publication date. ARC’s are sent to pre-publication reviewers and may be used instead of bound galleys.

The front cover should look exactly the same as the final publication; however, “Advance Review Copy—Not for Sale” must be printed on it. The back cover looks exactly like the final copy, including the synopsis, author bio, ISBN, etc. The spine must include the book title, author’s name, and the publisher.

The very first page of the ARC should have the following information:

  • Name of book
  • Author name
  • Category (e.g. Fiction—Mystery; Nonfiction—Memoir)
  • Size specifications (e.g. Trade paperback 6 x 9, # pages)
  • Price
  • ISBN
  • First print run (number of copies). Keep in mind many pre-pub reviewers will only review books of 5000+ copies on the first run.
  • Promotional plan (e.g. direct mailings, book tours, bookstore displays, book release party, etc.)
  • Promotional budget
  • Available from (e.g. a distributor such as Baker & Taylor or Ingram)
  • Publisher (name/mailing address/website address)
  • Primary Contact (publicist, consultant, author—name, address, email address)

Depending on your publisher or printer, you may receive bound galleys or ARC’s, or you may request your publisher or printer send them to you to mail to reviewers.

Finally, be sure to read the submission guidelines of each individual reviewer. Some will not accept anything but the final published book. Others may accept ARC’s but not bound galleys. Make sure you follow the reviewer’s directions so your book gets the attention it deserves!

Contributors

Irene Watson is editor and contributing author of Authors Access: 30 Success Secrets for Authors and Publishers, author of The Sitting Swing: Finding Wisdom to Know the Difference,  co-author of Rewriting Life Scripts: Transformational Recovery for Familes of Addicts, and editor The Story that Must be Told. She is the founder and Managing Editor of Reader Views.

 





Tyler R. Tichelaar
is editor and contributing author of Authors Access: 30 Secrets for Authors and Publishers, the regionally bestselling Marquette Trilogy and the newly published Narrow Lives. He is the Associate Editor of Reader Views.

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