Traditional Publishing

How to utilise galleys for best results

By Christopher Willitts
Founder of™ – Thursday May 6, 2004

Once your book hits bookstore shelves, you've got approximately eight months to produce sales. If your book doesn't prove itself after the eight months, it will almost certainly get pulled. So the time to do your marketing is way before your book even thinks about hitting the shelves.

Thousands of booksellers and librarians found their buying decisions on reviews. But the major review journals (i.e. Library Journal and Publishers Weekly) will only review your book if you send them a bound manuscript – a.k.a. bound galley – three to four months in advance of your targeted publication date.

A galley is a compilation of unbound signature pages of your book. The contents of a galley can be photocopied or printed from your computer.

A bound galley is a galley that has been bound into book form. Bound galleys are generally produced after a manuscript has been typeset but before proofreading.

If you plan on sending out more than 25 pre-publication review copies and you do not have access to a photocopier, it may be more cost-effective to make bound galleys. This is because galley printers typically charge less per page than your local copy shop.

The majority of reviewers are content to read books in manuscript form, but it is worthwhile to get them bound in some way – a visit to your local Kinko's® should do the trick. A small amount of reviewers do object to bound manuscripts, since they are usually more bulky than galleys.

Make sure the galley or bound manuscript includes this information either on the cover or first page:

  • title;

  • author;

  • publication date;

  • ISBN;

  • number of pages;

  • price;

  • trim size;

  • hardcover or softcover;

  • number of illustrations and/or photographs;

  • publisher name and contact information;

  • distributor name and contact information;

  • publicist name, address and contact information; and

  • print something like this on the cover: "Uncorrected proof. Galley copy only. Do not quote without prior permission from the publisher."

Electronic galleys (egalleys) are the next stride in the evolution of the printed galley. Egalleys can have the same contents of printed galleys – they are just in ebook format. Egalleys are faster, easier, and cost much less to produce than printed galleys.

Egalley invitations can be emailed to everyone you'd send a bound galley: reviewers, catalogues, libraries, journalists, resellers, websites, bookstore buyers, and other agents of influence.

My suggestion: use a combination of both printed and electronic galleys. Send bound galleys to the most significant reviewers while using egalleys to expand your marketing reach to independent bookstores, smaller publications, and international markets. If possible, send the reviewer/buyer the version they prefer.

© copyright 2004 Christopher Willitts

About the Author

Christopher Willitts is the Founder of™. He can be reached at 931.422.9906 or Visit and sign up for his FREE email newsletter to receive Tips, Secrets, Articles, and Much More, all designed to help you achieve publishing success.