Monday, April 20, 2009

A Bound "Gal"ley? Not a Damsel in Distress...

From the desk of Ms. Sally Spitfire...


Dear Suzy,



Missing you loads and hope that you'll come visit soon now that the sun is putting in an appearance here in NYC. This past weekend I walked (walked!) to Coney Island from my apt and waved my toes at the surf although it was too cold to actually go in...



In this package, I am sending you a couple of ARCs for books that I think you'll enjoy. Although the words "galley" and "ARC" are usually used interchangeably, there's actually a difference between the two when one is being precise. I thought I'd take a moment to give you a breakdown of the the different terms we use for the printed copies of a book that the marketing department makes and gives out BEFORE the real printed book goes on sale in stores. Here they are:



Bound manuscript: This is when you literally print out the manuscript, as a word document, on 8.5X11 paper and bind it together (usually spiral) so that it can be read ASAP. Since these are unweildy and not much better than just printing the manuscript out on the printer, we rarely make them unless we need to give a manuscript to someone really important and we want to look more professional (and less sloppy).



Bound galley: This is when the print has been typeset (looks on the inside like the real book will look) but there’s no artwork for the cover and usually it has not been proofread or corrected yet, so there still may be mistakes. It looks like a book in that it’s book sized (unlike bound manuscript) but it has a plain blue paper cover with just the title and author's name in regular font on the front and no other adornments. These are usually made so that we can collect blurbs (quotes about the book) from famous/influential/well known people which we will then put on the ARC (see below.) Bound galleys are rather rare (and usually denote a book we're really going all out on) since each bound manuscript costs about $10--which is a lot of marketing dollars to spend on one book and at such an early stage.



Early Designed Galley: An early designed galley--like a bound galley--looks like the real book on the inside but--unlike the bound galley or the ARC--has neither a plain blue cover or the actual book cover art. Instead, it has some sort of "designed" cover that the art department has spent time on--with either a picture, a photo, or fancy text--so it resembles a real book jacket. These are also quite unusual because they're only made when it's important to get ARCs in for a special promotion or person (e.g. we couldn't wait on the ARCs, which take a bit longer to produce and ship). Depending on how many we order, these can cost between $3 and $5 dollars apiece.



ARC (advanced reader’s edition): This is the official pre-version of the book—it has (usually) the same art that will be on the cover of the real book, but the back features early quotes (blurbs) and usually the marketing plan or other details that we want to share about the book in a publicity/marketing way. This is sent to bloggers, magazines, anyone who is going to review the book or maybe early readers/book clubs when we’re doing special projects. These are the most frequently created marketing piece since--in most cases--the best way to get people excited about a book before it hits bookstores is to have them read it! ARCs cost between $2 and $3 dollars to produce.



So there you have it! After that, the final incarnation of the manuscript is--ta da!--the finished book.



Make sense? (Now, mind you, the prices I gave above depends greatly on the quantity ordered--because we generally order in the hundreds, the prices are lower, if one wanted to order only 10 or even 100--those $ would shoot up significantly. This means that we only do ARCs for books that we have a lot of faith in and want to get a lot of people to read!)



Okay Suzy, I've gotta run but hope you're well and do write soon!



(Ms.) Sally S.

5 comments:

Chris Eldin said...

Good Morning Everyone!
:-)

Charles Gramlich said...

I figured there were differences but had no idea what. Thanks for the info.

laughingwolf said...

great info, thx ms. spitfire :)

bridget3420 said...

Wow. I learn something new everyday!

Hywela Lyn said...

Thanks so much for clarifying this Ms Spitfire. Good information.