A book galley is an unformatted version of a book's manuscript. In the
old days, it was printed on long sheets of paper, though today
(because computer layouts are common and make the process easier),
galleys may be on 8 1/2 x 11" or smaller paper.
Galleys are devoid of any illustrations or special layout. Sometimes
the galleys are bound and printed on the same size paper as the book
will be printed on, and are folded and either stapled, saddle
stitched, or perfect bound. Although the galleys may have been edited,
they are rarely proofread.
Three to four weeks before a book hits the shelves, galleys are
usually sent to reviewers. They are sometimes also sent earlier to
people who might offer "blurbs" (complimentary quotes, usually placed
on the book cover) for the volume.
You should ask your publisher about galleys; they will almost
certainly be sending some galleys out, but if you'd like to have them
sent to specific people, you should let your publisher know. If you
are self publishing your book, you can make galleys a number of ways.
Simply printing out the manuscript of your book will do the trick. If
you want them bound, you can have this done at a quick printer...but
some reviewers don't like nontraditional bindings. You can also
discuss galleys with whomever is actually printing your book. They
should be able to print them out, fold them, and bind them, as you
Do be sure your galleys have the following information: title of the
book, author name, publication date, ISBN, price, trim size, whether
the book will be hard- or soft-cover, how many illustrations will be
included in the finished product, name and contact info for publisher,
name and contact info for distributor, and the name and contact info
for the book's publicist (if applicable).
The cover page should state clearly and boldly: "Uncorrected Proof.
Galley copy only. Do not quote without prior permission from the
A newer innovation is egalleys. These are exactly like traditional
galleys, but are in ebook format. The trend for egalleys continues to
grow, as they are easy to read, and cheaper to produce. They may be
emailed, or snail mailed on a CD.
For more information on galleys, you might like to read:
* "The Galley FAQ," Publishing Central:
(includes sources for having galleys printed)
* "How Many Galleys Should I Send to the Media?" Book PR:
* "How to Utilize Galleys for Best Results," Ink Tree Marketing:
Researcher's personal knowledge
Google search: book galleys