If you hang around with enough publishing types, you will probably end up discussing tools that are used for pre-publication book promotion to bolster sales orders and create an early buzz (hopefully this conversation takes place in a pub, where most publishing types hang around). Two such tools are “BLADs” and “Bound Galleys”.
A BLAD—which is an acronym for “Book Layout And Design” (which very few people know, so now you have a top secret term to wield when pitching your title) is typically used as an early promotion sales tool for a full-color coffee-table style book. The BLAD will generally be created at the trim size of the book and have a paperback cover with the cover design and effects—laminations, embossing, varnishing—that will be used on the actual main print run of the book. The interior is typically 8 to 16 pages in full color on the stock that will be used for the main book run as well. There is usually sales and promotion information on the back cover of the BLAD as well as on one of the interior pages, and the balance of the interior pages are pulls from the actual layout. The idea of a BLAD is to give potential clients a preview of the content and also the look and feel of the book materials and production value. A typical BLAD run is 50 to 250 copies.
A “Bound Galley” or ARC (Advanced Reader’s Copy) is a short run printing of a one-color (black text) interior book, typically before the book has had a final edit. You can also print Bound Galleys in full color if the title has images, but that is much more expensive. These Advanced Reader’s Copies are bound as paperbacks even if the book they are promoting will be a hardcover, and again are used as an early sales tool for an upcoming book product. They look identical to almost any paperback book on your shelf, and in fact are often mistaken for a finished and published book. Bound Galleys typically make use of the front cover design that will be on the actual print run of the book, and will have sales and promotional information on the back cover (for example, how the book will be marketed, author information, the estimated print run, the retail pricing, and the distribution markets). There is usually an indication on the Bound Galley cover that it is an “advanced review copy” and that it is not for re-sale. The interior of the Galley will be a replica of the final design, but before a final-final edit . . . so readers/reviewers do tend to find a few errors. Bound Galleys are an excellent promotional tool for many types of books, but are most often used to promote fiction novels. Bound Galleys are typically manufactured using a short run print-on-demand digital press in quantities of 50 to 500.
Steelhead has excellent contacts available to help you create, print, and ship BLADs and Bound Galleys if you decide that you need them.