INSIDE OOLIGAN How We Publish Books (10)

Prior to starting at Ooligan Press, the term “galley” applied to art and boats. I’ve since learned what a galley is and its importance in the book publishing industry.

A galley is an unfinalized advanced reader copy of a book that, unlike the final product, typically uses the manuscript prior to the final proofread. Before the galley is produced, the manuscript goes through developmental edits and copyedits to the point of practically perfect. Occasionally, the galley is made using the final draft but never by using any draft before the second to last. Galleys can be in hard copy or electronic form, which may make you wonder: Why even make a galley?

To build an audience! Galleys are sent to book bloggers, reviewers, and even authors in hopes that presale reviews will come in and blurbs will be obtained. Authors are given a portion of the galley proofs and encouraged to distribute them at events and to their fans! Giving away free books, even unfinalized copies, seems counterintuitive, but it’s how to build an audience and create excitement around the book!

Now that you know the what and why behind a galley, we can move on to the how. Once the manuscript is edited to almost perfect it is time to start on the galley. Ooligan Press uses Adobe InDesign to create their galleys, so we will be using InDesign processes to go over the steps.

  1. Open InDesign and create the layout for your galley (remember to have an even number of pages).
  2. Save your work here (continue to do so throughout the process)!
  3. Start creating paragraph types for the title, author, dedication, body, body without indent, chapters, glyphs, and folios.
  4. Create a new parent page (for the front matter), apply it to the first three pages, add folios to the bottom of the page for page numbers and the title/author’s name.
  5. Drop the manuscript into the InDesign document.
  6. Remove the trailing white spaces, multiple return to single return, multiple space to single space, and tabs from the text.
  7. Apply your paragraph styles to the operative places (ex: body paragraph to every paragraph but the first one after a chapter or section break.
  8. Remove folios from any page that starts a chapter. You can do this by applying the “none” parent page.
  9. Go through the manuscript and apply any italics to the text in InDesign, create a character style for each paragraph style this step changes.
  10. Play around with the paragraph styles you created until you’re happy with the overall look (be aware that the some fonts are protected and that you can download fonts from Adobe).
  11. Play around with the margins to fit the ideal amount of lines per page, but keep in mind the binding used and how people hold books.
  12. Confirm that every page has at least five lines, if there is a page with less than five lines change the tracking of a large section of text prior to those lines but do not go over roughly twenty lines.

The above list clearly applies to people with at least some knowledge of how to use InDesign. These are also just the basic steps. Creating a galley seems straightforward but, as the old adage goes, the devil is in the details. In this case the fun is there too! Finding the best fonts for the title, body, and folios, making sure you find fonts that look good together and match the theme of the manuscript, and finding glyphs for the folio, chapter, or section breaks that are unique and relate to the story are the things that make a galley unique and special.

References for galleys and their purposes can be found on Scribe Media and Career Authors.

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