ARCs and Galleys

What is an ARC?

An ARC is an advanced reading copy. They are usually printed before the regular print run is done, either using a short run printer or a POD service. They often have a plain cover with just the title and author info. They are usually perfect bound, although I have seen some with spiral bindings. ARCs are sent out to key reviewers in advance of the release date to get the marketing buzz started. They may also be sent to bigger buyers to review before they place an order. There were no ARCs for HP #7.

What is a galley?

A galley is the press proof. There are pre-press galleys which are printed after typesetting but before they go to press. Authors are usually given these as their final proof copy—last chance to make corrections (meaning small typographical changes, NOT rewrites). But the usual use of the word is for the final proof from the printer. Publishers review this to make sure the printer has all the pages in the right order and all the fonts are printing correctly, etc.

My How Time Flies

What’s the general time frame from acceptance to finished product?

Two months to two years. Depends on so many, many things. Average for me is 6-8 months.


Why do some LDS books have empty pages at the back? I just finished reading a book that had all of five empty pages between the end of the story and the back cover, and it got me thinking. Now I’m checking all my LDS books. Some don’t have any empty pages, some have two, and some have three. There’s no consistency among books by the same publisher, and no reason for it that I can see, so I was just wondering.

This is an easy one. Books are printed in “signatures”–that’s one big sheet of paper printed on both sides, then folded to create the individual pages of the book. The most common signature holds 32 pages, so the number of total pages in your book will be a multiple of 32. Sometimes you can go down to 16, or 8, but that’s not as economical.

So let’s say the text of your book is 250 typeset pages. It would be printed on 8 signatures of 32, giving you a total of 256 pages. The extra 6 pages would be used as the title and copyright pages, table of contents, about the author, etc. But let’s say your text only uses 245 pages. You’ll have extra pages that you either need to fill up or leave blank.

I try never to leave extra blank pages. It’s a waste of space. I’ll add a half title, or a page or two of endorsements, or promo for the author’s next book, or something to fill the pages.