Galleys, also known as Advance Reader Copies/Advance Review Copies (ARCs), or Advanced Uncorrected Proof, are pre-publication printed and sometimes bound copies of a book. This version of the book is often used by editors who prefer working with printed copy and by publishers and authors who mail them to potential pre-publication reviewers for blurbs and endorsements to add to the book and other key book promotion and platform pieces.
Traditional publishing companies are likely to produce these forms of the book for their own editing and blurb-seeking purposes, but self-publishers have several options for creating them as well for their own blurb-seeking purposes.
For DIY self-publishing authors, I highly recommend reading “What are Galleys (ARCs) & What are they good for?” on the 30 Day Books blog. It is a detailed and illustrated post about self-publishers can create their own galleys using their personal printer, who to share them with, how much they cost and whether it is worth all the effort. If you are nervous about printing the galley from your personal printer, consider sending the file to your local printing company like Kinko’s or Office Max or even sending it to a budget printing company like 48HourBooks.com.
For self-publishing authors who are working with a self-publishing assistance company, ask them how they can help you get your galleys.