8.07.2007

Galleys Galleys Galleys

I've tried to ignore the rise of the galleys for too long.

Let's see how these marketing tools have clawed their way out of the piled inboxes at Oprah and into the hands of common people everywhere.

  • LibraryThing's Early Reviewers started the belief that common people should be allowed access to galleys.
  • Amazon decided to pay homage to LibraryThing's great idea with Amazon Vine, which is essentially the same program with a wittier name.
  • Unshelved recently took a look at what happens when you let loose the galleys of war. Start here.
  • And now there's a class* that may have actually found a way to get people to read the galley and provide feedback!
I will say in defense of the class that galleys really are the only way most people get a chance to see what's next from their favorite author. It's not like most publishers, agents, and authors work to put pipelines online for people to see. We're used to the IMDB telling us what a director or actor is working on for the next three years, why not an author? Why the secrecy? **

With that out of the way, I don't see how this class helps anyone. Yes, it's market research but research based on an artificial setting. Liking a book and liking a book because you paid $95.00 and discussed it in class are very different. For the students I'm not sure what they get out of it other than reading badly proofed galleys. I would think it would be much easier and a little less expensive to start a blog and send a request for the galley to a publicist. I'm sure they're thrilled to find someone who might actually review the thing.

*Found on Galley Cat who was told about it by the Millions.

**Rhetorical. I know how much the pipeline changes from season to season and how much confusion this could bring to the marketplace as a book undergoes it's transformation from a manuscript called "I Shot the President" to a book in the marketplace called "You Talking to Me?: Taxi Driver, Jodie Foster, Ronald Reagan and Me, a Memoir."

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