Blad is a term you’ll hear a lot in illustrated publishing, but if just sounds like a made-up word, there’s a reason for that: it is. It’s a corruption of Book Layout And Design and it a means of presenting exactly that: the layout and design of a proposed book.

The proposal is used by sales staff at your publisher to secure good positions in book stores and to show it to potential co-publishers. (Co-publishers, by the way, are publishers that buy the rights to translate your book in another country, but your publisher will manage the actual printing and deliver the copies to them.)

A blad typically consists of a total of 12 pages, folded, stapled & printed (yes, printed) at the same size as the finished book on high-quality paper:

  • Draft cover design
  • Contents spread
  • 1st spread
  • 2nd spread
  • 3rd spread
  • 4th spread
  • Back, with promo text and author bio

The contents spread will look as close to the final one as possible, which is very useful when convincing people to buy into your book because it proves you’ve “done your working.”

The spreads themselves should not just be the first few pages of the book. They should come from different, non-consecutive parts of the final proposed book so that the blad appears varied.


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