Blog to Book (Part 6) – The BLAD and First Proofs

Until the Bailey Boat Cat Blog to Book process began, I’d never heard of a BLAD. I didn’t even have a clue what a BLAD was! As I’ve said before, I was so lucky that my editor and the team at Bloomsbury were very patient with me and they kindly explained that a BLAD is a printed sales tool. (BLAD = Basic Layout And Design)

It’s composed of the full cover (back and front) plus 8 pages of the book, to give potential customers (especially foreign publishers) a clear sense of how the book is going to look. The BLAD is in the same format as the book, and should usually look more or less how the finished book will look. Tweaks to the design and layout of the book are possible after the BLAD has been printed, but preferably aren’t too extreme. I was so excited when I first saw the BLAD and absolutely loved the contents page. (This is always the first page in a BLAD.) The brilliant designer, Kevin Knight, did a great job of making it colourful and fun whilst also catching Bailey’s essence and personality.

Copyright: Kennedy, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC 2014
Copyright: Kennedy, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC 2014

I really liked what Kevin did with the layout of the 8 pages of the BLAD but there were a few small things that I suggested to be tweaked before the final copies were printed. I was happy that the team agreed with me and I was blown away with the final version. Kevin’s attention to detail with the design was ‘pawesome’, as Bailey says, and I loved everything from the colour palette to the fish bones by the page numbers and the eye-catching backgrounds.


The final proofs also involved some tweaking on my part after Kevin had finished with the design and layout. I needed to add a word or a sentence here and there, and occasionally delete a word so that the text and photos fit perfectly together. It was like completing a really interesting and complex puzzle. I’m so grateful to Kevin for doing such a wonderful job with the design.

Please join me next week for part 7 of this 10 part Blog to Book series where I’ll tell you all about the marketing and publicity for the book.

Wishing you all Sandy Toes,


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