Here's where the fun begins. I can't find anywhere that states whether this book came first or the 1978 TV series. But I can tell you the book is a lot better. I'm pretty sure the book was written after the TV series was launched but the book did have a couple of interesting points that were left out of the campy series.
This book I found on paperback swap and just had to read it since becoming a die-hard Battlestar Galactica fan. As a child I was a fan of the older series, but the new re-imagined series on Sci-Fi has just gone above and beyond where the old one could have gone. Anyway, I found this book and just had to read it, in the hardback edition it only has 215 pages so it would be a quick read.
Okay it was a quick read and basically the book summarizes the first 3 episodes of the '78 TV series. After thousands of years of war the Cylons want peace, at least that's what they say. To celebrate the peace treaty the Cylons tell the Colonists the coordinates to bring all the battlestars. Everyone, except for Commander Adama, are eager to sign the treaty and ready for peace. Commander Adama, commander of the finest battlestar in the fleet, is suspicious and is proven to be right.
The Cylons attack the Colonies and the fleet destroying all of the fleet except for the Galactica, and about 200 "rag-tag" ships. In order to keep the human species alive, the fleet must head for the lost Colony of Earth. This book launches that adventure.
While the book was okay to read it was not really the best writing of most science fiction book series. I do need to point out that it is not as campy as the TV series. I don't know why they had to make the series, laughable, but that was the '70s.
Don't make an effort to go out and buy this book, but if you run across it for free and you are a dedicated Galactica fan don't let it slip buy.
They also have hardback books.
Or you can find it here
Battlestar Galactica Classic: The Saga of A Star World (Battlestar Galactica (Paperback))