The question was asked here as to why there are no Fake Books for Blues. But what is a Fake Book in the first place? What genres is it used in?
The first "fake books" were in fact sold and distributed illegally, but that is not why they were called Fake Books. Each piece of sheet music in a Fake Book is merely a "lead sheet" of just the melody and the chord progression. It is not a full arrangement with parts written out for each musician. Consequently, musicians look at a Fake Book lead sheet and they have to "fake" their parts, or make them up as they go along. This is essential to jazz, but it was not that way originally.
At the Woodwind and Brasswind music company, they have a page on their website, "What is a Fake Book?" which includes this: "Usually, there is no arrangement, no intros or endings, no specific instructions on "how" to play the song. Hence, the word "fake" – musicians are supposed to take the basic information and simply "fake" it."
The Wikipedia article on the Fake Book says this: "...the minimal information needed by a musician to make an impromptu arrangement of a song, or "fake it."
Musicians today often forget that the classic jazz songs in Fake Books and used by bands for improvisation did not start out that way. Most jazz standards were originally songs from Broadway musicals from prior decades. The original versions of these songs were arranged for a full orchestra that accompanied the singers, and there was no improvisation. There would be a part completely notated for each instrument in the orchestra, and there would be a conductor's score.
But the purpose of the Fake Book and the lead sheet are to re-purpose (and usually re-harmonize) a fully-composed orchestral piece for use by a small jazz band that improvises. Thus the original, elaborate Broadway form of the song is transformed into another kind of musical art as a template for jazz improvisation.
Furthermore, most pieces in the best-known Fake Books only provide a lead sheet for the chorus of a song from a Broadway musical. The original song might also have an extensive intro, with lyrics, and several verses, and a bridge, and a coda. When jazz musicians improvise on a Fake Book chart, they are usually only concerned with playing the chorus and repeating it many times so that different members of the band can take solos.
Here is an example: the original fully-orchestrated version of "My Funny Valentine" which is from the musical Babes in Arms by Rodgers and Hart from 1937. Notice that it has whole sections, and lots of lyrics, that are omitted from any version of this song you've ever heard from a jazz band.
Now here is the classic jazz recording of "My Funny Valentine" by Chet Baker from 1952. You will realize that it omits the entire first section (called the verse in Broadway parlance) of the original song. This recording sounds to me like something improvised from a fake book lead sheet.
Now here is Miles Davis and his band doing a 15-minute version of "My Funny Valentine" which is essentially just the chorus of the original song, played over and over again for improvising. It's beautiful and it's excellent jazz, and it is undoubtedly something the band improvised or developed from a simple lead-sheet fake book chart, rather than from the original full arrangement by the composer Richard Rodgers.
A Fake book is book that contains music sheets for songs. Usually they contain chords and melody, but sometimes lyrics as well. These kind of books are really famous for jazz repertoire, but there have also been fake books for blues/latin/rock etc.
They were called Fake Books, because the people that wrote and publish them didn't have the royalties for the songs.
The Fake books were replaced by Real Books, which means that royalties were paid to the composers. Τhere have also been many editions, like the Real Book in C,Eb,Bb and Bass Clef.