Thursday, May 22, 2008

Designating review copies as REVIEW copies

Another independent publishing company, Angle Valley Press, recently contacted us with a question regarding mailing out review copies: Do we specify on the book somewhere that the copy is a review copy? And, therefore, not meant to be resold. (Unfortunately, this happens more than we would like.)

When we print advanced reading copies, we always denote that the book is strictly meant to be used for reviewing purposes by including the following predominantly on the front and back covers: ADVANCED UNEDITED COPY, NOT FOR SALE.

However, some reviewers only review final copies of books so we send out another round of review copies upon publication. We are going to have a rubber stamp made that says REVIEW COPY, NOT FOR SALE and stamp it in on the first page inside the book before mailing out these review copies.

So when preparing review material, make sure to keep in mind the requirements of the reviewers as well as considering ways to prevent the abuse of the books. Even some reviewers might be unscrupulous . . . we’ve seen review copies listed on eBay auctions in the past! Especially after Book Expo America, but more on that next week.

5 comments:

Steve Basic said...

Sarah,

Not sure how it is out on the West Coast, but a lot of the Barnes and Noble stores here in NJ have a full table of Reviewer Copies available. Usually they sell them at half price.

The only book published by Savas/Beatie that was for sale in RC form that I have seen, was Volume 3 of Mr. Beatie's AOP series.

Always wondered how stores like that get those copies, and I can see it being a major problem for the book publishing industry.

Hope all is well.

Regards from the Garden State,

Steve Basic

Sarah Keeney said...

Hi Steve,

Thanks for your post. That's fascinating. I've never seen review copies for sale like that at a bookstore. I'm wondering if I just haven't noticed them, or if we don't have them out like that out here. ?

Sarah

Harry said...

Sarah,

All the books I receive for review on my website have so far been final, first editions. I don't get paid to review the books, other than the book itself. Frankly, even though I keep them all, a stamp on these books would significantly devalue the only compensation I receive. What exactly is the point of stamping a final first edition that has been sent for review?

Steve Basic said...

Sarah,

A famous book store in NYC has a huge section of one of their floors devoted to selling Review Copies.

Guess it is a common practice here, as most of the major publishers have offices located in NYC.

Hope you have a fine Holiday weekend.

Regards from the Garden State,

Steve Basic

Sarah Keeney said...

Hi Harry,

Thanks for your comments. I understand where you're coming from as a reviewer, and we appreciate all the great reviewers who take an interest in our titles and the time to read them and write thoughtful reviews. Unfortunately, not every reviewer is so careful. In the past, we have found review copies that we've given away and paid to mail out for sale on ebay, at resellers tables at events, etc.

I guess if a publisher cares about this enough, one of the ways to prevent the resale of review copies is to only send review copies to reviewers whose work you are familiar with. When we receive a review copy request from someone, we always ask what publication the person reviews for, where the review appears, what the publication's circulation is, if they will copy and paste the completed review on to Amazon.com, and ask that the reviewer send us a copy of the review.

If we are familiar with the integrity of a reviewer, we might make the extra effort to send them an unstamped copy.

Sarah