For the A to Z Challenge, I’m posting promo and other tips for writers. Today it’s review copies.
Review copies (or ARCs - Advance Reader Copies) are sent out before a book’s publication date. They are unproofed copies, often still boasting writing, typing, and/or formatting errors. The books are marked front or back as review copies, and eventually reviews will grace the exterior of the finished product.
Who sends out review copies?
Self-published authors are responsible for sending out their own copies, but for traditionally published authors, this duty falls to the publisher, a PR agent, or a PR firm. (These authors rarely if ever have review copies of their own.) Smaller publishers will often coordinate with their authors when sending copies, too. (If you are interested in reviewing a book, always contact the publisher first.)
Where do review copies go?
Their primary purpose is to garner reviews, so they are sent months in advance to book reviewers big and small. Often they will be included with the author’s media kit and sent to the media. Review copies are sent to bookstores (especially independents) and are often available at large book festivals. Others are given out during promotional tours. Some are sent to other authors for blurbs.
How many are sent?
This depends on the marketing budget. Small publishers will be unable to send out as many as the large big boys in New York, and only projected best sellers get a full marketing blitz of thousands of review copies.
And if you ever see a review copy up for sale, let the sales site or publisher know! Because review copies are not to be sold...