• Welcome to The Fedora Lounge!

"Reader's Copy" or "Advanced Copy" of books

Discussion in 'The Reading Room' started by Naphtali, Nov 24, 2016.

  1. Naphtali

    Naphtali Practically Family

    During my recent reorganizing of my library, I discovered several trade paperback books that are identified on their flyleaves as "Reader's Copy," or "Advanced Copy." On all of them is the phrase: "Not for Resale."

    I cross-checked the public library's stacks and identified that they became commercially published hard-bound fiction books.

    What is the purpose for these trade paperback versions that were not for sale, but evidently distributed without cost to whomever were their recipients?

    Since first editions of most hard-bound fiction have print runs of 12,500 or 25,000, how many of the Reader's or Advanced copies would have been printed and distributed?
  2. Usually they're sent out to newspaper and magazine critics for reviews, to be published concurrent with the book's formal release, and to buyers for bookstores as a solicitation for future orders. Often these are "uncorrected proofs," and the reader is warned of this fact somewhere on the cover or title page. In the case of non-fiction, these types of copies are sometimes sent out to fact-checkers for final examination prior to release.

    The number printed would vary according to the specific book and the policies of the publisher, but there wouldn't be many -- perhaps a few thousand, tops, for a book of mass interest, and far fewer for a limited release. This is a very old practice -- I have a few "review copies" of various books from the 1930s, which often include a laid-in slip effusively thanking the reviewer for taking the time to examine the work and asking that a tear sheet of the review be sent to their office.
    M Hatman likes this.
  3. Naphtali

    Naphtali Practically Family

    LizzieMaine: Many thanks for your information.
    M Hatman likes this.
  4. AmateisGal

    AmateisGal I'll Lock Up

    ^^^What Lizzie said. I often receive reader's copies or advance copies for book review purposes. More often than not, I find typos and odd little things here and there, so I'm assuming that most of those things will be found and fixed at this stage and won't be in the final version.
    M Hatman likes this.
  5. Stanley Doble

    Stanley Doble Call Me a Cab

    I have found a few in used book stores so they are not that rare. But some are quite valuable. There are collectors who specialize in them.
    M Hatman likes this.
  6. DNO

    DNO One Too Many

    A not uncommon find in local thrift stores.
    M Hatman likes this.
  7. Like first editions generally, their value will be based not only on scarcity, but on the author's reputation, the book's reception after public publication and sale and condition.

    As Mr. Doble mentions, they are sought out by many collectors (I have a few) for the very reason that they are not part of the mass publication.
  8. There actually are colectors (I am not per se BUT do have several copies I have run accross through the years) who rather specialize in this sort of book. Part of the attraction is that these are a sort of "first edition". Additionally, some of these books you will find, were never picked up by a publisher (privately published by the author to generate interest) and therefore never actually published for general distribution. AND I must say they can be fun to compare to the final published edition to find the differances, changes from the final published editions.....often the readers or advanced copies have not entered the final edit and contain errors, ommisions sometimes extra stuf like an authors full biography .....

Share This Page