Sunday, January 30, 2022

LEFT INSIDE: Review Copy Publicity Slips

Let me take you back to those days of old when people actually read books made of paper with words of printed ink.  Book reviewers didn't check their email for publicity inundated with hyperlinks to the digital world of NetGalley and other sites with intangible review copies.  They had to go to their mailboxes and check for packages of real books of paper and ink.

Well, people like me and other quasi-Luddites who are still reluctant to succumb to the ubiquity of digital books and electronic publishing still insist of these physical advance reader copies (ARCs) and love going to the mailbox to pick up packages loaded with books. It's a losing battle, however, these days when publishers who still do print these physical copies have very few to offer to us outliers.

My collection includes several copies of these old-timey ARCs from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. Much more exciting than boring and easily deleted electronic galleys.  Below are two slips of paper I found in a copy of Dead Ringer by Roger Omerod to be reviewed in the coming months.  The papers are self-explanatory.  You can click on the first one to enlarge it and read the content.


Scribner's seems to be the cheap kind of publisher who sent limited PR with the book.  Other publishers included a lengthy cover letter announcing the book's publication date and instructions not to review the book prior to its release -- apparently no longer a stringent rule in this age of blogging and Instagram.

Sometimes photographs of the author and the book were also included. The reviewer would submit those with the copy to the layout crew at the magazine or newspaper.  I had a few books with author photographs but I have no idea what I did with those photos. Maybe this copy also had such additional material and it was submitted with the review.  But when I bought the book these two slips were the only items inside.


  1. I do enjoy the things you pick up in books, and i look forward to the review of the book in the future. I've read about 6 of the Inspector pattern books, even though he's retired in all but the first one. I've been enjoying Ormerod's books, thank you for pointing them out.


  2. Wonder if the reader did review the book.