Monday, March 15, 2010

note to self

No more review copies for the Brooklyn Rail.

I get that most review copies won't be reviewed.

For each NTB title I send out over 50 review copies and am thrilled to receive 2 or 3 reviews.

I get that publications can't hold on to a bunch of books they don't intend on reviewing.

I get that times are tough and publications need to earn money.

I'm aware that some magazines sell review copies sent to them.

But if you're going to sell review copies, how about a little discretion? Do you really have to use the magazine's name as your Amazon store name?

Is that good pr?

And those prices aren't much cheaper than retail. $15.85 for a $16.99 (retail) book? For something you got for free?

Besides, you make up the $1 discount with the $3.99 shipping.

Why not price them to move?

Why come off like such dicks?


  1. I am going to ask that my press not send them review copies. That is ridiculous.

  2. I caught Bookslut doing the same thing, but not under its own name.

  3. It seems most reviews come from people who were very excited (or very pissed off) upon buying the book. Two or three reviews won't sell the 50 to 100 copies sent out to the so-called reviewers--any sales would probably barely cover the shipping costs!

    This is a great case for advancing the ebook technology. Review copies (and a number of periodicals) in a digital format would save publishers money on printing and shipping, and save reviewers waste, space, time shorting through physical mail as well as time listing the item up on amazon. If a press can save on the cost of doing business by sending an email rather than putting books in envelopes with notes and using postage, maybe the cover price of books could go down. Or more sales could be offered, so more readers can discover the work.

    Just saying.
    Long live the small press!

  4. Sorry to get all publishing biz and environmental with it.

    Brooklyn Rail--not classy at all. No free Cooper Dillon books for them!

  5. The magazine I work for in Atlanta receives dozens of books looking for write ups about the authors or reviews. Since I am a book horder, many of these books find their way to my shelf at home. Others we give away as prizes, donate to shelters or other organizations that can use them or donate them to our local libraries. I recently discovered that a well-known poet has his own store at Amazon and is selling off copies of poetry books -- and a copy of my novel, Conquering Venus -- I guess he no longer wants or did not enjoy. Still, you would think he would hide his name a bit more carefully. I was actually quite disappointed to discover this, but I supposed I should be surprised by anyone's motivations these days.

  6. Adam, I agree. Depending on the book, each review copy I mail costs the press between $6-$9. I do my best to only send to places where they have a reasonable chance of being written about and know most will not garner a review. If the book isn't going to be reviewed, I'd much rather it be given to someone who would read it or have it donated to a library, school, charity, shelter, prison, etc. But the idea that another literary organization/person would try to profit from my press' operating costs -- ick, it tells me a lot about the people running the mag.

  7. Well, judging by their masthead, they're struggling, too. What with those 130 people with their fingers in the pot, their money has to come from somewhere. Might as well be your hard work and dedication to the art--and from the look of their listing on Amazon, they started the account up just to peddle the copy you gave them.

  8. Yikes! Not at all classy, nope, not at all.

  9. Ugh, I just saw this. And I saw the "never read" in their description. Nice. Double ugh.