A review copy (often called an advance reading copy or ARC) is a copy of a book given free of charge to reviewers and other opinion-makers prior to the book’s publication date. Review copies are usually sent out months in advance of the publication date, and are usually sent in the form of galleys or uncorrected proofs.
A review copy is a complimentary copy of a book provided by the publisher to a reviewer, critic, bookseller, or librarian for the purpose of review or evaluation. Such copies are usually supplied in advance of the book’s publication date in order to generate early buzz and reviews.
Libraries also request review copies in order to make purchasing decisions. The Library Journal is one of the most influential trade publications in this arena, and their reviews can make or break a book’s chances of being adopted by a library.
While review copies are typically provided free of charge, the reviewer is under no obligation to write a review, and most do so of their own volition. Some reviewers, however, do accept payment for their work.
The purpose of a review copy is twofold: to generate advance buzz for the book, and to give reviewers enough time to read and write a review for the book’s publication. In the case of galleys, they also serve as a final check for errors before the book goes to print.
Review Copy is important to books and publishing for a number of reasons. First, it helps to ensure that books are of high quality and meet the standards of the publishing industry. Second, review copy can help to sell books by providing potential customers with a way to sample the work before they purchase it. Finally, review copy can help to generate word-of-mouth marketing for a book, which can lead to increased sales.