Defaced and advanced

Do they not trust me?

This doesn’t happen often, but when it does, my heart sinks. Even a book I’d thought sounded good, loses its appeal, and it’s more my sense of duty than anything which makes me read it.

At the top end I sort of get it. There are relatively few review copies, and in case a recipient decides to flog the book on eBay instead of reading it, at least it’s obvious whodunnit if it’s a numbered proof. The publisher made a note of who was sent no. 79, or if they didn’t, I will still believe they did, so don’t sell it.

I actually never sell review copies. They go to some charitable place once I’m done with them, and not before the publication date. It’s hard work hanging on to unwanted books until such a date has passed. It requires admin. And space. As for selling online, that requires a lot of effort.

Some months ago I was sent a – possibly self-published – novel by an unknown author. I was prepared for this. Just didn’t expect the ugly label stuck – unevenly, I might add – on the front cover. Plus I think the word proof was handwritten inside.

It hurt. But I still read it. And there is no way the book would have made me a fortune if I’d sold it. (I did steam off the label; so offensive was the ruining of a decent cover.)

Not sure whether the defaced book is better or worse than the advanced book.

Personally I feel advanced has a certain risqué ring to it, when in reality it’s nothing of the sort, but merely someone in publishing who doesn’t do grammar.

Is it worse having ‘advanced copy’ handwritten in a review copy, or did the poor owners of the hire car company I once saw, have the worst luck? Beautifully painted on the side of the vehicle you learned it was for ‘advanced bookings’ only.


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