What You Should Do with Advance Copies of Books . . .

I am a person who occasionally receives free copies of books from publishers.  They send them to me hoping I will comment upon them somewhere online.  It has never occurred to me to attempt to sell any of these books.

When I wrote The End of Secularism, my publisher encouraged me to send them a list of influencers to whom they should send the book.  I made out a list of about 75 people.  I have been very pleased by the comments and reviews offered by many of these people.  For example, I continue to be gratified that the New York Times bestselling author Andrew Klavan took the time to write about my book despite not knowing me or my work in advance.  You can scroll down the page and see his review in the lower right corner.

I am less pleased with some of them.

Is this because they offered a negative review?  No.  What’s the problem, then?

As soon as the book became available, my Amazon page showed approximately 20 “new” copies available from third parties.  I have a suspicion that some of the recipients of advance copies simply sold them to third parties for cash who then turned around and offered them for sale on Amazon.  This is not exactly nice behavior.

If someone sends you an advance copy of their book and you don’t want to take the time to read it — which is understandable as many of us receive too many books to read — then don’t do the author the disservice of putting the free book up for sale and thus competing with their publisher.  Do the kind thing which would be to find another person who is interested in the book and does want to read it and who might end up reviewing it.