Question about review copies: Is it de rigueur to provide print copies or are e-books acceptable?

davidRoddisdavidRoddis Toronto, Canada Writer
I'm creating press releases and compiling a list of publications whose readers  I think would be interested in my book.  I have, like everyone in the world, limited budget.  

I plan to give print copies to a couple of big players in town (Indigo and independent bookstores), but I can't possibly afford print copies for everyone, at least not at once - is it acceptable to provide a link to the e-book, or is that a terrible faux pas?  I would like as many publications as possible to see my book, and using the e-book of course would be great for that...

I can see two downsides:  People might be inclined just not to make the effort to download; and it might simply not be "the way it's done".  

Does anyone have any thoughts on this?   Experiences?

David Roddis

David Roddis
"From the moment I picked up your book until I put it down I was convulsed with laughter.  Next time I intend reading it."       —Groucho Marx


  • Look at it realistically. You are providing what copies you can acquire for two biggies in the trade, that's great. As for the others, there is no budget to speak of for them, so, it's a choice between letting these other players know, by whatever means available, or - not letting them have any sort of copy at all. I would say, in the days before the POD / Self publishing tie up, perhaps a physical copy was mandatory, but in this digital age, it's acceptable, print is still better of course, but digital is OK too. So, my opinion, send those links.
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    Personally, I would assume that bricks & mortar stores would expect a real book. They do not sell e-books and I doubt they have the time to even read a real book just to see if it's saleable. They sell books, not review them.

    As to sending review copies to the media, very hard to say, really. Some like them to be accompanied by a paid-for advert as an 'incentive,' and also it's often agents and big publishers who send them a, well, a bit of a pre-written 'review.' Cynical I know, but there you go.

  • I would make an effort first to find out what a reviewer prefers. Frankly, sending someone an ebook cold is probably asking to have it ignored. I would do it only if they expected it.
    Black Cat Studios
  • It's not a constant thing, Ron, my or should I say our book, only got onto the shelves of one local store after they took a look at the ebook. I didn't ask them which they preferred, I didn't at that time have a spare print copy to give them, but it paid off. Admittedly, it might not have done, but, it did. Even if they decline, at least you know. No real harm is done by sending them either the ebook or a link to it, even if they say no, they want the print version.
  • I think you may have gotten lucky.
    Black Cat Studios
  • swmirskyswmirsky Publisher
    Nothing ventured, nothing gained. But hard copies are better.
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