A question for the publicists out there

When you are preparing your books to go out to reviewers, do you say “The review copies are going out today” or “The complimentary copies are going out today”?

Just wondering.


  1. says

    “Review copies,” not to be confused with “desk copies,” which are copies professors request before deciding to assign a book to their class…can you tell I work for a university press?

  2. says

    At Gemstone, “review copies” were sent to reviewers, while “comp[limentary] copies” were sent to freelancers whose work appeared in the volume.

  3. says

    At both Wizard and CBR, the books we’d get from the pamhlet publishers from DC and Marvel straight on down through guys like Dynamite and IDW were always referred to as comps both by us and the PR folk, no different than freelancers who would be on the same list. I’m not sure how they refer to advance releases like the floppies DC sends out, although I’m pretty sure those get marked “for review” in the cover letter. Maybe?

  4. says

    I say “review copies.” I don’t consider sending them to reviewers paying for reviews, either.

    And, right, as Travis said, “comp copies” are for creators and contributors.

  5. Robert Morales says

    Publicists send out review copies – calling them “comps” would make it seem like they were doing one a favor, instead of their job. Comps go to the talent – if they’re lucky – and are for edit to send.

  6. Tom Spurgeon says

    I believe there was a movement at SPX a couple of years ago to call them “freebie rockets.”

  7. says

    I usually call them review copies. If they are advance copies of the books, I call them advances. “Comps” are the copies sent to the creator(s) of their own book.

    Those labels have pretty much been uniform in the 3 comic companies I have worked or are currently working for.

  8. Synsidar says

    A question for unpaid reviewers: Have there been times when you haven’t reviewed review copies? Simply noting the title, issue number, etc., under an “Also received” heading is a perfectly acceptable way of dealing with the things.


  9. says

    I haven’t reviewed for a little while now, but if sent an unsolicited copy, I didn’t feel I was under an obligation to review it at all, or to acknowledge receiving it in print. If someone asked if I wanted to review it, and I said yes, that was another matter altogether.

    (Unsolicited ones usually came in the form of a pdf file.)

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