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Writing & Publishing / Advice / Amazon Review Copy Policy
Amazon Review Copy Policy
a. Promotional media. Promotional versions of all media--including books (advance reading
copies and uncorrected proofs), music, and videos (screeners)--are prohibited. These items are
distributed for promotional consideration and are not authorized for retail distribution or
b. Unauthorized and unlicensed merchandise. All media--including books, CDS, VHS tapes, and
DVDs sold through Amazon Marketplace--must be fully licensed and authorized versions. All
items sold through Amazon Marketplace must be commercially produced and authorized or
licensed as a retail product.
You can write each person selling your review copies and advise them that they are in violation of
their agreement with Amazon. Many will desist (about 1 in 5 remove the listing).
If they persist, you can send a message to Amazon.com, and on the form, set the subject line to
"Report an Intellectual Property Violation." Put the vendor's screen name, e-mail address, the
ISBN, title, and author of your book and the steps you took to remedy the situation on your own
within the explanation of the problem. About 1 in 3 times this works.
If it's Alibris, fuhgeddaboudit. They could care less and Amazon won't do anything about it.
Now, that's the way you can deal with it. But ask yourself if it is worth your time and effort to do
so. We sent out 500 blank cover ARCs of a novel 2 years ago. I made myself crazy for the next 8
months getting those off our Amazon pages. The culprits were all librarians (it was a B&T ARC
program to libraries. Don't participate in that turkey!) who for some reason didn't see why it
wasn't OK to deprive the author of her royalties... not to mention the publisher. At any rate, after
all my efforts, the ARCs migrated to eBay--which could care less if a book is a galley or a retail
sale. So much for my time.
If you sent out finished books and only put a stamp "review copy" inside, your chances of getting
much cooperation from the sellers is almost nil. If it looks like a retail-ready book, they'll sell it.
Some will even disclose the stamp is there in their description. All you can hope to do is drive
enough customers to your page to buy those up plus your regular offering. Not all that many
people like or buy used books on Amazon, as it turns out, so it's not a disaster.
Beagle Bay Books
James A. Cox
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575-1129
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