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Advanced Reader Copy or Uncorrected Proof?

When one is starting to buy books for a collection certain terms start to show up in descriptions. Sometimes the terms are not clear. Description conditions are varied within each term and sometimes they all seem quite arbitrary.  Over the next few blog posts we will be explaining these terms so that the book buying experience will be less of a mystery to the average buyer.

Two terms can cause some concern for the beginner collector. Advanced Reader Copy and Uncorrected Proof. Both have the correct ISBN and can be consider 1st printing. But there is a difference and it all involves the printing industry.

When a book is to be published and editor will go over it to make sure everything is correct. This includes spelling & grammar, spacing, chapter numbers, page layout and also content. Editorial departments gets hundreds of books to check a week. These books are bound in a plain, cheap paperback cover. The information on the publishing date normally is on the front cover. These books are not intended for sale and will contain mistakes. Sometimes they will contain chapters that will be edited out of the final product. These are called Uncorrected Proofs and will say it on the cover.

When a book is ready t be published and they want a review or six in local papers or blogs a rough paperback or hardcover (if the publisher  thinks it will be popular) with the cover art (or dust jacket).  This will look like a real book, except for two details. Printed on the back will be the estimated publication date, the term “not for sale” and Advanced Reader’s Copy. These books are normally kept by the reviewer for their own collection, and the contract states that the review cannot pre-sell it or even talk about it except in the review.

Reviewers can review over 20 books per month (by various publishers) and this can create a large collection. For years most used bookstores would not even accept them as trade due to the “not for resale” tag.  This has made these items into rare collector items.

Nowadays you can find the Uncorrected proofs and Advanced reader copies on used book sites. This started when book-scouts would buy collections from editors and reviewers estates. Most of the books were published and out of print, and these may be the only copies out there. These items would include the term “bought in/or included with a collection bought from” in the online description.

The prices range from very cheap to expensive depending on the seller. As of right now, the unstated agreement is not to sell them until after the book has been published and out for a while.

These are usually abbreviated as Un.Cor Prf., UnCorrPro, AdvReaderCpy, AdRdCpy. So if you see these terms and are confused, email the seller and ask.






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