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5 Examples of an Advance Copy

An advance copy is a free copy of a book that is distributed prior to publication. This is mostly done for promotional reasons with common recipients of these copies being journalists, reviewers, booksellers, librarians and influencers. Advance copies may also be given away in contests as another promotional technique aimed at generating interest and demand. The following are common types of advance copy and similar pre-first editions.

Advance Reading Copy

An advance copy, or advance reading copy, is a complete text of the book that may lack its final cover, dust jacket, formatting and binding. As these are issued as much as six months before publication, the text of the final book may change. In some cases, advance copies become a collectors item for this reason, particularly if they contain mistakes and are distributed in low volume as compared to sales volume.


An electronic version of an advance reading copy. These are practical as they are cheap to distribute but may generate less interest than a physical copy.

Dummy Editions

Dummy editions, historically known as salesman editions, are the opposite of an advance copy whereby they look exactly like the final book but don't contain the full text of the book. These are used by salespeople to sell the book to distributors such as retailers.

Galley Proofs

A galley proof is a preliminary version of a book that is used for review by authors, proofreaders, editors and others. Traditionally, these have extra wide margins. In some cases, galley proofs are distributed for promotional purposes such that they become advance copies.


The first iteration of a book as composed by the author. These may be distributed to publishers by an agent such that multiple copies are produced.
Overview: Advance Copy
A free copy of a book that is distributed prior to publication.
Also Known As
Advance Reading Copy
Advance Review Copy
Advance Reader's Edition
Reader's Edition
Related Concepts


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