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Issue 08 – Christmas 2021

Nunc Dimittis

Brilliant Blue

On the scandal of selling review copies.


When some skeevy book reviewers sold advance reading copies of Sally Rooney’s Beautiful World, Where Are You and Jonathan Franzen’s Crossroads for outrageous prices this past summer, they gave rise to a minor scandal in the publishing world. 

The two books were already the most anticipated novels of the fall. Their publisher, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, was desperate to keep uncorrected proofs out of the black market. Marketing agents composed a list of trustworthy publications and critics to whom they sent copies of both novels. And publicists were unusually stingy when people not on the list requested them. All for nought, of course.

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About the author

Nic Rowan

Nic Rowan is managing editor of The Lamp.