From the Bibliophile Bullpen blog:
One of the viral conversations bouncing from biblioblog to biblioblog, is about Advanced Review Copies, everyone wants to pitch their 2 cents. If you are on the Bookfinder Insider Mailing list you already have an inbox filled with tuppences. For more in depth reading Scott Brown's pennies can be picked up here and Adrien Kohn's can be collected here.
In a nutshell, publishers have been sending out review copies since the beginning of time. Freelance and salaried reviewers read and review the books, try to get some reviews published and then have been free to keep, sell, burn, eat or otherwise dispose of the books. Because booksales are down all over the map, publishers are pinning the blame this profound drop in sales on the tiny percentage of advanced review copies, bound galleys, proofs and other prepublication copies that have found their way into the used book market. This in a word is 'bullshit.'