What, me? Preorder?

Well,  I don’t do it all the time, but here I am, asking you to preorder the paperback of Escape, which goes on sale Tuesday.  So let’s take a minute to discuss the pros and cons of preordering.

Pro.  You don’t risk forgetting; the book is on your doorstep the day it goes on sale.

Con.  If forgetting is a problem, you may preorder the same book twice; I’ve actually done that.

Pro.  You can be in the literary forefront, the first of your friends to read a book.

Con.  If you end up hating it, the letdown is worse.

Pro.  Bookstores get a leg-up on how many copies to order.

Con.  If you preorder at one store, then find the same book selling for less elsewhere, you feel gyped.

Pro.  Since preorders consolidate several months of sales into a single day, they can propel a book onto the bestselling lists.

Con.  If preorders inflate a book’s popularity, an author may be devastated to find that those first-day sales are as good as it gets.

Pro.  Healthy preorders may drive the publisher back to press for a second or third pre-publication printing.

Con.  If the publisher is overly optimistic, books in those additional print runs may sit unsold.

The bottom line?  Speaking as a writer, preordering is the best thing in the world.  Please, please, please do it.

But I’m also a reader, and your friend.  Speaking in those capacities, I’d say that if I like the author enough, I’ll preorder.  If I want to support her, I’ll preorder.  If I’m going on vacation and am desperate to take the book along, I’ll preorder.  Otherwise, I’ll wait until I’ve read a review.

Okay.  In the case of your choosing to wait, I’ve shot myself in the foot here.  But at least you know I’m honest.

Speaking of honesty, did I miss any arguments, pro or con?  If so, what?


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  1. Jaime on April 19, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    Do pre-orders for e-books work the same way?

    • Barbara Delinsky on April 19, 2012 at 3:24 pm

      That’s a good question, Jaime. I think they do, in terms of preorders being counted as first-day sales. As I understand it, though, e-books come in unlimited supply, i.e., no print run involved. Yes?

      • maralee sinclair on April 26, 2012 at 12:23 pm

        Hello Barbara I read Escape in hard cover that I got at our library and I loved it so much. You are such a great story teller. Now I am reading an older book of yours called Suddenly which I also got from the library along with More than Friends, both in hard cover. I know I will enjoy those too. Please keep writing those great stories.
        Sincerely, Maralee

  2. Pat Puckett on April 19, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    My hubby and I returned some books that we had finished reading to our local used bookstore. After browsing the bookshelves, we each chose a few books to buy. The girl at the counter asked my husband if he was sure he wanted to buy one of the books he had placed on the counter. He said, “Sure, why?”……..she said, “You just returned it!”…..needless to say, we all got a chuckle out of that.

  3. Joyce Conser on April 25, 2012 at 6:23 am

    I always pre-order my favorite authors’ new books for my Kindle touch. It solves several problems for me (some you mentioned as: getting the book quickly, not having to remember to buy it, etc.). Also, since I get it in ebook format I have no problem storing the many books I read – this had been a huge factor for me. We downsized about 6 years ago and moved in with my elderly dad. At that point I had to sell (sob!) most of my many books due to the smaller size of this house. So kindle is a lifesaver for me. I cannot wait to read your next book. And, although I believe I have read every book you’ve written, I will probably be ordering those out of print books for my kindle so I can read them again.

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