What is the POINT of pre-ordering?!?

2015-Discussion-ChallengeHere’s the backstory – I hadn’t pre-ordered a book for years until I got back into reading again in 2012. I read and loved Divergent and Insurgent by Veronica Roth, and was lucky to have found the series just before the release of the third and final book, Allegiant. I was so excited that books were capturing my imagination again, as I’d thought I’d lost the reading bug throughout my late teens and University years. So, of course, upon rediscovering this passion – I immediately pre-ordered Allegiant.

Well, the release day came and went, and no Allegiant landed through my letterbox. Three weeks (!) later, I was shopping in town and stumbled upon a copy that taunted me from the shelves. I bought it there and then, went home and canceled my pre-order. EPIC FAIL.

My second experience of pre-ordering was much better. I won a giveaway hosted by Aimee for a copy of City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare. I got home from work on the release day, and there it was waiting for me. This was a pleasant surprise, but because of it I assumed my first pre-ordering experience had just been a case of bad luck.

Anyone who follows this blog will know I have become a die hard fan of Colleen Hoover, who I affectionately call CoHo (I’m sure she’d be cool with it, we have a mutual love for diet Pepsi). When I heard she was writing a new book that would be mixed media and feature a ridiculously original story-line, I squealed with excitement. When the cover was released I posted about it on my blog and hounded Atria/Simon & Schuster to beg inquire if the UK cover would be the same as the released cover (the UK usually gets the raw end of the deal when it comes to CoHo covers). I sadly didn’t receive a response to the multiple perfectly acceptable number of times I made contact.

Never-the-less, my excitement grew, and with it my desire to try pre-ordering again, especially with Amazon’s price guarantee. I took the plunge in January, and I waited with baited breath for the release of one of my most anticipated books of 2015 (Confess, in case you weren’t sure). The release date was March 10th, and guess what? My precious STILL isn’t here.

face palm gif

What I want to know from you guys is this – what do you think of pre-ordering and do you do it? And more importantly, do your pre-orders actually arrive on time? 

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About Rachel

Avid reader & book blogger. Lover of Business. A fan of drinks & dancing. Ever optimistic. Feminist.

65 Responses

  1. I think I have maybe received a pre-order on release day twice. Possibly three times. I do pre-order a lot, but I know I’ll often get it later than if I just purchased it in store. So why bother? Because then I don’t have to keep a list of upcoming books and their release dates so I won’t forget. This way I just order the book, and I know that, sooner or later, it’ll show up. However if there’s a book I am really dying to get my hands on, I’ll wait until it’s released and order it then, because I know it’ll be faster. I really wish pre-orders had some sort of release-day arrival guarantee, though! Wouldn’t that be fun?

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  2. I always pre-order and I’ve made the experience that some actually arrived before the publication date Oo, but otherwise they all arrived on time – till now *knocks on wood*

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  3. I used to pre-order books I was really excited about in middle school, but after a while I realized that it’s just not worth it. Unless there’s some bonus for doing so (getting it signed, a discount, etc.) then it’s usually easier for me to just pick it up on release day if it’s something I really want to read right away. I wish there was a better way to get books sooner!

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  4. I’ve pre-ordered from Amazon several times (books and movies) and always received my order on or before the official release day. I have Amazon Prime – maybe that makes a difference? Or maybe Amazon has better service in the US? I’m sorry your book hasn’t arrived. 😦

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      1. According to Amazon’s verbiage, release day shipment is available to everyone, and is free for Prime members (because we already paid up front). So, you should be getting release day shipment, if you paid for it.

        I also happen to live in a city with an Amazon fulfillment center and there is another fulfillment center about an hour south, so I’ve gotten orders (not pre-orders, just regular) in 12 hours before.

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  5. I mostly only pre-order eBooks so I know I’m getting it that day. It’s been awhile since I’ve pre-ordered a paperback, but it would never take that long to get it from Amazon. I usually received it the same week as the release. I don’t understand what is taking so long!! I actually decided to cancel my Confess pre-order because the amount of shipping would have cost the same as me going to my local bookstore and buying it. I knew I was going there on Friday night, so I cancelled my order. Normally, I’m lazy and don’t get to the bookstores often enough. I’ve always loved Amazon and have received all my orders really fast. I’m sorry!! This sucks!!

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  6. I pre-order if it’s something I really really can’t wait to have. I have Amazon Prime so I usually receive any pre-ordered item the day of it’s release which is awesome! Before I got Prime it always seemed to take forever to get anything pre-ordered so I didn’t do it as often.

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      1. I agree 100%! It’s almost worth it just to drive to a store on the day of it’s release rather than preordering and having to wait. It would be interesting (and possibly infuriating) to see if people who ordered the book the day of it’s release get it before those who have pre-ordered it… that would be super messed up!

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  7. I preorder, but only with Amazon Prime because they deliver the day the book is released. If I preorder from elsewhere, I’m lucky if they ship it the day before the release date but I still end up waiting a week for it to be delivered.

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      1. I agree, if you preorder a book, you should receive it the day of or at least close to the release date. What makes me mad is when you’ve preordered a book but see it on the shelves at a bookstore a couple of days early. What’s up with that? Are they even allowed to sell it before the official release date? I hope you get your book soon!

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      2. I’d do the same thing and you shouldn’t have a problem canceling your order, I heard Amazon has great customer service. I recently tried to cancel an order from Barnes & Noble that was going to take forever to ship and had all kind of issues.

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  8. Kathy

    I only pre-order from a select few authors because I almost never get to the book on release day. When I have pre-ordered (again, only from two or three special authors), my books have always been on my Kindle at midnight as promised. I’m in the US, so I’m not sure if it is a UK thing or not. Whatever the reason, I’m sorry you’re not getting your books, and I would have Amazon on the phone so quickly, they would shiver in their boots.

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  9. karen

    I pre-order books for my Nook at times–mainly because I get a better price but they have always been delivered (available for download) on the release date. I order movies through VUDU and get them before they are available in stores on blu-ray. Never had a problem with that either. I read some of the other comments and I believe you should check your order out a little more closely to see if you are missing an important detail. That is frustrating to want a book somuch you pre-order it and then still end up waiting. So unfair!!

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  10. I pre-ordered a CD once, and it was KIND OF worth it. I didn’t get it until a week or two after the release, but it did have extra songs on it that were not on the CDs being sold in the stores. And honestly, that’s the only reason why I pre-ordered it. But, I can’t imagine you get the same perks with books. I guess I could be mistaken because I’ve never pre-ordered a book before. But, really I can’t justify pre-ordering a book. Hard covers are expensive and I won’t end up reading the book until a year after the purchase anyway!

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  11. That’s just so disappointing 😦 And it really defeats the whole purpose. To be honest, I don’t preorder, mostly because I’m happy with ebooks so I just download from Amazon on the day when it’s one of my few auto buy authors. Boo to Atria for ignoring you!

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  12. I think it depends on the reason why you pre-order. I pre-order books when I get some money to spare and pre-order the book I am most excited about. That means I know I will get those books and don’t have to think about buying them anymore and they will arrive about half a month after the release date (or 10 days if I am lucky). I don’t expect my pre-orders to arrive on time as I pre-order from the bookdepository and their usual shipping time is 10 days. I mostly pre-order books by favourite authors.

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  13. I’ve only just started pre-ordering books and they’re Kindle books at that. I want to know I’ll have the book at midnight as soon as they’re released. It’s awful that you still haven’t gotten your book yet. I hope it comes soon. 😦 If it hasn’t come by now.

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      1. You’re welcome! 🙂 Wow, I can’t believe it’s so, er, backordered, that’s long. Hopefully Book depository is better for you! I’ve ordered from their once and the books came in a reasonable time.

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  14. Ula

    For me, pre-ordering was always a disaster. I pre-ordered Insurgent and Allegiant both, and got them in a month’s time. I pre-ordered a bunch of others and waited forever to get them as well. The only surprise was Indigo Spell that I got a day after release I think? Not sure. I was so shocked… I just got used to waiting longer.
    Last pre-order was actually canceled and I was refunded because the book went out of stock. ON A PRE-ORDER. I don’t even know anymore. I think I am done with pre-orders. :L

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  15. My preordering experience has definitely been better. Until now, I’ve preordered 3 books, I think. The latest preorder was for Up from the Grave by Jeaniene Frost, which came out in the first half of 2014 (don’t remember a more exact time and I’m feeling too lazy to check, lol).
    All three times I preordered through The Book Depository, because it has free worldwide shipping, which includes Latvia. And, as far as I can remember, all the books arrived a week (more or less) after the release date, pretty much as stated in Book Depository’s delivery policy or whatnot.
    I hope your preordering experience with The Book Depository is better than with Amazon. 🙂

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      1. Ah, yes. Who needs sleep or money, or food. Books are love, books are life 😀
        Anyway, there is something weird about Amazon. I’ve never ordered or preordered anything with them, except for ‘buying’ free e-books for PC Kindle app, but they still (it’s been a week or so) haven’t replied to my support e-mail on where/how to find/get send-to-kindle e-mail address, so I’m not entirely happy with them either. 😀

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      2. Yup, for NetGalley. I can live with Adobe Digital Edition, but Kindle requires less effort from me (at least so it seems from the description). Except for the part of finding that e-mail address. That I totally can’t find, I can scroll down wherever and as much as I want. There is no e-mail address. All I have in the manage devices part is that I have a PC Kindle app and that I can change it’s name (‘device name’) and I can deregister it. No e-mail. I just looked, just to be sure. Nope. Sad 😀 Or is an app not cool enough to get an e-mail address? (I don’t own a physical Kindle) Though from what I’ve read, it’s not so. But I’ll keep on looking for it, I guess.

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      3. Adobe Digital Editions is also free and supported by NetGalley, so I’m using that until I can find that e-mail address, which, obviously, might never happen. Oh well, will live with Adobe. I was using it even before NetGalley and everything. It’s just that with Kindle there would be less things to do, but ok. Ain’t that bad. At least Kindle isn’t the only option, now that would be sad.

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  16. Taylor

    The first book I preorder came 3 days before the release date so I thought that was what usually happens when you preorder a book. I made a preorder on the new Harry Potter book assuming I will get the book ahead of time but I was so wrong!! No only the book still hasn’t arrived (okay it’s only been 2 days), the price I paid for is also $10 (from book depository) more than the current retail price in the bookstore! I don’t think I will be preordering books anytime soon.

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