Is it just me or has pre-ordering books gotten to be a bigger thing? Is it because of Amazon and other online retailers? Is it that there are better books coming out? Are publishers pushing it more?
I remember my first book pre-order. It was the summer of 2000. I was living at home with my parents after my sophomore year of college. I was the only “child” at home as my twin sister was spending the summer in MD as a camp counselor, and my brother was in Chicago living in his own apartment, attending law school.
I had chosen to spend the summer at home instead of nannying for my little cousins (twins: a boy and a girl, age 5) because I wanted to study for the MCAT. (Side Note: I still regret to this day not spending that summer with them.) I thought being at home would allow me to focus on the exam and still have friends close by to hang out with at night. Honestly, I don’t remember much fun from that summer. I do remember working 5 hours a day as a typist at my dad’s law office, attending hours-long MCAT prep classes at the local college, and studying in the evenings. I was very serious at that age and thought I was going to be a doctor. My goal was to get a 34 (out of 40 I think) on the MCAT exam (required for entrance into medical school).
My one indulgence that summer was that Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was releasing. I pre-ordered it from the local media store – one of those big box places (before Barnes & Noble and Borders took over the world) that sold music, movies, and books. The name is escaping me. I was beyond excited for the release. When I finally got the book, I only allowed myself to read it in bed at night after all of the above mentioned working, class going, and studying was complete. Crazy, right? How did I not skip studying for two days and just sit around and read the book straight? I was seriously disciplined!
Since then I have mainly pre-ordered sequels, and I’m not even sure I pre-ordered any books (other than the subsequent Harry Potter titles) until the last year or so. Amazon has certainly made that easier with the ability to pre-order and have the book delivered on the release date. It hardly seems worth it to pre-order if you have to drive to the store to buy the book in person anyway. Do books ever sell out on their release dates like video games do?
Right now I am waiting on 3 pre-ordered titles from Amazon. It’s rather fitting that two of these books are in the Harry Potter universe, don’t you think?
(End Note: I scored a 33 on the MCAT. Not too shabby. Unfortunately, I didn’t go to medical school.)
What was the first book you pre-ordered? What pre-orders do you have open right now? Do you have any thoughts on the rise of pre-orders? Is it a thing or have I just been unaware all these years?
On the blog last year…