On pre-ordering books…

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).

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, July 8, 2000

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…

Building memories

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  1. Ahhh, thanks for the reminder that I still need to pre-order Cursed Child. I haven't yet because there was a chance my address would change this summer. Hasn't so far, so maybe I should go ahead and bite the bullet!

    1. You're right. It is. We have an Amazon distribution center in the Milwaukee area, so they do Sunday delivery here at least. Do they not do that by you? It is interesting that it comes out on a Sunday, but I know she wanted it to come out on Harry's birthday. And I think the show opens on July 30th, so they wanted it to be right after the play starts.

  2. There are so many preorder campaigns these days! I don't preorder nearly as much as other people, but I do for favorite authors and sequels for sure. I do a good amount of ebook preordering too because I'm always convinced I can start reading late at night when it arrives… never happens though haha.

    1. Haha. Nice. There is something magical about having a book show up when you've ordered it a long time ago. I pre-ordered Dino Racing mainly so I wouldn't have to remember when it releases. And it will be a nice surprise for Christopher when it arrives. I know it will be a favorite because he loves the series and car racing is his absolute favorite "sport". He still wants to be a race car driver when he grows up. šŸ™‚

  3. Interesting! I get the vast majority of my books from the library… so I'll request that they be pre-ordered from the library most of the time, or just put my name on the list as soon as the record shows up (usually pre-pub). If I need to own a print book, the closest local book store is pretty good at having them in stock and is super close to my kids' school, so I just drive over to get it. We pre-ordered Raven King from Audible, though.

    1. I use the library mostly too, so that's why I was curious. I don't usually buy many books let alone pre-ordering. For sequels, I'll only buy the book if I own the others in the series. Usually if I buy a book, it's in Kindle format, so I don't have to store it.

  4. I do some pre-orders now and then. A few years ago I did a lot of pre-orders, but nowadays I mostly pre-order books that I really want in paperback or hardcopy. Mostly sequels or books by favorite authors. At the moment I have a cozy mystery sequel on pre-order, Betrayals by Kelley Armstrong and that's it I think.

    1. I bought more books a few years ago too. Now I mostly use the library to save money. Since I read so quickly, and I don't re-read a whole lot anymore, it's not worth it to own the book for me. Though I do sometimes feel guilty about not supporting the authors by buying their books.

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