Those of us who have hung out in the bookish community long enough all know that we are encouraged to pre-order books. For authors, publishers and book shops a pre-order is a very good thing. It demonstrates that there is a market for the book, helps get supply numbers right and maybe even influences the amount of marketing a book will receive.
As a reader and a book lover I enjoy placing pre-orders for some of my most anticipated books as well. Sometimes ordering early will give you the opportunity to snag a signed or limited edition, other times its just nice to know that a book you are excited about is coming to you.
I do have one thing about the pre-ordering system I wish could be tweaked though – payment options.
I’m incredibly lucky to have a little bit of spare income to buy books with (even then I still borrow a lot from my library as I couldn’t afford to buy all of them or have the space for them). However I do still like to budget. This hits a problem when it comes to pre-ordering books. All the major book retailers will of course let you pre-order, but they only take the payment when the book is published and shipping has been initiated.
I understand why this is – there will be many factors behind this decision. For the retailers it means if a publication date is pushed back or even scrapped then they won’t have to issue refunds simplifying their lives. It presumably helps them to budget knowing they will receive income from pre-orders later in the year as well. For the customer it means if the price drops then we may end up with a better deal. It still doesn’t make working within my budget easier though.
I would like the option to ‘pay now’ for pre-orders if I want to. I understand that option wouldn’t be best for everyone but I would like the choice to be available. I might have the money now to order several books but have had an unexpected expense by the time the book is published. I have to keep a note of what I have pre-ordered for what month so I know to add it to that months spend.
I personally would pre-order more books if a ‘pay now’ option was made available. What about you?