It Pays To Pre-Order Sometimes!

As avid reader, I love new release week. Sometimes it feels like the countdown to when I can get my hands on all the new and hot upcoming books that I’m just bursting at the seams to read.

As a bookseller, it’s one of my favourite times to be at work, as not only is the place crazy busy with pallets coming in by the truck load, but every box is a new and delicious surprise just waiting to be opened. It sounds lame, but it’s kind of like I get to part take in a book-lovers version of Christmas every month as I open and unpack each of the boxes. While it’s true the books aren’t mine – until a I buy a huge stack and then wish I had better control over my book buying sprees if only because my poor bank balance is whining at me! –  it’s still an almost magical time. I love the fresh wave of customers that it brings into the section who are just as equally excited to get their hands on particular new-releases and are just as eager to talk books with me.

Because of my job as a bookseller for a department store, and my avid reader citizenship I don’t often pre-order books solely on the basis that I’m impatient. I want them then and there on their released date and I want them NOW! I know that’s a personality flaw, but it’s just the way I am. Why wait a week for my online pre-order to arrive with the postman, when I can usually pick up a copy instantly from work or my local bookstore?

A point made particularly more relevant to me in recent months when I pre-ordered a certain book from a LARGE online only book retailer only to have the book arrive three weeks late and no notice given from said retailer, even after countless emails. To be fair, the retailer did get in contact with me and did win me back as a customer, and I’ve since pre-ordered with them, but the point remains, I’ve had a few bad experiences with pre-orders (one years ago just never turned up, but the company still took my money 😦 )

I know pre-ordering is fantastic for authors. It shows the publisher that their book is in demand, and sometimes can guarantee a bigger print run, generate a lot of online and in-store buzz around it’s release. And in rare cases, even push the book into it’s second print run before the book is released. Which is awesome news for the author and publisher – and something I’m trying desperately to do more, because I want to support the local industry as much as I possibly can.

But I digress, the point of this post was to say that some authors and their publishers are rewarding customers for pre-ordering. For example, Booktopia often get authors in to sign copies of their books pre-publicaton, and thus there is an incentive to pre-order so that you don’t miss out on your signed book.

One particular YA author, superstar Sarah J Maas and her team at Bloomsbury are the perfect example of this. For the last few books Maas has released, Bloomsbury have run pre-order freebies (for lack of a better word). When you provide proof of your pre-order (usually in the form of a recipient) and they ship our an exclusive book related goodie for you simply to reward you for pre-ordering. For the reader, we get an exclusive bookish gift, for the publisher, they’ve just guaranteed a sale and a bigger print run. It’s a win win for everyone really.

For the last couple of Maas’ books I’ve been intirgued by her pre-order strategy and totally regretted not pre-ordering A Court Of Thorns And Roses and Queen Of Shadows after seeing the amazing goodies that those pre-orders generated. I absolutely love those bookmarks!


So I quickly jumped on the bandwagon this time and pre-ordered the book – firstly because it was being sold at an amazing price that no shop would match – and secondly because once again Bloomsbury and Maas joined forces to reward their readers with her most recent book A Court Of Mist And Fury.

Admittedly I only discovered this pre-order incentive the day before it ended this year, despite having pre-ordered A Court Of Mist And Fury months ago (and the next Thrones Of Glass book too) and I barely managed to put my details in on the last day of the form too! But I’m so glad that I did because this time we got an exclusive tote/calico bag and mine arrived today and I love it.

Front of The Court Of Mist & Fury Pre-order Exclusive Bag thanks to Sarah J Maas and Bloomsbury Publishing.

Not only is the bag a great size to transport books in, I’m super impressed with this bag for the simple fact that the designers have taken versatility and practical matters into consideration. Unlike many other calico/tote bags, this one has a small zipper section at the top and a velcro tap to keep the bag shut making it a winner in my eyes. As well as a pretty damn good quote on the back!

So the point remains, it pays to pre-order sometimes not only because you can grab yourself some fantastic and exclusive merchandise whether that be in the form or a bag, bookmark or even a signed copy of the book, but because you are supporting the author by showing an interest in their books and supporting the publisher and industry in turn too.

Do you pre-order books? Have you ever received a pre-order goodie/incentive? Leave me a comment below and let me know what your thoughts on pre-ordering are? I’d love to hear from you.


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