Update: It appears the offering our next book on preorder might have benefits of which we were unaware (live and learn). We are going to look into this over this weekend, and if things are as it appears they might be, we will be offering Asylum for preorder by the end of this month. If this works out, the preorder price for Asylum will be discounted (assuming that is possible).

We are a little curious how our faithful readers feel about preordering books. In the larger publishing universe, preorders are used to drive a lot of marketing decisions. In the itsy-bitsy space we inhabit, there doesn’t seem to be much point to it. (I’ll admit I don’t really understand how preorders affect Amazon rankings and thus how useful they are for generating that “all-important buzz” prior to the book’s release, so we probably have something to learn there.) Our basic thought is that it’s just as well to make the book available when it’s ready, and not deal with preordering at this point. (When we have 3+ books already out there, things might change.)

Part of our question is that we aren’t aware of how readers view preordering. Do they consider is a good thing or a not-so-good thing, or something that does not matter either way? So sound off in the comments on this, if you feel so inclined.

BTW: The publication date for Asylum will be sometime between the middle and end of February. We are still waiting to hear back on getting the final proofing done, and once we do, we’ll have a firm date. And, of course, we will post an update here as soon as we know.

Thanks again for all your interest and support!

10 comments on “To preorder or . . .

  1. mark

    Hi Owen,

    Like Mr. Farquharson, I maintain a gift card account and do most of my purchasing that way. But even with out that issue, I can’t say I’ve ever found a reason to do a pre-order of a book. John Norman’s Gor series, or Laurell Hamilton’s Anita Blake series show that just because the series started out well, doesn’t mean it will stay that way. Other than giving the author feedback on his/her popularity, I’m not sure the benefit of pre-ordering a book. You never sell out of an ebook.

    1. Owen R. O'Neill

      Mark,

      That is quite true. Buying a book on preorder is buying a pig in a poke, and that why we were dubious about it. (I suppose if the pig refuses to sing, you can get a refund.) But from the authors’ perspective, it may have one large benefit: people who have bought other books in a series appear to get a notice when a new book in that series becomes available for preorder in their “recommendations” (or something — we need to see about this).

      That (apparently) differs from the case when a new book is released. Then (it seems) only people who are following the author see a notice. Getting a notice like that out to readers is quite useful, whether they preorder it or wait for the release, as many people don’t bother to regularly check the website (for which we do not blame anyone) or the Amazon product page.

      So if that’s the case, it would help our marketing a great deal (and we need all the help we can get there!)

      PS: Why Amazon would provide such a notice on offering a book for a preorder and not release, I have no idea. But it looks like that’s the way it may be.

  2. Michael Farquharson

    Normally I recharge my amazon gift card (or as my wife puts it “the book allowance”). Unfortunately Amazon doesn’t let you pre-order with such, If they did I would do so. It means I may have to wait until the books (yes that plural since I’m really hoping you go past three books with the series) come out.

    1. Owen R. O'Neill

      Thanks, and you will not have to wait very long.

      Yes, it is “books”. This current arc has several more books to run after Asylum, and we are already planning the next arc, once this one wraps up. We are in this for the long haul. :-)

  3. Owen R. O'Neill

    Thanks for the input, both of you! Looks like we have to find out more about this.

  4. Ed Patterson

    I just went to Amazon and added both of you to the authors who I follow. This will give me notice when the book is released.

    I have been checking back to this website regularly to see when the 3rd book will be released. I will buy it when released. If you tell me earlier that it is available for preorder, I will do that. I will be spending money to buy the book either way. I am will to help to ensure that more of your books are written.

  5. Tarun Elankath

    I am way too invested in this series not to pre-order. Sometimes, I don’t check an author’s site for weeks or months and be completely oblivious that a book has been published. So pre-ordering is of some help here since you get a notification (atleast for Kindle) that you have a book waiting to be devoured. Another benefit is to be first to read and leave a ‘helpful’ review comment :)

    The disadvantage (at-least for self-published books) is having to slog through the inevitable spelling, grammar and logical inconsistencies of a first ‘edition’.

    1. Owen R. O'Neill

      We are certainly doing our best to see that those “first edition” issues are kept to a minimum. We figure you won’t mind the the little extra time that polishing takes. ;-)

      1. Ed Patterson

        If you would like feedback on an ‘issues’ in the new releases, just add a place here for people to note them.

        I would list any that I could remember. Most issues just give me an opportunity to reflect on the story.

        1. Owen R. O'Neill

          People are welcome to leave comments on each book’s page, or I suppose we could add a special page for feedback, as long as it didn’t get unwieldy. I’ll consult with Jordan regarding that.