Tuesday, March 6, 2012

When a Book Is Released Before it's Official Release Date

So, it's no secret that I am a huge, huge fan of Seanan McGuire's books.  She is one of my favorite authors (which you'd know if you read my About Me page.)  That's why I pre-ordered Discount Armageddon last week from Barnes and Noble.  I wanted that book in my hot, greedy little hands the minute it was released and when the book arrived early, on March 1st, I was surprised and a little giddy.  I read it immediately and today I sat down to begin working on my review.  (I loved it, by the way, and, hopefully, the review will be up later this week.) I started googling around just to gather some background info and came across this post by McGuire in which she asks readers to wait until the official release date to buy the book.  Any books bought before the official release date do not count towards the first week sale numbers.  At this point, I suppose it doesn't matter since the book has now been officially released but I feel a little bad.  While getting a book early is beneficial to me as a book blogger, I don't want to contribute to hurting an authors sales when it could potentially decrease the likelihood of the series continuing.  And I want this series to continue.  It was so much fun.

But, as a consumer, I also want what I want when I want it.  I am happy resigned to wait until a book has been officially released before receiving it but if the book arrives in the mail before it's hard release date, I won't turn it away.  Receiving Discount Armageddon so quickly was unexpected but, at the time, I thought nothing of it.  (Partly because I only knew the book was due to be released very soon, not the actual date of release).  And, it turns out, McGuire's book was not the only book I received early.  I had also ordered Thea Harrison's Oracle's Moon (release date March 6) which arrived on March 2nd. (Already read that one too.)

The bottom line: this is a problem between the bookstores and publishers.  If first week sales are as important as they seem to be then it is up to the publishers/booksellers to come up with a solution.  I see absolutely nothing wrong with an author asking her readers to wait until the officially release to purchase a book, however, it will not solve the problem.  Because the problem isn't with the reader, it is with the distributor.

No comments:

Post a Comment