Why Would Anyone EVER Pre-Order a Book?

I am anxiously awaiting the release date of the final book in the Inheritance Cycle (called Inheritance) by Christopher Paolini as a lot of other fans are on November 8.

So, I go online to Amazon to pre-order it.  Well, as most of you know, you have to spend $25 or more to get free shipping so I thought I’d order some other books I’ve had in my queue.

I go through the whole process to the end where it says, “Your books will not be shipped until November.”


I thought books from Amazon were shipped when they arrived so I’d get separate orders.

I cancel that order and hop over to Barnes and Noble.com and see what they say.  I call a physical store to ask,”If I pre-order this book along with others, will it be shipped separately?”

“Oh, yes,” the employee assures me.  “You’ll get your other books first.”

Once again, I go on-line to order my books along with pre-ordering Inheritance.  Again, same message:  “Your books will not be shipped until the pre-order is available.”

Of course, I don’t believe the young man on the phone and I just cancel my order.

In the end, I don’t order Inheritance (much to my chagrin for I really want the book) and just order the stuff I need now (some are workbooks for homeschool) along with a book my daughters really want (the new book in the Magic Tree House Series called Dogs in the Dead of Night #46 by Mary Pope Osborne) to get myself over the $25 mark.

Why would anyone ever pre-order? I wonder.

Amazon has changed the price on Inheritance THREE times since I’ve put it in my cart.

I decide to just order the book when it comes out.  Easier. Safer.  Less hassle. And confusion.

And if I pay shipping, so be it.  But by November, I’m sure I’ll have something else I need (all books are a need, ya know!).

6 thoughts on “Why Would Anyone EVER Pre-Order a Book?

  1. That is news to me since I just ordered some items and they came in separate shipments. Yes, I pre-order books because I have gotten them cheaper by the time they are shipped. So go back and order your book that way you will be sure to get it. I have also purchased a Kindle and except for new releases they download instantly when you purchase and on the new releases immediately that day. Yeah I know you don’t have the book if you are a book nut like I have always been, but then I don’t have to pack and move the things either. Good luck on ordering the new release!

  2. Join Amazon Prime. I joined two years ago when I was ordering a power saw. The shipping cost was going to be $100; if I joined Prime, shipping was free. Prime was $70 at the time. Now if I need a $2.00 camera battery, I order it when I want — no shipping charges. I buy more through Amazon because there is no shipping charges. Plus, you can enroll 4 family members, on your membership. It is a good deal

  3. I agree with Gary. Do the Amazon Prime or better yet, sign up for Amazon Mom (amazon.com/mom). You get Prime shipping for a year free! I’ve pre-ordered books/cds that way before and have never had a problem.

  4. I believe in the “Wait till it comes out in paperback” theory. Anything worth reading is worth waiting for in paperback. Maybe I’m a cheapskate, but I just hate paying for a book that costs 25 bucks when I can probably get it for 6.99 later on. Better yet, I can go to the local thrift store and get it for a quarter!

  5. The way Amazon free super-saver shipping works, all items in that order must be shipped at the same time. Therefore, if you pre-order a book, none of the other items in that order will be shipped until the pre-order is available to ship. If you wish to have the books shipped separately, you must choose another shipping method. I had to deal with this once when I wanted to pre-order a book. It is annoying but understandable, considering the deal you’re getting on the shipping if you use the super-saver offer. I also agree with SteveinVA, that a book worth reading is worth waiting for, although I do not always wait until the paperback edition if I can afford it in hardcover. Amazon Prime is an excellent service if you plan to order often through the site, but it is not worth it for me, since I have to be careful about discretionary spending.

  6. They say they’ll ship later, but usually they actually come sooner. My non-pre-order books from the pre-order order usually come just as fast as when I order non-pre-orders alone. Then the pre-ordered one comes by itself later. They just tell you that in the beginning, but in most cases they don’t really wait ’til next year to send them all.

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