Pre-ordering Kindle books
February 11, 2011 7:49 AM   Subscribe

A book that I want to read on my Kindle will be released soon. Is there any advantage in pre-ordering it?

I'm looking forward to the impending release of The Wise Man's Fear enough that I'm probably willing to make an exception to the "never spend more than $10 for an e-book" rule (which I usually follow). As of today, it costs $14.99 to pre-order, and I'm trying to figure out if there's any incentive for me to do so.

Hive mind: what are your experiences with pre-ordering Kindle books? Do you think there's a reasonable chance that the price will change (in either direction) between now and just after the official release? Amazon doesn't give any guarantees about refunds if the price drops before the release date (as it does with hardcovers).
posted by Dr. Eigenvariable to Shopping (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I can't wait to read Wise Man's Fear myself - I've been searching the Strand Bookstore for ARCs, but have yet to come across one. I've preordered a hardback book from Amazon because I find they are often shipped such that they arrive a day or even two in advance of the actual publication date. That's the benefit of ordering a hardback book, though. I don't see any benefit in pre-ordering the e-book in this case. If you look at the Kindle page for the book, it says that the price has been set by the publisher. I sincerely doubt that the publisher is going to change the preset price. Usually when prices change for hardback books prior to publication it is Amazon adjusting its own discount on the book. For this particular e-book, Amazon has no control over the price.

posted by slide at 7:56 AM on February 11, 2011

Best answer: I pre-ordered a Kindle book a few months ago (Men at Work by George Will). The price dropped before the release date and Amazon charged me the lower price.
posted by Uncle Jimmy at 8:02 AM on February 11, 2011

I, too, am tempted to preorder Wise Man's Fear even at the wallet-shocking price of $15.

But I haven't, because I don't think the price will rise after publication, I kinda want a hardback first-edition for the ol' shelf, and it's not like there'll be any shortage of them.

On second thought, I probably WILL preorder it, just because I know I'm going to buy my wife a copy in hardback and while I'm at it I'll buy myself a Kindle version, thus accommodating our preferred reading formats and allowing us to read it at the same time.
(I'm stupidly excited about this book, too.)
posted by BitterOldPunk at 8:05 AM on February 11, 2011

Best answer: As of today, it costs $14.99 to pre-order, and I'm trying to figure out if there's any incentive for me to do so.

Preorders are good for the author, as they are factored into amazon's best seller lists. I don't know if this will entice you, specifically, but if it's an author you adore, it's a nice thing to do.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:40 AM on February 11, 2011 [2 favorites]

Not only will the pre-order allow you to get the lesser price if it changes after you order, it will magically appear on your kindle the day of release.
posted by teleri025 at 9:00 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

I currently have two pre-ordered books for my kindle that I'm waiting on. Reasons why I did it:
1. The amazon price guarantee, no point in waiting since I'll get the lower price anyway if it drops. (I guess unless the price drops after the release date but since I was planning on buying on the release date anyway that would still be an issue).
2. I don't have to remember to do it day of. My mornings are kind of hectic, I don't want to get to the bus only to realize I forgot to download it (wifi kindle), that would make me really really sad.
posted by magnetsphere at 9:29 AM on February 11, 2011

Pre-orders are a huge vote of confidence for the work itself, so it at least sends a message that people appreciate works like this and want more of them. I'm sure authors/publishers appreciate that.
posted by hermitosis at 10:14 AM on February 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

You guys have convinced me and I just went and pre-ordered that book. why won't it come out sooner! arg.
posted by bleary at 10:26 AM on February 11, 2011

it will magically appear on your kindle the day of release

Provided you leave your wi-fi on, or have the 3G one.
posted by timepiece at 12:26 PM on February 11, 2011

(just wanted to say thanks for link to an author new tO me. The recs here-and the fact the first review on Amazon was written by Robin Hobb-have me sold).
posted by purenitrous at 9:27 AM on February 12, 2011

Response by poster: I'm updating this post for posterity. I ended up pre-ordering, but only 24 hours before the release date. The price didn't change within the first few days after the release, which is what I was worried about, but as of now (less than two weeks after release) it is $3 cheaper (this may or may not coincide with the book hitting #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list). I'm ok with this, since I finished reading the book before the price dropped, and view paying $3 to read this book sooner as having been worth $3.

Thanks especially to Uncle Jimmy for making it clear that Amazon at least sometimes honors their price guarantee on e-books (I still say that it's ambiguous as to whether the guarantee exits for e-books in general).
posted by Dr. Eigenvariable at 3:02 PM on March 13, 2011

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