Ok, so this isn’t really about any of those things…but it sounded so much more interesting than “How I Learned to Love Preordering Books.”

Next month there are a bunch of amazing books being released. To wit:

  • HELL IS EMPTY by Craig Johnson on June 2
  • THE TWO DEATHS OF DANIEL HAYES by Marcus Sakey on June 9
  • FUN AND GAMES by Duane Swierczynski on June 20
  • BURIED SECRETS by Joe Finder on June 21
  • FALLEN by Karin Slaughter on June 21
  • LONG GONE by Alafair Burke on June 21

June 21 is the Summer Solstice and National Go Skateboarding Day. Not sure which caused publishers to schedule so many big releases on the one day.

And that’s not even to mention Lawrence Block’s A DROP OF THE HARD STUFF, which comes out this very week (Thursday, May 12).

I didn’t used to care much about book release dates. The simple truth is that there are more books in this world that I would like to read than I’ll ever be able to read, and so going to the bookstore was always a happy, surprising adventure (it still is, by the way, even in light of what I’m about to write). And, truth be told, I was kinda snobby about not preordering because I wasn’t into Harry Dan Potter Brown, thanks very much.

Then the internet happened. And then I learned a bit about how publishing works. And got to know some authors.

Now, I preorder.

If you read (and you wouldn’t be here if you didn’t), chances are good that you have certain authors whom you like and want to support. One of the best ways to do just that is by pre-ordering new titles. I first became aware of this when Alafair Burke explained it, and so I asked her to share that explanation again. Here it is:

No matter where readers purchase their books, preorders help authors by sending a message to retailers that the book is going to be a big seller once it’s published. That might persuade the retailer to increase their order. With online retailers, high preorders will push the book higher in the rankings, which can lower the price and also earn it better placement on the retailer’s website. (And to be clear, if the price moves after the reader preorders it, the retailer does give the customer the lower price.) Preorders also help both the readers and author on timing. The reader gets the book as soon as possible, and the author has sales attributed to the critical first-week sales period, when most books have the highest likelihood of hitting the bestsellers’ lists.

If that’s not enough of a reason for you, consider Antiques Roadshow. Yes, the BBC/PBS series. First Editions—especially signed ones—are often worth some big bucks. And if you collect an author’s work, there’s a certain thrill that comes with having a first edition. The only sure way to get one? That’s right. Preorder.

Recently, too, a friend pointed out something I-of-the-no-wifi-ereader had not considered. If you preorder an ebook, come release day, it magically appears on your reader. That’s cool.

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to be making my case for books I’ve been lucky enough to get early copies of and that I think warrant a preorder. How’s about this: If you preorder a book I recommend (like any of the seven mentioned above) and don’t like it, donate it to a library or charitable organization, and I’ll give you a gift certificate so you can get a new book.