The Corner

Book Buyer Backlash

From a reader:

Jonah–

In my opinion, your publisher deserves to be horsewhipped for not getting this book out in time for Christmas gift-giving. There are at least three people I would gift it to if it were in the stores NOW (in addition to the copy I’d buy for myself). And don’t give me that “pre-order” stuff…that’s like giving somebody a freakin’ gift certificate, which is only a step or two above socks in my gift-giving hierarchy! Besides, if I pre-order I don’t have an excuse to go to Barnes & Noble for a Starbucks… 😉

I don’t know if you pay any attention to this sort of thing, but I was amused at some of the results of Amazon’s “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought…” analysis. In addition to a collection of George Rutler’s delightful columns from Crisis magazine, readers pre-ordering your book are also apparently buying this

Hope you debut at the top of the NYT best-seller list…

I get this a lot (or at least the stuff in the first paragraph). Here’s the thing. The Christmas book buying season, I’m told, is the shortest of them all. And the week after Christmas, the stores clear the shelves. Random House wanted this to go out with the crop of “big books” for the New Year. It’s impossible to know whether it was the right decision, but A) it wasn’t mine and B) it doesn’t matter now. If you’re inclined, you should still buy it. If you’re not inclined you should still buy it.

Update: From a reader:

Jonah,

Please remind your readers they can give Barnes and Noble or Borders gift cards for Christmas. The cards can magically be exchanged for your book after Christmas. I’m not sure how it works, but it does.

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