This post is not about that, although I did spend the evening devouring the book. Nor is it about how many things are coming out this month that I'm excited about. (Several!!!)
See, I learned quite a while ago now that if a book is sold ahead of its release date, that sale doesn't count towards its first-week sales numbers. Tonight I learned that while pre-orders do theoretically count, that theory breaks down if the pre-ordered book ships early.
As if it weren't ridiculous enough that early sales don't count? :/ Not that stores should be selling them early, but you'd think they could at least, you know, report those numbers to whoever/whatever tracks them. And so often the advice for supporting authors and other creators involves "Pre-order the book (etc.)! Show advance interest!!!" With, apparently, the caveat that your advance interest can act against the author's interests if Amazon or whoever ships the book early. ;_;
Amazon is my go-to example here, because it often does stock/ship books early; I used to cheerfully take advantage of that before realizing that it was a real problem. The Winter Long was showing as in stock on Amazon for days before today. Fortunately wildpear and I pre-ordered our copies through Chapters/Indigo, and the order shipped at a more appropriate time. (And has not yet arrived, so I read a digital copy tonight. I'm looking forward to the hard copy arriving and bringing my set up to date!)
It just seems like such a ludicrous system, especially since those initial(-but-not-early!) sales are so critical :/ I know it stresses seanan_mcguire out badly (to the point that she makes a point of asking people to just please, please not tell her if they manage to buy a book early), and I can't imagine she's the only one. Is anyone actually benefiting from things being done this way?