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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) on preordering from Fallingblox Designs

This document was built to address questions asked during the preorder periods of Double or Nothing and Extreme Double-knitting, to help you make an informed decision about participating in these events. Some questions are direct quotations from emails I have received and some are distillations of general directions of inquiry.

What is the difference between an order and a preorder?

A preorder is an order placed for a book that does not yet exist. Items to fulfill preorders are shipped as stock becomes available. In general, I will inform you about how long I expect the preorder period to continue before books are in stock and shipping will commence. An order, on the other hand, assumes that the item already exists and will be shipped imminently.

What is the difference between a preorder and a crowdfunding campaign (Kickstarter, Indiegogo, etc)?

Crowdfunding is generally done much earlier in the process, and often funds the entire process of producing a book, not merely the final printing. This process is speculative, which means that there will be cases where you will pay money for something that will never arrive. Preordering is done much later in the process, once the final stages are in place to ensure that the book will actually be created.

Why should I preorder rather than waiting to order when the book is available?

The only thing you get for preordering a physical book is the knowledge that you will be in the first group to receive the book when it is ready to ship. The benefits are clearer for me as the author and publisher: I get a better picture of the level of interest in the book, and I get an influx of money that helps offset the cost of the first printing.

If I preorder something and add another product to the cart, will I receive the order first and the preorder later?

If you have placed a single order, you will receive the order when all items ordered are available. Since shipping for two items is not typically double the cost of shipping for a single item, I cannot ship both items separately for the same shipping cost you paid for both together. If you want a currently-available item sooner than a preordered item, place a second order.

If I order a Print + PDF item, will I receive the PDF first?

This is something I tried to do for Double or Nothing, but the process is not ideal and makes a lot of extra work for me. Print + PDF copies of a book or pattern come with a unique code which allows either the customer or the giftee to redeem the code for a PDF copy on Ravelry. So that people don’t feel short-changed by purchasing a physical copy but having to wait for shipping before getting their PDF while digital-only purchasers get their PDF immediately, I’m going to stagger the release of the physical and digital versions so that I can be ensured that most people have their books before the PDF arrives.

How do digital preorders work?

Ravelry (the platform I use for selling my digital patterns) does not allow for digital preorders per se — but there is a workaround that I have seen used by other authors which seems to work well. If you preorder a digital book, you will receive a placeholder PDF which will be generated from a handful of pages of the book but clearly will not be the full book. You will receive an email or Ravelry message when the full book is available.

Can I preorder on Amazon?

No, sorry. I use Amazon’s FBA system rather than selling the books to them because it nets me the best price per copy that I can get without actually having to fulfill the orders myself. While this makes books eligible for Prime, it doesn’t afford me some of the other benefits like access to Amazon’s preorder system. If you want to order on Amazon, you’ll have to wait until it’s physically available there.

If you have a question that’s not answered here, please feel free to contact me; I’ll answer personally but if I think your question is likely to be asked by others I’ll add it here too.