The question is in the air again about preordering books. This is due to the recent talk of The Horror Mall doing away with preorders.

If they do this, I believe it will hurt their business. Possibly I'm wrong, but I think most of us like to ensure that we have our book purchases locked in. Who wants to wait and hope that a limited publication will be available?

Maybe it is a financial necessity that The Horror Mall do away with preorders. I can dig that. However, I strongly feel that preordering is the lifeblood of the small press. I always felt that it was important to preorder a book by a beloved author.

In Shane's recent blog, he seems to assume that all customers dislike paying up front for books. That's not so in my case. I like knowing that a book is already paid for. I think of the books I have preordered at Cemetery Dance and I get a warm feeling inside. I think back to when I was not paying for preorders at Shocklines. I'd feel sick when I thought of all the books that were waiting to be paid for.

Of course if I were a more disciplined individual I would hold the money for preordered books in my bank account and collect a tiny bit of interest on it. And if pigs had wings they could fly.

I can't predict the future, but I think many Horror Mall customers will be ordering direct from publishers soon. And that might be for the best. When Shocklines went out of business, I began to rethink my feelings on book buying. Especially in the small press. The best thing might be to send the money direct to the publisher. Small press publishing is a tough game, and they can use all the extra dough they can scrape up.

I urge everyone to continue to preorder their books. If a secondary bookseller offers preorders, please don't hesitate to use them. Especially if they offer incentives. But consider buying direct.

I want to hasten to add that I've never had anything but outstanding service from The Horror Mall. The books have gone out exactly as promised and the packaging has always been perfect. I like The Horror Mall. Hell, I like anything that furthers the success of the genre.

And, as much as I hate to say it, I've bowed to The Evil Empire (Amazon) and obtained books at their substantial discount. I don't like to do so, but sometimes it makes the difference between owning and not owning a particular title.

Money is tight for a lot of us and most of us have cut back in the past few years. Try to keep the small press thriving by buying books when you can. We need the presses and they need us.

I want to take a moment to point out the wonderful business model that Bad Moon Books has achieved over the years. Roy and Liz offer exemplary service and they have released an astonishing number of books. As far as I can tell, they've kept their promises about publication dates too. I can only imagine how tough it's been for them. My hat's off to Bad Moon. They set the bar high.

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