Think of a pre-order as a Kickstarter campaign for a title.
The term “pre-order” has a very specific meaning in the context of an order from us. It is a speculative program designed to get rare titles back into print. Our pre-order program is a community effort to restore important books to a physical form.
We do all the technical work to prepare the book for printing and manage the project to produce the book in quantity. You just commit to buying one or more of the books. It’s the way we work together to produce these titles at affordable prices.
You should understand pre-orders are speculative by design, and to a small extent you become an investor in the title you order. Delivery is always contingent on receiving a minimum number of pre-orders. If we achive the minium pre-orders, we ship the books when they are completed. If we do not achieve minimum pre-orders for a title, we will refund all payments, but we do not refund pre-payment fees. Prepayment fees are those charged to us by the merchant gateway provider, typically a few percent. This means you also share, to a small extent in the risk of speculation.
It’s not a lot of money per book, but bearing that risk, you allow us to continue the program with the least risk to all parties.
You can help these efforts by pre-ordering extra copies, sharing the pre-order links, and recommending the titles to your friends. In short, any way you have of helping reach the minimum numbers helps get the title in print.
Why do we do this?
Historically, book publishing has required a large, up-front financial commitment. Plates, illustrators, typesetters, binders and printers all required money in advance and still do. Among early Adventists, this meant indebtedness, over-work, deprivations and all kinds of time consuming and painful effort. Printing “runs” required a high minimum book volume count to be feasible, and books would need to be sold for a minimum price to repay those advance monies.
Due to advances in digital printing up-front costs are less today, although to order even a “short run” printing (hundreds to thousands) there are costs which must be payed in advance.
To raise these funds, we offer the “speculative” pre-orders program on certain titles. These are always for very important books.
There are a number of production tasks the Rare Adventist Book Project provides at no charge:
- Manuscript preparation.
- Design & layout.
- Digital editions.
That’s an amazing gift of advance work for any book project, and is normally all that’s needed to produce smaller Print-On-Demand books. But it is not enough to produce titles with higher page counts or special binding needs. This is why we offer the public the opportunity to “pre-order” these titles. They would never see print in any other way.
A preorder may appear as a Backorder on it’s detail page, but it is not a regular backorder. Regular back-orders are just items normally in stock of which we are temporarily out.