If like me you love having the latest RPG book, all glossy and pristine, when it first comes out, Pre-Orders of a new book that interests you may be something that your interested in. Pre-ordering a product means that you get first shot at the game, it means you help the people writting it and you get to show them a commitment to how much the book means to you as a gamer. The problem is when that all falls flat on its face due to the publishers not being on the ball and generally not making their end of the deal.
In the last year I signed up for 3 pre-orders of games. So far over 6 months later (9 months in one case) I have only recieved 1 of these pre-ordered games. One of them is still in printing hell, one is in my sticky mitts and I love it and the final one is already on the shelves in local stores but no copies for those that pre-ordered. Why is this? Why setup a pre-order system, get people to back you and your ideas and then let them down like that?
These experiances have pretty much put me off pre-orders, along with buying an RPG on the day it comes out due to some companies re-printing the first release with added errata within months of release.
If your a game company, consider your loyal customers please. Make an effort to keep those that help you in the early days of design and purchase happy. If not, then you might just find that some of your fan base moves away to something else.