If you're going to blame me for the time that the postal service takes to deliver it which may put delivery after GenCon even if it ships before GenCon, well, there's nothing I can do about that. I don't have magic postal powers. All we can do is ship them the moment we get them.
If you're mad because we're not going to deliberately withhold them from GenCon so that the pre-order people can enjoy their copies for a week before anyone else gets one, then you are probably going to stay mad forever because that's ridiculous. We are not going to shoot ourselves in the foot financially to satisfy a vague sense of privilege that some people who pre-ordered feel they are owed. We are doing the best we can with the hand we've been dealt; we aren't required to fall on our sword to make it up to you.
And as far as customers "never pre-ordering again," by all means, go ahead and do that if this situation bothers you that much. Pre-ordering will always carry a risk of delay, and if that risk is unacceptable to you, then please, don't pre-order. I mean it. You will be making my life easier by not putting yourself in a position where you feel the need to complain later.
However, if it's a short run like this book is, you also can't complain if the book sells out the first day that it's in-stock and you therefore don't get one. The benefit of pre-ordering this book was NOT that you would get it first; it was that you would be guaranteed to get it AT ALL. The pre-orders we've taken will eat up 55% of the total print run, and I expect GenCon to eat up another 15-20%, so anyone who hasn't pre-ordered has a strong chance of getting left out, and we're not reprinting this one. And that was why I asked people to pre-order to help me set print run numbers--not for my benefit, but for theirs. To make sure that everyone who really wanted one got one.
There are always choices in life with no clear winner. You can have guaranteed availability and an uncertain ship date, or you can have a guaranteed ship date and uncertain availability. Pick one based on what is most important to you.
Now, Roland has asked that we let this subtopic die, and I'm going to let it, since I feel that I've answered everything that's been brought up. But I just want to reiterate: There is nothing we are doing that prioritizes GenCon over pre-orders.