As witnessed on Twitter this evening, a lot of folks are only just now noticing that books (at least the ones with official street dates) always come out on Tuesdays. Here’s some speculation, thanks to @Blankitout. But regardless of the reasons, that’s just the way it is, unless you happen to be J.K. Rowling.
It’s not unknown for bookstores to put books out earlier, but it’s not encouraged by the industry or a something you can depend on happening. In the last couple years – since the Legacy of the Force series began – I have purchased books early… Twice. And by ‘early’ I mean more than one day. And one time I paid as much for quick shipping as I did for the paperback. It is really not worth the trouble.
Of course, not all books are street dated, as we’ve seen with most of the Star Wars stuff geared towards kids. But it’s pretty standard for hardcovers and genres/authors with big followings.
Comics are easier… Wednesday is the day that Diamond delivers to comic stores. (They’ll start delivering on Tuesdays next year, but the books will still be street-dated for Wednesdays.) For all intents and purposes they have a monopoly on the direct market (aka comic stores,) so I feel pretty secure in trusting their distribution list.
Note: This is all as regards domestic (U.S.) books and comics. I haven’t the slightest idea how things work elsewhere.