So I know this may be ridiculously obsessive of me, but there's been many a time when I've put a B&N or Amazon kindle ebook on preorder, and desperately checked -- late into the night/early into the morning of said pre-order date to see if that book had become downloadable yet.
So, for instance, ebook X may be officially marked for release for "today" -- may 25th (at least in my time zone), but not literally at 12:00:01AM (at least in my time zone (EST)).
I've not rigorously logged my results (nor gotten an official answer from amazon or bn customer service), but in the past, I've found that certain kindle books are definitely available by 5AM EST, and unavailable at say, oh -- I don't know -- 1:26AM EST?
My guess is that there's some "official" server clock cutoff (just like ebay USA times are marked to PST), so maybe at 3:00:01AM (EST) = 12:00:01AM (PST) -- kindle books unlock?
I have noted (but again, forgetting to rigorously document my experience) that in at least one instance:
1.B&N and Amazon had the same release date for an ebook
2.Amazon and B&N did not have it available yet at 12:59AM (EST)
3.Within a few hours or less, Amazon was still in pre-order mode, but B&N was in order mode.
Any empirical observations, or actual knowledge of policy, from fellow obsessives / night owls out there?
[and yes, I'm aware of another way to get books even earlier -- eg, ebay and the market for Advanced Reader Copies (ARC's) and proofs, but I'm always a little uncomfortable w/the ethics of buying them -- that being said, I'll occasionally succumb and go for it]