I emailed LRB and it turns out that you have to own the William Peter Blatty scripts book to guarantee a copy of GWB!!!
What's the point of that?
I have a copy of Blockade Billy and I was expecting to be eligible for a matching number without all the fuss of a lottery
Bit pissed off now
The point is to allow the collectors who have been buying Lonely Road Books titles over the years the chance to match their number. There have been five books announced/published since Blockade Billy and I'm not going to tell someone who has bought those books that suddenly he or she can't have his or her number for this one. How would you feel if you had bought the last five books from a press and then you were told you couldn't have the next one simply because it was a popular author and the press didn't NEED to match numbers to sell the books?
Here are the three most common ways I know to offer a Limited Edition book for sale:
1) Offer each new book to the collectors who purchased the previous book your press announced or published. This allows your supporters to lock in the same number/letter and keep their set "complete."
The downside to this approach when it comes to a new book by an author such as Stephen King is, of course, he has many collectors who are interested in his collectible editions. Those collectors will be mad that they have to wait to order their book or participate in a lottery process.
On the other hand, if you were a collector who had previously supported a press by buying their books, and then you were told you had to compete with everyone else in the world to get the next book by that press simply because it's by an extremely popular author, how would that make you feel?
2) You can go with the "Land Rush" approach of selling a new title. You tell everyone the time and place (website) to be at, and then everyone tries to (virtually) cram into the shopping cart at the same time since the books are sold first-come, first-served. This places a lot of stress on the collectors, of course, and also on your server. It's a great way to bring down your website even with a lot of preparation. (Been there, done that!) This approach also allows people to have their friends and family place orders for them even though it's supposed to be "one" book per person. And again, your long-time supporters are possibly left in the dust, missing out on a key title for their collection from your press.
3) Or... you can tell no one in advance, just announce the book out of the blue one day, and then people who were on the road or not randomly watching your website that day miss out. Long-time fans of the author miss out and are angry, and your long-time collectors miss out and are angry, and your server probably crashes as word spread and collectors panic and try to get their order in.
So... There's no perfect system for this sort of offering, but matching numbers/letters based on the previous book works best for me. The only exception I could see is for an ongoing series since you wouldn't expect collectors to order the other books you publish in-between new volumes. But since Blockade Billy and Gwendy's Button Box are not part of a series, that doesn't apply here.
I totally understand if anyone isn't happy with the approach I selected. I just wanted to give you my thought process in case that information was helpful.