I am noticing a suspiciously growing trend amongst sample lib developers to PREANNOUNCE stuff. Like a year or more ahead of time.
Typically, the dev will say that 'all the recording is done we just <insert vague reasons here>
Either you -have- a product or your don't. This process got people in the -general- software biz pretty hot years ago but that message hasn't (like so many good practices) seemed to have caught on yet in the wonderful music world.
I want to encourage devs to exercise some restraint and either:
1. Don't announce products you have no intention of realistically shipping in more than a few months time.
2. If you -do- get delayed, please -do- send out periodic updates to your customers to let them know the -real- score.
Preannouncing stuff years ahead of time was bad for business customers because it handcuffed them on buying decisions. For musicians it's the same thing. We -want- to remain loyal BUT it's not fair to try to squeeze the last bit of juice out of that loyalty. After all: we have deadlines/projects too and if you really -aren't- going to ship anytime soon, please let us know so we can consider other possibilities.
Personally, I would respect a guy -more- for being stand up like that. After all, most of us lib sluts end up buying everything sooner or later, right?
Given that sample libraries are getting larger (and usually more expensive), I can easily see why developers want to keep you "locked" into their product -- they want to make sure you haven't spent that money on another library.
You are correct that this practice can be risky, especially if delays occur.
You also have to take into account that sometimes releasing a library at the same time there are 3 or 4 released that are practically the same as yours may not be wise commercially, there are much more important commercial reasons, these are not vague or frivolous, they might mean the success or failure of a product. Also, sometimes I guess (and by no means am I putting myself in that category, but I've seen the inverse where another developer wouldn't have released a library had he heard another developer's end result product) so there are many other reasons why a library might not be released at a certain point, this is a small business field and developers have a lot riding on the success or failure of a released product.