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View Full Version : Pre-Orders : Yes or No?



ASeiple
03-08-2016, 07:42 PM
So, I'm working on the second round of edits for my novel's sequel. The cover art should be done in a matter of weeks, and I'll be finished around the same time. All told, I'll be done four months from the first book's release.

Here's a question: Should I mess around with pre-ordering and release it mid or late April? Or just release it at the end of this month?

Right now I'm solely through Amazon with KU. My mailing list is in the sixties, not huge but it's there.
What are some of the pros and cons of pre-orders? What do you think is my best approach, here? How did Pre-orders work or not work for you?

I'm leaning toward NO, but still undecided.

WriterBN
03-08-2016, 08:24 PM
I don't think they help much, the way Amazon does them. With a big publisher, they can build a lot of hype and have all the preorder sales count toward your rank on day one.

When you do it through KDP, preorders are counted the day they come in, so you don't get a big bump on day one. I can see that it might be useful for authors with a huge following, to stir up some interest, but I don't think it would do much otherwise.

Edit: I've also heard a few horror stories on the KDP boards where a glitch in the system caused the draft to be released instead of the final e-book, and I wouldn't want to take that chance.

J. Tanner
03-10-2016, 12:38 AM
If you have a mid-size audience, it's better to capture all that traffic at once, on the first few days of release.

If you have small audience, it can't really hurt you (but it isn't likely to help much either.)

Amazon's pre-order system doesn't pool pre-orders into a batch and process on release day for a big rank boost, nor does it let ARC readers upload reviews in advance. These would be the primary benefits for a self-publisher with a decent audience.

If at some point you go wide, the pre-order systems on the other major vendors are better and it's an advantage to get them up whenever you've got a set release date.

Polenth
03-10-2016, 01:39 AM
I can see the benefit to pre-orders if you know you've got a lot of pre-release stuff planned. You want the book to be available to buy when early reviews and articles roll in. But realistically, most of us would be lucky to get a single review pre-release. It's hard for someone who isn't established to get that sort of pre-release interest.

Knowing it can go wrong and give people the draft copy, I'd want to make sure the draft was already edited and polished. That way, if you do upload a new one, it'll only be minor corrections, and won't be the end of the world if the draft is shipped.

M. H. Lee
03-10-2016, 05:01 AM
I did a short pre-order for my fantasy novel because it allowed me to set up advertising that ran on release day. I didn't announce it to anyone until the day before the release so that I got the ratings bump (about 15 sales came in I think) going into release day. As everyone has mentioned above, Amazon counts pre-order sales on the day they happen so a long one can suck up your momentum.

ebbrown
03-11-2016, 12:38 AM
I don't think they help much, the way Amazon does them. With a big publisher, they can build a lot of hype and have all the preorder sales count toward your rank on day one.

When you do it through KDP, preorders are counted the day they come in, so you don't get a big bump on day one. I can see that it might be useful for authors with a huge following, to stir up some interest, but I don't think it would do much otherwise.

Edit: I've also heard a few horror stories on the KDP boards where a glitch in the system caused the draft to be released instead of the final e-book, and I wouldn't want to take that chance.

^^ This, entirely.
If you know you have a decent release day strategy, I would just publish. If you do the pre-order, it counts sales as you get them towards rank (yet your KDP account is credited on release day). It's nice to have a big concentrated bump of sales on release day and hit the HNR or category BS list vs pre-orders trickling in, imo.

ASeiple
03-11-2016, 01:04 AM
Thanks for the opinions, folks!

Yeah... I don't really have a strong advertising strategy, here. It's a bit early in the game for that, I think. So for now, no pre-orders. I'd call my audience low/mid-sized.

In any case, I'm glad I held off to mull it over. My cover artist hit me with an unexpected delay, so I'm stuck waiting a few weeks regardless.

TheBlueBandit
03-12-2016, 12:56 AM
I see you've already decided against it, ASeiple, but I just wanted to add something relevant I saw happen earlier this week. Author Patricia Briggs just had a book released and went through a nightmare. I can't find the specifics right now, but it was basically a massive error in the pre-order system that prevented people on Kindle from getting the book when it released. It resulted in an immediate wave of 1-star reviews on Amazon because people were mad they didn't get their book. I'm pretty sure that it's been remedied and the majority of those negative reviews taken down (because Amazon was the party at fault in this case). I don't believe it's the sort of thing that happens often, but just one more potential hassle if one chooses to allow pre-orders.

Dallionz
03-15-2016, 05:10 AM
Here's a positive reason to do a pre-order:

Several places will take new releases as long as they are set up as a pre-order and have an Amazon ASIN assigned. I've advertised most of my new releases with ENT the week of and it's been a great boost!

Also, if you get to the point where you're advertising on BookBub, having a subsequent book on pre-order in the back of the book you've got on BookBub can be huge.