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Thread: Pre-orders? Why do it?


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Permlink Replies: 12 - Pages: 1 - Last Post: Apr 27, 2015 11:54 AM Last Post By: Marcy Henshaw
Charles Lamb

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Registered: 11/17/14
Pre-orders? Why do it?
Posted: Apr 23, 2015 6:02 PM
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How do you feel about pre-orders? I am about a month away from releasing my second book. Book 1 did well and I am getting regular requests for the second.

I am somewhat hesitant in setting a release date as I had planned to release already but a death in the family put me way behind. I dont want to commit to something that I cant promise.

What is the advantage besides just letting readers know its coming?

CW Lamb
Rose King

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Re: Pre-orders? Why do it?
Posted: Apr 24, 2015 4:44 AM   in response to: Charles Lamb in response to: Charles Lamb
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Charles Lamb wrote:
How do you feel about pre-orders? I am about a month away from releasing my second book. Book 1 did well and I am getting regular requests for the second.

I am somewhat hesitant in setting a release date as I had planned to release already but a death in the family put me way behind. I dont want to commit to something that I cant promise.

What is the advantage besides just letting readers know its coming?

CW Lamb

Absolutely none. To my mind, if the book is a printed copy and people are pre-ordering in case stocks run out, like with the latest books of famous authors, fair enough, but for indie publishers? Pointless. You can't put your paperback version on pre order and the ebook one is available as soon as it is released and stocks don't run out. I did do one pre order but it was an omnibus of three already published books so it was all ready to go before I put it up. I wouldn't do it otherwise; I hate deadlines, they make me nervous.
sloppydog

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Re: Pre-orders? Why do it?
Posted: Apr 24, 2015 5:53 AM   in response to: Charles Lamb in response to: Charles Lamb
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I agree with Rose, It's pointless
Eric Hansen

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Re: Pre-orders? Why do it?
Posted: Apr 24, 2015 6:08 AM   in response to: Charles Lamb in response to: Charles Lamb
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I just went through a pre-order nightmare, so sit right down and let me tell you a tale...
Two weeks ago I released my second book. I decided to put it up for pre-order for one week, thinking that it would give the book extra visibility. It did just the opposite. I got zero pre-orders. Evidently, Amazon counts pre-order status no differently from being on sale (with regards to sale ranking). So when the book finally went on sale, it was ranked very low - less than 200,000. In the last two weeks after pre-order, I got maybe three sales.
If you don’t succeed in generating any pre-order sales, a history of slow sales will hurt your book’s visibility. Also note that there's no way to view a pre-order book on Amazon unless you do 1 of 2 things...
1. Advertise outside of Amazon and link directly to the pre-order page.
2. The potential buyer must enter in the exact name of your book title on Amazon. (it's not visible on category searches)
I recommend reading this blog:
https://chrismcmullen.wordpress.com/2014/09/22/to-pre-order-or-not-to-pre-order

Edited by: Eric Hansen on Apr 24, 2015 10:18 AM
writerbn

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Registered: 05/12/12
Re: Pre-orders? Why do it?
Posted: Apr 24, 2015 7:55 AM   in response to: Eric Hansen in response to: Eric Hansen
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The way that Amazon does preorders, there is little benefit, unless you have a legion of fans already who can't wait for your next release.
Rose King

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Re: Pre-orders? Why do it?
Posted: Apr 24, 2015 8:14 AM   in response to: Rose King in response to: Rose King
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Also, one author collected a few bad reviews because Amazon published her draft on the release date instead of her finished manuscript. I think she uploaded the draft as you are supposed to when you book it, but then it wouldn't let her in to upload the finished one. I wouldn't risk it.
Marjorie Jones

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Re: Pre-orders? Why do it?
Posted: Apr 24, 2015 12:42 PM   in response to: Rose King in response to: Rose King
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I heard about instances like this as well, so I've countered that with uploading a temp file.

I place a statement/disclaimer in the first paragraph of chapter one that reads: if you are reading this, you have been provided the wrong ebook via the Kindle system. Please contact customer service to have them push the final new release to your device.

If there is a glitch, the reader will know about it before they invest any time.

That said, I'm fairly certain the kinks have been worked out. My new release back in February didn't have any problems with old files.

As for why I do them- I use them as a personal deadline and to boost first day sales rankings.

Edited by: Marjorie Jones on Apr 24, 2015 12:43 PM
Notjohn

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Re: Pre-orders? Why do it?
Posted: Apr 24, 2015 12:48 PM   in response to: Charles Lamb in response to: Charles Lamb
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Pre-orders are a great thing for the New York publishers because they can add up to a tremendous pop on the day of publication, perhaps putting the book on the NYT best-seller list. It used to take months to work to the top of that list; now it can happen overnight.

IF the KDP works the same way, pre-orders could conceivably give you a little pop. But more likely it doesn't, and the sales are counted over a period of time rather than being lumped in a single moment.

(Momentum counts for a lot in the book ranking algorithm. A sale today means more than one yesterday, and a sale yesterday means more than one a week ago, and so on. So you have to run faster and faster in order to stay in the same place.)

Good luck! -- NJ

The book: Notjohn's Guide to Kindle Publishing: Ten Steps to Formatting Your E-book for Sale on Amazon (Or Anywhere Else)

The blog: Notjohn's KDP Guide
Marcy Henshaw

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Re: Pre-orders? Why do it?
Posted: Apr 24, 2015 12:56 PM   in response to: Rose King in response to: Rose King
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That was me, Rose, and I've heard it's happened to a few others. Yes, I uploaded a draft as instructed. That draft was missing the final 4 chapters, unedited, unformatted, and had author notes at the top. I uploaded the final version on time and got email confirmation of that from KDP. Unfortunately on release day around 100 people received the draft. It was a big mess to try to clean up. Amazon pushed the correct version through about 6 days late, but yes I have ended up with a couple of bad reviews as a result and have likely lost some readers. Oddly, it is my highest rated book. I will not do another pre-order. For those who do/will, I encourage only a final and polished manuscript be uploaded as the "draft."
billhiatt

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Re: Pre-orders? Why do it?
Posted: Apr 24, 2015 4:06 PM   in response to: Marcy Henshaw in response to: Marcy Henshaw
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Marcy Henshaw wrote:
That was me, Rose, and I've heard it's happened to a few others. Yes, I uploaded a draft as instructed. That draft was missing the final 4 chapters, unedited, unformatted, and had author notes at the top. I uploaded the final version on time and got email confirmation of that from KDP. Unfortunately on release day around 100 people received the draft. It was a big mess to try to clean up. Amazon pushed the correct version through about 6 days late, but yes I have ended up with a couple of bad reviews as a result and have likely lost some readers. Oddly, it is my highest rated book. I will not do another pre-order. For those who do/will, I encourage only a final and polished manuscript be uploaded as the "draft."
There is certainly wisdom in that suggestion, Marcy. Unfortunately for me, I'm impatient to get a book out there once it is ready. I doubt I could make myself wait for a pre-order in those circumstances. Judging from this thread, though, it really isn't worth it anyway.
Rose King

Posts: 1,421
Registered: 11/30/14
Re: Pre-orders? Why do it?
Posted: Apr 24, 2015 10:38 PM   in response to: Marcy Henshaw in response to: Marcy Henshaw
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Marcy Henshaw wrote:
That was me, Rose, and I've heard it's happened to a few others. Yes, I uploaded a draft as instructed. That draft was missing the final 4 chapters, unedited, unformatted, and had author notes at the top. I uploaded the final version on time and got email confirmation of that from KDP. Unfortunately on release day around 100 people received the draft. It was a big mess to try to clean up. Amazon pushed the correct version through about 6 days late, but yes I have ended up with a couple of bad reviews as a result and have likely lost some readers. Oddly, it is my highest rated book. I will not do another pre-order. For those who do/will, I encourage only a final and polished manuscript be uploaded as the "draft."
I know it was you, Marcy, but I didn't feel it my place to post your name. Have you tried getting those reviews removed? It was, after all, Amazon's fault and it seems that lately, if you report abuse on the review page, it is likely to work.
Marjorie Jones

Posts: 1,782
Registered: 11/21/13
Re: Pre-orders? Why do it?
Posted: Apr 24, 2015 11:11 PM   in response to: sloppydog in response to: sloppydog
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I put my paperbacks on pre-order, as well as the kindle. It is possible. Whether it's worth it I think depends on what is important for each author.
Marcy Henshaw

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Registered: 09/29/12
Re: Pre-orders? Why do it?
Posted: Apr 25, 2015 6:02 AM   in response to: Rose King in response to: Rose King
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:-) There's only a couple, so it hasn't really seemed like a big deal to me.
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