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Thread: How has pre-order worked out for you?


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Permlink Replies: 21 - Pages: 2 [ 1 2 | Next ] - Last Post: Jul 29, 2015 1:12 PM Last Post By: Trixie
Notjohn

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How has pre-order worked out for you?
Posted: Jul 10, 2015 1:22 PM
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I am slaving away at a book that will take me weeks to get just right, but I already have the cover ready to go, so I've been thinking of putting it up on pre-order. I'm a bit put off by the requirement to upload the FINAL version 10 days in advance! Given that one should be doing considerable previewing of the final version, that really means TWO WEEKS in advance. I'm dubious that one would pick up enough extra sales to outweigh the sales lost in that two-week period.

But lots of you must have tried it. How has it worked out for you?

Thanks -

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
happywriting

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Re: How has pre-order worked out for you?
Posted: Jul 10, 2015 1:39 PM   in response to: Notjohn in response to: Notjohn
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Pre-orders have worked out pretty well for me so far. I like being able to advertise and promote my book before it's official release while simultaneously getting purchases that I would have otherwise had to wait for. For my first book I tried I got around 75 pre-orders, for the second I got 200+, and for the third (the final book in a series) I was up in the seven-hundreds so before the book was even released it was ranked within the top one hundred for its genre. For me personally it also works because I'm goal oriented, so if I know I have a deadline I have to meet I spend a lot less time on Facebook and message boards.

Obviously I don't have a pre-order at the moment. ;)
Notjohn

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Re: How has pre-order worked out for you?
Posted: Jul 11, 2015 3:01 AM   in response to: happywriting in response to: happywriting
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Thanks. Those are great numbers, but I don't do any advertising and I don't do much social media-ing either.

I certainly appreciate the value of pre-orders. When I first started writing, it could take months for a book to climb to the top of the best-seller lists, whereas today it regularly happens on the day of publication. (Go Set A Watchman appears to be there now, fer gosh sake.)

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
Maria Moya

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Registered: 03/26/13
Re: How has pre-order worked out for you?
Posted: Jul 11, 2015 8:08 AM   in response to: Notjohn in response to: Notjohn
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I have used it several times but I'm not sure it is worth it without publicity at the same time. The deadline is very strict and I advise you to do it at least a full day before the final deadline to avoid misunderstandings.

If you wish to, at the moment of uploading the final version you can change the publication date forwards, so the book appears in three days instead of ten, and your fans get it a week earlier than expected.

Edited by: Maria Moya on Jul 11, 2015 8:08 AM
extradimensions

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Registered: 05/19/09
Re: How has pre-order worked out for you?
Posted: Jul 11, 2015 8:40 AM   in response to: Notjohn in response to: Notjohn
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Notjohn wrote:
that really means TWO WEEKS in advance. I'm dubious that one would pick up enough extra sales to outweigh the sales lost in that two-week period.
I don't follow how you lose sales for a two-week period. Customers can purchase your book throughout the pre-order period, so there are no days when customers can't buy your book.
Pre-orders seem tailor-made for series authors, or other authors who excel at generating loyal fan bases (perhaps by growing an email newsletter). For books that would sell very little during the pre-order period, it's probably better to skip the pre-order.
Trixie

Posts: 60
Registered: 02/07/14
Re: How has pre-order worked out for you?
Posted: Jul 11, 2015 8:57 AM   in response to: Notjohn in response to: Notjohn
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I've been really hesitant to do the preorder option. I felt the same way about having to have your manuscript in 2 weeks before. I'm the type of person who edits right up until I hit publish to go live. But I've just done my first preorder because I wanted the extra visibility in new release section. Book 2 of a reasonably popular series, it's been up for a week and the release date is end of the month (so not a long period - I personally wish it was a bit longer but that is how is worked out). I haven't done any advertising except my Facbook page and mailing list (both small). Over 1400 orders at this stage. Fingers crossed I make my deadline :)
newmansouth

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Re: How has pre-order worked out for you?
Posted: Jul 28, 2015 4:36 AM   in response to: Notjohn in response to: Notjohn
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Good posts and inseights. I have just used the pre-order service. My book is scheduled to be released on the 8th August, 2015. I have been asked by the system to at least upload the final version tomorrow, 29th, July 2015.

I have begun publishing here since March 2012, but I have sold less than a hundred books. There are many factors involved in this as well:). Congrats to other fellow writers who are making it to the bestseller list. I hope I will make it there one day. It seems I need to work harder also to achieve this goal.

My book to be released is titled: Your Self-Discovery Guide.

Thanks

John
Website: http:www.discipleshippress.com/
Jonathan B

Posts: 4,495
Registered: 10/23/12
Re: How has pre-order worked out for you?
Posted: Jul 28, 2015 5:03 AM   in response to: Notjohn in response to: Notjohn
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Good question, and I am interested in reading the responses as well.

My issue is that I usually have to wait for the cover (artists, you know? :) ) and I am not sure when she will be done. So the timing is iffy for me. And if everything is done, then why not just put it up for sale? I am not sure of the benefits, but I am more than willing to read what others have to say about it.
writerbn

Posts: 5,249
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Re: How has pre-order worked out for you?
Posted: Jul 28, 2015 7:21 AM   in response to: Notjohn in response to: Notjohn
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I haven't bothered with it for two reasons:

1) I don't have legions of fans waiting for every new release. Sad, but true.

2) Other retailers count preorders on the date of release, resulting in a nice bump in ranking to kick things off. To me, that's the benefit of a preorder. However, Amazon doesn't do it that way--rankings are updated as each preorder comes in, just like a regular sale.
Notjohn

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Re: How has pre-order worked out for you?
Posted: Jul 28, 2015 7:48 AM   in response to: writerbn in response to: writerbn
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Yeah, I've decided to release the book when it's finished. If there's no bump on publication day, what's the point? I can release it AT LEAST ten days earlier, more likely two weeks. (I don't like to push the margin of error!) I suspect I'll get more sales during those 10-14 days than I would pick up because of this phantom pre-order setup.

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
writerbn

Posts: 5,249
Registered: 05/12/12
Re: How has pre-order worked out for you?
Posted: Jul 28, 2015 9:11 AM   in response to: Notjohn in response to: Notjohn
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Notjohn wrote:
If there's no bump on publication day, what's the point?

Exactly.

Good luck with the new release!
Jonathan B

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Registered: 10/23/12
Re: How has pre-order worked out for you?
Posted: Jul 28, 2015 8:20 PM   in response to: writerbn in response to: writerbn
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writerbn wrote:
I haven't bothered with it for two reasons:

1) I don't have legions of fans waiting for every new release. Sad, but true.

2) Other retailers count preorders on the date of release, resulting in a nice bump in ranking to kick things off. To me, that's the benefit of a preorder. However, Amazon doesn't do it that way--rankings are updated as each preorder comes in, just like a regular sale.


I didn't realize that. That was the only reason I can think of to use a pre-order, and so without that, I don't think i will even consider it.

Thanks for the info.
Trixie

Posts: 60
Registered: 02/07/14
Re: How has pre-order worked out for you?
Posted: Jul 28, 2015 11:05 PM   in response to: Notjohn in response to: Notjohn
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My preorder went live today so I can answer a few more questions about my experience (just in case anyone is interested). I had my preorder up for 3 weeks and had 4300 ordered. I spent that 3 weeks in the top ten of my category (in new releases) and now have another 30 days in new releases (one bonus for exposure). You definitely don't get a boost from your preorders when it goes live, however even with the 4300 I've still managed to sell enough today to be sitting around 150 in all of US Zon - so lots of people don't bother to preorder and simply wait for release. I had no issue with the correct copy going across and I've had no complaints that people didn't receive their copy (I uploaded final version 2 days before the deadline). It was really very smooth.

The main reason I did a preorder was to test it out and also give myself a shot at making USA today (they count all preorders as one weeks sales) but I don't think I sold enough on other retailers (less than 50). The largest benefit is definitely the additional time in new releases. EDIT - another benefit was Amazon sent out an email to anyone who had followed me and some who had purchased my books advising them of my preorder. Got a good boost after that.

Edited by: Trixie on Jul 28, 2015 11:08 PM
wirdmonger

Posts: 1,094
Registered: 01/07/12
Re: How has pre-order worked out for you?
Posted: Jul 28, 2015 11:38 PM   in response to: Notjohn in response to: Notjohn
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Correct me if I am wrong but I understand you effectvely lengthen your time in New Release when you do a pre-order. You have the usual 30 days PLUS the lead in time of the pre-order.

EDIT: I see Trixie has substantiated this with her experience directly above.

Edited by: wirdmonger on Jul 28, 2015 11:40 PM
Jonathan B

Posts: 4,495
Registered: 10/23/12
Re: How has pre-order worked out for you?
Posted: Jul 28, 2015 11:56 PM   in response to: Trixie in response to: Trixie
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Well, that makes a difference. Now I might have to consider it again.

I go off the New Releases as of tomorrow with my latest, and another two weeks or so on that would have been welcome.
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