You may or may not have tried selling your books as pre-orders, but is selling pre-orders advantageous?
Yes! Doing so can help you out in a variety of ways. Here are 11 reasons why you may want to try selling your book as a pre-order as well as some tips to help you out when you set up your own pre-order.
Advantages to Selling Pre-orders
Selling to Readers
1. If the pre-order is a book in the series, readers who have bought the previous book will be more likely to buy the next book if it’s available, even if it’s a pre-order. Otherwise, they may forget about the series before the next book becomes available. You’re capitalizing on their current interest before they get distracted by other books.
2. You can include a link at the end of a first book in a series to where the next book is available for pre-order. That way, you don’t lose readers just because the next book isn’t out yet.
3. Most authors do some promotion on their book before it comes out. With a pre-order, readers can instantly buy the book when they see your promotion, instead of waiting for it to come out. Because they don’t have to wait, they are more likely to buy the book right then (and not forget about it later).
4. Having a pre-order means you can start accruing money on a book you haven’t quite finished yet.
Rank and Visibility
5. Apple Books gives pre-order sales a bonus in ranking on the day of release, meaning the rank and visibility of your book will spike on release day. And Kobo gives you a double boost in ranking points for selling pre-orders (awarded the day of the sale).
6. Books that are on pre-order may seem more professional to readers.
7. Your book will show in the Coming Soon filter, which gives your book a little extra exposure.
8. You’re able to start promoting your book early, before it is even released.
9. Selling pre-orders allows your fans to get excited about the book early. If they’re excited, that means they’ll tell more people about it.
10. Those who have pre-ordered your book and have been waiting to receive it are more likely to leave a review because they’re excited about your book and they’ve been thinking about it a lot as they wait for it.
11. With Book Caves new release emails, you’ll be able to put in your book as a pre-order, and we’ll email all the readers who are following your author profile to let them know about your new release on the day it comes out.
Tips for Selling Pre-orders
If you’re putting your book up as a pre-order on Amazon, consider publishing the print book with KDP Print while the ebook is still on pre-order. That way, your book can still get reviews even before the ebook is live, making it more attractive to readers.
Always stick to the pre-order deadline. Failing to do so not only disappoints fans but can also result in serious consequences from vendors (Amazon will block you from listing any book as a pre-order for one year). Related to this, make sure you upload the final ebook by the deadline. You don’t want a draft going out to your readers, and you don’t want to have to postpone or cancel your pre-order.
Make your pre-order price is lower than the listing price. That way, readers are motivated to order the book as a pre-order rather than wait for it to be released.
You might not want to make the pre-order time too long (unless you’re a very well-known author). You don’t want readers to lose interest or be frustrated that they don’t have their book yet—or frustrated that the pre-order date keeps getting pushed out. Some authors recommend a month. Others swear by three months. Some like to do an entire year. You should experiment and see what works best for you as an author.
Book Cave does not advertise pre-orders on our regular retailer deals page. But you can submit a book that is on pre-order and we can save a spot for it on our calendar for a date that is a minimum of three days after the release date. If it meets all the submission guidelines at that time, it can then be approved right away.
What has been your experience with selling pre-orders? Do you have any questions or tips? We’d love to hear in the comments below.