#8 Pre-orders – are now a big deal whereas not too long ago, they didn’t exist for the lowly Indie authors. But because it makes a difference to sales and that’s really what this whole effort is about, it’s best to decide when the book should go out on pre-order, (keeping in mind that Amazon requires you to have the final submission published 10 days before its release). (Original post on June 18, 2015)
Actually, we did the pre-order in Summer Fire for a number of weeks (can’t remember exactly how many???) but we worked hard during that time to get as many sales as we could.
It’s not easy keeping 20 authors motivated to pushing a book before it’s released and so there had to be a conscious effort made to keep us all active. I can’t imagine being able to do this for much longer than the time we had. Other work gets in the way – we authors are always busy and have a number of balls in the air at one time. Trust me, not everyone worked hard for the collection all the time. But I know we all had our moments….
Some said we weren’t on pre-order for long enough. We’d seen others who had put their books out for much longer. In my way of thinking, there’s two parts to this question…
Do you put it out months in advance, hope you can keep the momentum happening and the readers buying that long before they know the book will get to them? I mean – this is when social media comes into play, trying to reach as many readers as possible. Are you taking the chance of losing those readers who think it’s too long to wait and they can always get the book once it’s out…and then forget? I know myself, if I don’t buy a book that appeals to me when I first see it fresh and new, it’s much easier for me to ignore it the second time when it’s become familiar.
Also, when the collection hits their e-reading devices, will they actually bother to read it once the hype is lost its appeal? For us authors who work so hard to get that set out, we are trying to hit the lists, sure, because it means we’ve made those sales which is always a good thing. But more important, we want new readers. It’s one of the biggest reasons why we go together in the multi-authors sets. The idea is - when fans buy this bundle and read their favorite author’s book, hopefully they’ll read the others and find another writer they fall in love with. Hopefully mine...
Now that’s pure gold!!
When we did the Brides collections, we had a shorter pre-order time. And looking back, we decided it was maybe not long enough - May 12th to June 9th. We were disappointed at the number of pre-order sales. Again that could have been because there was a lot of competition at the same time or just maybe the fans had finally gotten caught up in the warm weather and weren’t that interested in reading so much…?? Did everyone not work hard enough to gain interest? There’s lots of reasons and most likely the answer would have been a little of everything.
One thing to keep in mind – during the pre-order is when you’ll be setting up those incredibly important promotions. Because I was the promotion’s person for the Brides collections, I needed those venue links early. We also used them for the Facebook event and the Book Release Blitz. To have any chance at all of hitting the lists, the sales on that first week are the most important. That’s not to say, others haven’t hit the lists from sales well after a book has been published, but in the case of these types of collections and keeping the momentum from multi authors, this is the week you’ll be aiming for.