How to Set Up and Benefit from Your Book’s Pre-Order Campaign

Your book’s pre-sale phase is pivotal for its success, yet often one of the least understood aspects of its release. This post aims to illuminate its significance.

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Timing Is Crucial

One of the prime benefits of self-publishing versus traditional methods lies in scheduling. Independent authors can release two to three books in the time it takes traditional publishing houses to launch just one.

While traditional publishers adhere to rigid schedules set well in advance, the pre-sale period is a common factor for both traditional and self-published books. It refers to the interval before a book is available for distribution and sales, predominantly through Amazon, and spans at least 60 days from the book’s submission to the retailer.

However, there’s often confusion regarding this timeline. Despite numerous efforts to stress its importance, many new authors seem surprised by the inability to expedite the process for a swift release, akin to attempting an early delivery for a baby.

Tasks During Pre-Sale

Preparing a manuscript for market-readiness demands considerable planning and effort. Here’s a recommended timeline to ensure your book hits the market in time for the holiday season:

1. Release Date: Allow a minimum 60-day gap between submitting your book files and the actual release date. Rushing compromises quality; it’s not about being the first to market but the best.

2. Retailer Schedules: Familiarize yourself with retailers’ processes for new title intake.

3. Sales Strategies: During pre-sale, retailers start listing your book for pre-order. Maximize this period by driving traffic to these sites to boost orders.

Amazon’s Inventory Process

Understanding Amazon’s inventory system is crucial. Amazon orders books based on pre-sales and product page engagement. More traffic to your book’s page during pre-sale can influence Amazon’s order quantities. Pre-sale orders might not directly impact Amazon’s best-seller lists, but they do affect inventory predictions.

Utilizing Ads

Running social media ads for your book before the release date can direct traffic to your Amazon pages, improving your chances of Amazon stocking your book upon release.

Impact of Inaction

Failing to attract traffic to your book’s pre-sale page can result in Amazon underestimating demand, leading to delayed availability or “out of stock” listings.

Optimizing Your Options

Even late in the year, there are avenues for holiday sales:
1. eBooks: The pre-sale period applies only to printed books. Release your eBook sooner; it takes 2–3 days to create its sales page.
2. BookShop: Sell both eBooks and printed books directly through Amazon print on demand, gaining better control and opportunities for direct sales.

Leverage Opportunities

The pre-sale phase is your chance to influence Amazon’s inventory prediction. Authors who engage in pre-sale efforts tend to experience more success. Don’t miss the chance to make the most of this crucial period preceding your book’s release.

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