Author Topic: Pros and Cons of Pre-order  (Read 1974 times)  

Offline Redgum

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Pros and Cons of Pre-order
« on: March 22, 2016, 02:07:15 PM »
Hello All

Just another quick question about the pros and cons of Amazon pre-order. Some time ago I noticed that a very high-selling Kindle author stopped putting his books up for pre-order, and more recently I see another very high-selling author has also said her latest will not be going on pre-order just to evaluate the two methods.

As someone who has never used pre-order but was considering it, I wondered what your experiences of it were - why use pre-order? What are the pros and cons? It is about sales, ranking - any ideas?

With kind regards, R :)

Offline PhilipColgate

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Re: Pros and Cons of Pre-order
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2016, 02:16:58 PM »
My debut book under this pen is currently on pre-order (see below).  I did it for one reason: to kill my procrastination and give me a hard deadline to finish and edit the final draft.  I'm glad I did it because it helped me reach that goal.  However, I doubt I will do it again.  I've published a bunch of books under other pens and there is definitely a much better sales rank and visibility pop when you publish a book and have it go live vs. having it sit on pre-order.  I also had two returns when it launched for pre-order and I bet it's because the customer didn't realize it wasn't live and was disappointed. 

In short, the only benefit for me was hitting my deadline.  The con is its best sales rank days are long gone before it's even went live.


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Re: Pros and Cons of Pre-order
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2016, 06:13:17 PM »
Based on what I've seen repeated several times from both camps

General pros:
* Can get the link to have promotion ready and start early buzz/hype with fans, ads, etc
* Makes it more "real" to readers that the next book is coming
* Establish sales rank and also bought before launch day
* A way to give self a deadline to get it done

General cons:
* You have a deadline - at least with Amazon, miss it or have to push it back and lose pre-order option for a year unless you have a seriously good reason and they are feeling merciful
* Pre-orders may siphon off the first-day sales rank
* Pre-order promo pricing would have to be done manually, even if you are going into Select because Select doesn't take affect until it actually launches

The biggest one really seems to be the sales rank one.  From what I've see others note, one rule of them for balancing that one is "do you have a large number of readers ready for this book who will order on day one, enough to give you a huge sales boost?"  If you don't, then the difference between the sales rank growing over time during the pre-order to a first day launch boost is likely to be negligible.  If I recall correctly, having multiple sales spread out over several days will result in a stickier rank than a single one day blitz of sales, unless you have enough to get you way way up the chart.

Me personally, I do pre-orders.  It's a way for my fans to get the book at a discount and have it as soon as it's released (or earlier if they pre-order direct from me on Non-Select books), and it shows potential readers of my other books that I have more coming.  In my case, I got no pre-orders for my most recent release other than two print orders (direct).  If I was doing a series, I'd definitely be putting up the next book as soon as I had a firm date when I can have it released out so the series readers have something to anticipate.

If I had a mailing list of hundreds or thousands who would eagerly snap up my books on release day?  Eh, I'd still do pre-orders for the same reason because to me, as someone who preorders books I really want ASAP, the pros out way the cons.

Offline Cherise

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Re: Pros and Cons of Pre-order
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2016, 07:16:11 PM »

Having a pre-order link at the end of a series book to the next book in the series increased sell-through.