Author Topic: Questions about preorders  (Read 467 times)  

Offline Gregg Bell

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Questions about preorders
« on: August 31, 2020, 12:53:08 pm »
People talk about the importance preorders have for a serial/series, and that the preorder should be available right away or just after when Book One is published. Okay. But regarding the urgency factor, I've seen preorders that aren't available for three or four months.

Question #1) Shouldn't the preorder be available sooner?

I was reading the KDP page on preorders.

Question #2) Am I right in understanding that a manuscript has to be uploaded for KDP to publish the product page?

Question #3) How stringent is the review process for the preorder manuscript to be accepted (so that the product page will be published)?

Question #4) Is it the typical review process any book goes through or do they want to have a sense that the book is genuinely the connecting sequential book for the series?

I know that the mss can be revised but:

Question #5) Would KDP accept a rough draft of the book?


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    Offline kyokominamino

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    Re: Questions about preorders
    « Reply #1 on: August 31, 2020, 01:12:14 pm »
    1) I think the idea is to make sure you're not trying to jerk anyone around with the date? I agree that I'd like the pre-order period to be longer, though. It would be nice to drive sales for six months or so.

    2) Yes. The time limit when you have to have the book uploaded before release date is four days.

    3) As far as I know, it's the exact same process as when you publish normally. They check the formatting and give you the standard spellcheck and make sure it fits the average submissions standards. It's not that strict in my experience. I'll be publishing my ninth book with KDP in late October and so far, it's been the same process each time.

    4) It should be the typical review process. If you need the book linked back to its series, send them something through the Contact Us and they'll get it done for you.

    5) Yes and no? So for example, let's say you wrote the whole book: beginning, middle, and end. However, you need to revise parts of the story. They don't actually "read" your story--it just passes several automated checks. As long as the entire thing is composed like a finished story, technically, yes, you can upload a rough draft. That being said, it's why the pre-order is at a limit of four months. I think they want you to upload the finished product and not a rough draft. It should be in its final form by the time you assign it a release date, so that's what they want. If you upload an unfinished manuscript, there's a chance it will be flagged and rejected. It's probably better to cancel and move the release date than to put an unready book up on release day. After publication day, you can reupload the manuscript as many times as you want with revisions.

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    Offline alhawke

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    Re: Questions about preorders
    « Reply #2 on: August 31, 2020, 01:24:40 pm »
    Gregg, be cautious with uploading a rough draft. I uploaded a highly revised draft with little to no changes three weeks before release [edit: This was the draft. I didn't release as "preorder" until 1 wk before release]. The system allowed me to easily revise, but I've heard a lot of authors complain of their revised draft not appearing at sale. So, I'd either upload a revised-near complete version or your final.

    Also be aware that the time your book is in preorder is counted in ranking. So many authors, including me, release a preorder only 1-2 weeks before release to not affect rank at sale (this doesn't apply to some vendors like Apple outside Amazon).

    « Last Edit: August 31, 2020, 01:26:58 pm by alhawke »


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    Offline DmGuay

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    Re: Questions about preorders
    « Reply #3 on: August 31, 2020, 01:32:45 pm »
    Hey. Amazon has changed preorders so that

    1. You can have a preorder live in the store for up to one year. and
    2. You no longer need to upload any file at all--you can upload nothing-- when you set up the preorder. Of course, you still have to submit the final file about four days in advance or else the preorder will be cancelled. (There's a countdown clock in your dashboard.)

    I hope that helps!
     
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    Offline Carol (was Dara)

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    Re: Questions about preorders
    « Reply #4 on: August 31, 2020, 02:58:24 pm »
    Preorders can be assetless now, which answers most of your questions. No need to upload anything to get a product page. Just remember to be realistic in the date you set for release and build in some extra time (I suggest a minimum of 2 weeks) in case life gets in the way and the story doesn't come along at the speed you planned. Pay special attention to your upload deadlines and never wait until the final hours to upload. Taking these precautions has seen me through several dozen preorders without incident.


    Offline Indiecognito

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    Re: Questions about preorders
    « Reply #5 on: August 31, 2020, 05:24:15 pm »
    Question #1) Shouldn't the preorder be available sooner? Definitely make sure the link for the pre-order is in the previous book in series, so when someone finishes it, they can order immediately.

    Question #2) Am I right in understanding that a manuscript has to be uploaded for KDP to publish the product page? No, I recommend uploading no manuscript. I put up a not-quite final a while back and Amazon published it on release day, despite the fact that I'd updated it more than once. They remedied the situation, but a little late. It hurt.

    Question #3) How stringent is the review process for the preorder manuscript to be accepted (so that the product page will be published)? Don't worry about this; just don't upload your manuscript til you have the final in hand.

    Question #4) Is it the typical review process any book goes through or do they want to have a sense that the book is genuinely the connecting sequential book for the series?
      See answer to #3.


    Question #5) Would KDP accept a rough draft of the book? yes, but see question #3. :)

    Offline Gregg Bell

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    Re: Questions about preorders
    « Reply #6 on: August 31, 2020, 05:40:08 pm »
    1) I think the idea is to make sure you're not trying to jerk anyone around with the date? I agree that I'd like the pre-order period to be longer, though. It would be nice to drive sales for six months or so.

    2) Yes. The time limit when you have to have the book uploaded before release date is four days.

    3) As far as I know, it's the exact same process as when you publish normally. They check the formatting and give you the standard spellcheck and make sure it fits the average submissions standards. It's not that strict in my experience. I'll be publishing my ninth book with KDP in late October and so far, it's been the same process each time.

    4) It should be the typical review process. If you need the book linked back to its series, send them something through the Contact Us and they'll get it done for you.

    5) Yes and no? So for example, let's say you wrote the whole book: beginning, middle, and end. However, you need to revise parts of the story. They don't actually "read" your story--it just passes several automated checks. As long as the entire thing is composed like a finished story, technically, yes, you can upload a rough draft. That being said, it's why the pre-order is at a limit of four months. I think they want you to upload the finished product and not a rough draft. It should be in its final form by the time you assign it a release date, so that's what they want. If you upload an unfinished manuscript, there's a chance it will be flagged and rejected. It's probably better to cancel and move the release date than to put an unready book up on release day. After publication day, you can reupload the manuscript as many times as you want with revisions.

    Thanks, kyokominamino, for all the info. I'm glad the process is a good deal simpler than I was anticipating.

    "When people agree with me I always feel that I must be wrong." Oscar Wilde
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    Offline Gregg Bell

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    Re: Questions about preorders
    « Reply #7 on: August 31, 2020, 05:44:07 pm »
    Gregg, be cautious with uploading a rough draft. I uploaded a highly revised draft with little to no changes three weeks before release [edit: This was the draft. I didn't release as "preorder" until 1 wk before release]. The system allowed me to easily revise, but I've heard a lot of authors complain of their revised draft not appearing at sale. So, I'd either upload a revised-near complete version or your final.

    Also be aware that the time your book is in preorder is counted in ranking. So many authors, including me, release a preorder only 1-2 weeks before release to not affect rank at sale (this doesn't apply to some vendors like Apple outside Amazon).



    Thanks A.L. I will definitely upload a final draft then.

    RE this:
    Quote
    Also be aware that the time your book is in preorder is counted in ranking. So many authors, including me, release a preorder only 1-2 weeks before release to not affect rank at sale

    How does rank play into the length of time the book is on pre-order?

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    Offline Gregg Bell

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    Re: Questions about preorders
    « Reply #8 on: August 31, 2020, 05:45:40 pm »
    Hey. Amazon has changed preorders so that

    1. You can have a preorder live in the store for up to one year. and
    2. You no longer need to upload any file at all--you can upload nothing-- when you set up the preorder. Of course, you still have to submit the final file about four days in advance or else the preorder will be cancelled. (There's a countdown clock in your dashboard.)

    I hope that helps!

    Thanks D.M. Yeah, that definitely helps. I'm glad they changed things.

    "When people agree with me I always feel that I must be wrong." Oscar Wilde
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    Offline Gregg Bell

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    Re: Questions about preorders
    « Reply #9 on: August 31, 2020, 05:48:51 pm »
    Preorders can be assetless now, which answers most of your questions. No need to upload anything to get a product page. Just remember to be realistic in the date you set for release and build in some extra time (I suggest a minimum of 2 weeks) in case life gets in the way and the story doesn't come along at the speed you planned. Pay special attention to your upload deadlines and never wait until the final hours to upload. Taking these precautions has seen me through several dozen preorders without incident.



    Thanks Carol. Yeah, I learned the lesson of allowing extra time with price changes.

    I'm wondering though--do you think people wait to see if the first book sells before they set up a pre-order for the second book? And I wonder if people use the pre-order as incentive (a burner under them) for writing the second book?

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    Offline Gregg Bell

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    Re: Questions about preorders
    « Reply #10 on: August 31, 2020, 05:50:50 pm »
    Question #1) Shouldn't the preorder be available sooner? Definitely make sure the link for the pre-order is in the previous book in series, so when someone finishes it, they can order immediately.

    Question #2) Am I right in understanding that a manuscript has to be uploaded for KDP to publish the product page? No, I recommend uploading no manuscript. I put up a not-quite final a while back and Amazon published it on release day, despite the fact that I'd updated it more than once. They remedied the situation, but a little late. It hurt.

    Question #3) How stringent is the review process for the preorder manuscript to be accepted (so that the product page will be published)? Don't worry about this; just don't upload your manuscript til you have the final in hand.

    Question #4) Is it the typical review process any book goes through or do they want to have a sense that the book is genuinely the connecting sequential book for the series?
      See answer to #3.


    Question #5) Would KDP accept a rough draft of the book? yes, but see question #3. :)

    Thanks Indie. I like that idea of having the link for the preorder in the first book.

    "When people agree with me I always feel that I must be wrong." Oscar Wilde
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    Offline alhawke

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    Re: Questions about preorders
    « Reply #11 on: August 31, 2020, 05:57:56 pm »
    RE this:
    How does rank play into the length of time the book is on pre-order?
    Preorders dilute rank. Ranking is not only based on sales, but also on the days that the book has been available on Amazon. If you release the book with too early a preorder, it will be as if the book has been on the market since the start of the preorder. And many self pubs, like me, don't sell a ton of preorders.


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    Offline Gregg Bell

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    Re: Questions about preorders
    « Reply #12 on: August 31, 2020, 06:16:08 pm »
    Preorders dilute rank. Ranking is not only based on sales, but also on the days that the book has been available on Amazon. If you release the book with too early a preorder, it will be as if the book has been on the market since the start of the preorder. And many self pubs, like me, don't sell a ton of preorders.
    Thanks A.L.

    So, say I release Book One and then make a preorder eight months out. I sell hardly any preorders. So that would be as if the preorder were ranked like an actual release, right? So if I do the eight month thing, by the time book 2 comes out it could have a rank of 3,000,000 or something, right?

    So, anticipating big preorder sales, make the preorder out as far as you want?

    Expecting meager preorder sales, make the preorder only out a couple of weeks or so?

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    Offline alhawke

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    Re: Questions about preorders
    « Reply #13 on: August 31, 2020, 06:57:16 pm »
    Yes. That's the way I see it. But, you know, even if you're "3mill" in ranking it doesn't take much in a promo to drop you into a nice zone again. But you're making it harder for your launch if you like to promote a week or two after publishing. I like to run a large promo 1-2 wks after launch and a long preorder makes ranking a steeper climb for me. If I had a larger audience to drum up enthusiasm, I'd consider a longer preorder.

    I've read, through past Kboard threads, that some authors with series books like long preorders as it entices their readers to nab the next books and not forget about their series.


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    Offline Gregg Bell

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    Re: Questions about preorders
    « Reply #14 on: September 01, 2020, 10:51:13 am »
    Yes. That's the way I see it. But, you know, even if you're "3mill" in ranking it doesn't take much in a promo to drop you into a nice zone again. But you're making it harder for your launch if you like to promote a week or two after publishing. I like to run a large promo 1-2 wks after launch and a long preorder makes ranking a steeper climb for me. If I had a larger audience to drum up enthusiasm, I'd consider a longer preorder.

    I've read, through past Kboard threads, that some authors with series books like long preorders as it entices their readers to nab the next books and not forget about their series.
    Thanks A.L.

    "When people agree with me I always feel that I must be wrong." Oscar Wilde
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