Author Topic: Launch Burst or Pre-order? Which would you do?  (Read 809 times)  

Offline LauraWestbrook

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Launch Burst or Pre-order? Which would you do?
« on: September 15, 2020, 03:22:00 pm »
Hi all!

I'm working on a five book series. I'm planning on writing, polishing, and preparing all 5 books in-hand before launching book 1. I know I want to do something quick release, but I'm wondering if I should consider pre-orderes. My previous experiment with pre-orders didn't go well, but it could be because they weren't in quick succession. The books in question will all be put in KDP Select.


If you were in my shoes, would you:


-Publish all 5 with a month in-between each (without any pre-order elements)

-Publish book 1 and, on the same day, put the remaining 4 on pre-order (with the pre-orders launching one month apart from each other)



I can't wait to hear your thoughts! Of course, the pros to item one is that I get all the launch boost (and all them page reads) on day 1 of each launch at once, and the pros to pre-orders is that I'd earn royalties on books 2-5 starting the same day I publish book 1. Pros and cons, but I'm wondering which method you all think would ultimately earn more.












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    Offline Carol (was Dara)

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    Re: Launch Burst or Pre-order? Which would you do?
    « Reply #1 on: September 15, 2020, 08:36:07 pm »
    I haven't tested putting an entire series on preorder all at once, but my gut feeling is that only super fans would buy books 4 and 5 on preorder before the book 3 preorder has been delivered to their Kindle and read. Most are more likely to preorder one book at a time as they read through the series. Meanwhile, the preorders for the later books are sagging in rankings, gaining a bad sales history that might stick to them later.

    Because of that, and just for general flexibility of timing, my personal preference would be to launch books 1 and 2 together to really hook interest (and start earning back launch costs quickly) with book 3 on a month-long preorder. Then, each additional book going up on a month-long preorder one at a time. (Maybe even shorter than a month, if you've already got them in-hand.)

    As far as preorders in general, I like them. I just wouldn't stack too many at once, unless they're in separate series.

    Offline LauraWestbrook

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    Re: Launch Burst or Pre-order? Which would you do?
    « Reply #2 on: September 16, 2020, 12:34:19 pm »
    I haven't tested putting an entire series on preorder all at once, but my gut feeling is that only super fans would buy books 4 and 5 on preorder before the book 3 preorder has been delivered to their Kindle and read. Most are more likely to preorder one book at a time as they read through the series. Meanwhile, the preorders for the later books are sagging in rankings, gaining a bad sales history that might stick to them later.

    Because of that, and just for general flexibility of timing, my personal preference would be to launch books 1 and 2 together to really hook interest (and start earning back launch costs quickly) with book 3 on a month-long preorder. Then, each additional book going up on a month-long preorder one at a time. (Maybe even shorter than a month, if you've already got them in-hand.)

    As far as preorders in general, I like them. I just wouldn't stack too many at once, unless they're in separate series.

    That makes a lot of sense, Carol. Thanks for sharing your feedback.

    I'm reconsidering the option of putting all 5 preorders up immediately, for the reasons you've said. I wonder then, if not doing any preorder effect is best then.












    Offline Lorri Moulton [Lavender Lass Books]

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    Re: Launch Burst or Pre-order? Which would you do?
    « Reply #3 on: September 16, 2020, 01:25:15 pm »
    I have never had more than one book ready at a time, but what about bingeing?  Do readers want all the books available at once?  Or released a week or a month apart?  (I've seen both on Amazon)
    « Last Edit: September 16, 2020, 01:27:23 pm by Lorri Moulton [Lavender Lass Books] »

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    Offline LauraWestbrook

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    Re: Launch Burst or Pre-order? Which would you do?
    « Reply #4 on: September 16, 2020, 02:27:38 pm »
    I have never had more than one book ready at a time, but what about bingeing?  Do readers want all the books available at once?  Or released a week or a month apart?  (I've seen both on Amazon)

    To be honest, I'm not really sure. I've been hearing a lot about quick releases (having all the books in a series in-hand and releasing them 1, 2, 3, or 4 weeks apart). I have no real idea how much that affects sales other than hearing a handful of people swear by it.

    What do you think?












    Offline IreneP

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    Re: Launch Burst or Pre-order? Which would you do?
    « Reply #5 on: September 16, 2020, 06:33:36 pm »
    Okay - I'm lucky every time I get another book written ever so this isn't a strategy I've used, but it is definitely a strategy I've watched.

    What I would do is put them all up at once releasing two weeks apart. Either start with the release of Book 1 and everything else on pre-order or start with the pre-order of Book 1.

    I've always had good luck with pre-orders, but most of my books have not been in KU. I use the pre-order period to build buzz, schedule release promo, etc.  A lot of KU people seem to prefer no preorder. Maybe their readers wait for release day when they can "read for free." Also, on Amazon, if everyone buys on release day you get a bigger 1 day rank bump than if the sales are spread out over the pre-order period.

    Releasing two weeks apart is close enough together that most readers won't mind the wait between books and it will extend the time you will have books in the series on the New Releases list - thus gaining more visibility. If you hit any of the best-seller lists, same thing. As rank from the first book starts to decline, you have a new book to boost it back up.

    Seeing that the other books will be available in short order will actually encourage series readers. I'm not sure how this works in KU where people might wait for "read for free" -  but yes, many people will pre-order the next book as soon as they finish the first. This way you have a guaranteed sale instead of relying on them to come back to you for the next release.




    Offline DmGuay

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    Re: Launch Burst or Pre-order? Which would you do?
    « Reply #6 on: September 17, 2020, 05:54:14 am »
    If it were ME, I would...

    1. Release book 1 with a very strong launch plan. Ads in place, promotions booked, graphics for social media and sharing/swaps ready to go. ARCs sent.
    2. Book 2 on preorder when book 1 launches, Link to preorder in book 1.

    Set up the preorder for book 3, right before the launch of book 2. Links in back of book 2, obviously.
    Rinse repeat through the series.

    Once you get to book 4 or 5, boost the launch with a countdown deal: Book 1 free or 99 cents, and books 2-3 99 cents. (If you are in KU). Run promos to it.

    The real question is, do you have an audience, or are you in a genre where you can get a large audience quickly. Rapid Release can work great. But it can also flop if you do not have an existing audience or a solid plan to get one. 
     
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    Offline Lorri Moulton [Lavender Lass Books]

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    Re: Launch Burst or Pre-order? Which would you do?
    « Reply #7 on: September 17, 2020, 08:46:53 am »
    Has anyone released several books at once with a big promo for book 1?  I know streaming does it with their shows when they release an entire season.  Does it work for ebooks?  Or does pre-order really increase sales?

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    Offline LauraWestbrook

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    Re: Launch Burst or Pre-order? Which would you do?
    « Reply #8 on: September 17, 2020, 01:38:26 pm »
    If it were ME, I would...

    1. Release book 1 with a very strong launch plan. Ads in place, promotions booked, graphics for social media and sharing/swaps ready to go. ARCs sent.
    2. Book 2 on preorder when book 1 launches, Link to preorder in book 1.

    Set up the preorder for book 3, right before the launch of book 2. Links in back of book 2, obviously.
    Rinse repeat through the series.

    Once you get to book 4 or 5, boost the launch with a countdown deal: Book 1 free or 99 cents, and books 2-3 99 cents. (If you are in KU). Run promos to it.

    The real question is, do you have an audience, or are you in a genre where you can get a large audience quickly. Rapid Release can work great. But it can also flop if you do not have an existing audience or a solid plan to get one.


    Thanks for sharing! I've done this before, and it seemed to do worse than publishing like normal (sans a rapid release). It could be a number of other factors though.

    To answer your question, I don't have a large audience yet, so that could factor ito things.












    Offline IreneP

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    Re: Launch Burst or Pre-order? Which would you do?
    « Reply #9 on: September 19, 2020, 08:25:12 pm »
    Has anyone released several books at once with a big promo for book 1?  I know streaming does it with their shows when they release an entire season.  Does it work for ebooks?  Or does pre-order really increase sales?

    Yes, people have done it. A good example doesn't come quickly to mind - but as with anything different strategies work for different authors.

    I would space them for the reason I gave below.

    Assuming you have a good release plan  lined up that will get you onto the charts in your category, the 2 week space between releases will keep you visible in the new release charts longer.


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