Author Topic: Amazon preorder and how the sales are counted...conflicting info.  (Read 1329 times)  

Offline taytheking

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They folks! Thanks in advance for your help.

So I have received conflicting info regarding amazon and how preorder sales are counted. I know that iBooks counts all preorder on the day the book goes life. This is awesome for trying for a bestellter list.
Now I have heard that Amazon does NOT do taht and therefore to NOT put up a preorder until about a week before launch as otherwise the sales will be lost for counting toward a bestseller list.

Do you guys have more info on that? Where did you get this info from?
Also, I am talking about US and Wall Street bestseller lists (sell 5k books in a week from various sellers), not Amazon bestseller lists.

Thanks a ton!
« Last Edit: October 29, 2020, 09:00:00 am by taytheking »

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    Online Simon Haynes

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    Re: Amazon preorder and how the sales are counted...conflicting info.
    « Reply #1 on: October 29, 2020, 08:52:19 am »
    I have a preorder up right now, and as each copy is ordered the sales rank changes to match. Then it starts slipping again unless more orders come in.

    So, if you put the preorder up 30 days before release, announce it to your mailing list, get enough orders to push it to, say, 20k rank in the store... and then get just 1 or 2 orders for the next month, you could easily be in the 1,000,000 ranks on release day.

    The actual transactions on release, when people get their ebooks, do not change the rank in the slightest.

    On the other hand, you get visibility in the new releases charts for every category your book is in, and those are easier to climb than the equivalent top 100 bestseller charts.  I think I was in #4 or #5 on new releases and only #70 or so in the top 100 with mine (for a short while, at least)



     

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    Offline taytheking

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    Re: Amazon preorder and how the sales are counted...conflicting info.
    « Reply #2 on: October 29, 2020, 09:03:50 am »
    Simon...thanks for the reply. I was talking about US Today bestseller list. You need 5k sold in one week from more than one seller to get on the lowest ranks of the list. With Amazon...those preorder sales will not count as sales on the day of release but rather on the day they are ordered. So of one person buys the book a day, when book is released, you get the one sale for that day, not the 30 for the months.

    At least that is what I want to clarify here. Some say it counts 30 on day of release for every book sold otter's say no, out only get the one sale for and start from scratch with sales toward bestseller lists.


    Offline TaraCrescent

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    Re: Amazon preorder and how the sales are counted...conflicting info.
    « Reply #3 on: October 29, 2020, 09:21:40 am »
    No, all the preorders on Amazon count toward the USA Today bestseller list.

    It used to be the case that preorders didn't help your Amazon rank, but even with that, Amazon has tweaked something, and now, lots of preorders do seem to give the book a boost on release day. 

    Offline taytheking

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    Re: Amazon preorder and how the sales are counted...conflicting info.
    « Reply #4 on: October 29, 2020, 10:15:42 am »
    No, all the preorders on Amazon count toward the USA Today bestseller list. 

    Tara. That would be such great news. But are you certain? Where did you get this info from?

    Online Simon Haynes

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    Re: Amazon preorder and how the sales are counted...conflicting info.
    « Reply #5 on: October 29, 2020, 10:46:55 am »
    I hope you're right.

    Yesterday I watched a recent David Gaughran video on youtube which mentioned preorders and ranks.  I think it was the Amazon Algorithms one?
     

    Also yWriter, free novel-writing software for Windows PCs. (Mac version in progress).

    Offline TaraCrescent

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    Re: Amazon preorder and how the sales are counted...conflicting info.
    « Reply #6 on: October 29, 2020, 11:12:43 am »
    Tara. That would be such great news. But are you certain? Where did you get this info from?

    I've been in boxed sets that use this strategy. (I have a couple of pen names, so if you're looking me up, I did it with my Lili Zander pen, not my Tara Crescent one.)

    You just have to make sure to set your release date strategically. The Amazon preorders are counted at midnight when the book releases, so if USA Today counts sales between Tuesday and Monday (whatever it is, I can't remember the window off the top of my head), you can't have your book go live Tuesday, because Amazon preorder sales will drop Monday midnight. I think we got screwed once because USA Today counted those as Monday sales, not Tuesday. 

    Offline Amanda M. Lee

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    Re: Amazon preorder and how the sales are counted...conflicting info.
    « Reply #7 on: October 29, 2020, 11:23:58 am »
    No, all the preorders on Amazon count toward the USA Today bestseller list.

    It used to be the case that preorders didn't help your Amazon rank, but even with that, Amazon has tweaked something, and now, lots of preorders do seem to give the book a boost on release day.
    That was true through September. It's no longer true as of October. They've stopped counting the preorders for release day rank again.

    Amanda M. Lee

    Offline TaraCrescent

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    Re: Amazon preorder and how the sales are counted...conflicting info.
    « Reply #8 on: October 29, 2020, 11:28:37 am »
    That was true through September. It's no longer true as of October. They've stopped counting the preorders for release day rank again.

    Didn't know that. (Which is weird, because I have a German release doing exceedingly well today, and I assumed it was because of the preorders - it's book 2, so I'm not doing anything to push it apart from advertising book 1.)

    Offline Amanda M. Lee

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    Re: Amazon preorder and how the sales are counted...conflicting info.
    « Reply #9 on: October 29, 2020, 11:31:32 am »
    Didn't know that. (Which is weird, because I have a German release doing exceedingly well today, and I assumed it was because of the preorders - it's book 2, so I'm not doing anything to push it apart from advertising book 1.)
    Yeah. We've been tracking in a group. I had three releases this month under two names and the other authors accounted for seven releases. None of them tracked preorder releases for rank on release day.

    Amanda M. Lee

    Offline TaraCrescent

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    Re: Amazon preorder and how the sales are counted...conflicting info.
    « Reply #10 on: October 29, 2020, 11:33:21 am »
    Yeah. We've been tracking in a group. I had three releases this month under two names and the other authors accounted for seven releases. None of them tracked preorder releases for rank on release day.

    Thanks for the heads-up, this is good to know. My books don't really do that great on release day anyway, and my preorder strategy might remain unchanged, but it's definitely good to know if I'm planning a big launch or something.

    Online Carol (was Dara)

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    Re: Amazon preorder and how the sales are counted...conflicting info.
    « Reply #11 on: October 29, 2020, 02:51:44 pm »
    That was true through September. It's no longer true as of October. They've stopped counting the preorders for release day rank again.

    What she said. Sadly, Amazon seems to have flipped the switch back.

    Offline taytheking

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    Re: Amazon preorder and how the sales are counted...conflicting info.
    « Reply #12 on: October 30, 2020, 06:01:52 am »
    Yup...sounds about right that they would have changed it right before my 140k word historical sci-fi comes out that I put all I got into....
    Kinda the story of my life. Always too late to catch the hight of the party, but not too late to hang with the weekend warriors who overstay their welcome.

    Offline TaraCrescent

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    Re: Amazon preorder and how the sales are counted...conflicting info.
    « Reply #13 on: October 30, 2020, 07:41:22 am »
    Is this the story that you're trying for USA Today with? Because that part of my advice is still good. Your preorders will be counted for the list-attempt.

    Amanda was talking about the Amazon release rank. If you're wide, rank isn't a huge deal, not the same way it is for a KU author. (I'm a KU author, and even then, I don't sweat the rank that much. Just do what you can, adjust your strategy for the next book, and move on.)

    Offline Wayne Stinnett

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    Re: Amazon preorder and how the sales are counted...conflicting info.
    « Reply #14 on: November 01, 2020, 10:58:27 am »
    Dumb question, but is being on a list have any monetary value?
    My Bestselling, 18-volume Jesse McDermitt Series and the spinoff,  5-volume Charity Styles Series, also bestsellers, are available in ebook, audiobook, and paperback, wherever books are sold. In my motivational non-fiction, Blue Collar to No Collar, I provide tips, advice, and strategies for new authors, also available in the same formats. Don't forget to visit the Ship's Store for Jesse McDermitt swag.
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    Online Carol (was Dara)

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    Re: Amazon preorder and how the sales are counted...conflicting info.
    « Reply #15 on: November 01, 2020, 05:39:19 pm »
    Dumb question, but is being on a list have any monetary value?

    You mean like hitting the USA Today or NYT lists? Not everyone agrees on that but, in my opinion, there's little to no direct monetary value. The hope is usually that the visibility from pushing a book that high will bring follow on sales to the rest of the author's catalog (books priced more profitably). The trouble is, once all the expensive ads are dialed down, the book usually drops in rankings quickly. And the readers who picked it up just 'cause it was a super good deal tend not to be all that invested when it comes to buying the full-priced sequels. Sometimes that leaves the author way in the red on ad costs.

    Some people feel like there's other benefits, though. Maybe it opens more doors, promotionally. Maybe it makes for a more attention-grabbing bio or ad copy, makes readers take a closer look when they see it on the cover, etc. It's possible that those things accumulate in a slight increase in sales over the years. Or being able to describe the book as a bestseller might be useful to the author's agent when shopping the subrights. Things like that.

    Or maybe it's just a personal goal they've had for a long time and they want to see if they can do it. It's certainly a challenge for a first-timer to figure out the timing, get the ads rolling, create an irresistible pitch, put all the pieces in place to have a shot. A big ad budget alone, even with a steeply discounted product, is no guarantee (although they sure help). All the ducks have to be in a row.




    Offline taytheking

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    Re: Amazon preorder and how the sales are counted...conflicting info.
    « Reply #16 on: November 15, 2020, 07:28:23 am »
    That was true through September. It's no longer true as of October. They've stopped counting the preorders for release day rank again.

    Amanda, I was wondering if you also know about iBook sales. Are the preorders counted for release? So let us say 300 preorders in 3 months and the book would be released on a Monday, would all those 300 sales count on that Monday of release?
    I heard some folks say to release on a Tuesday in order for those to be counted...but then there are so many different opinions out there.

    Thanks   

    Offline taytheking

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    Re: Amazon preorder and how the sales are counted...conflicting info.
    « Reply #17 on: November 15, 2020, 07:32:44 am »
    Is this the story that you're trying for USA Today with? Because that part of my advice is still good. Your preorders will be counted for the list-attempt.

    Amanda was talking about the Amazon release rank. If you're wide, rank isn't a huge deal, not the same way it is for a KU author. (I'm a KU author, and even then, I don't sweat the rank that much. Just do what you can, adjust your strategy for the next book, and move on.)

    I am not sure that is the case, Tara.
    "The authors we heard from set up preorders anywhere from one week to three months in advance, and we know some of our publisher partners put preorders live up to nine months in advance. Based on their experiences, longer preorders can be effective for books that are widely available across all retailers, but less effective for books exclusively on Amazon because Kindle preorder sales outside of a books release week dont count toward bestseller list sales."

    any thoughts?

    Offline Amanda M. Lee

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    Re: Amazon preorder and how the sales are counted...conflicting info.
    « Reply #18 on: November 15, 2020, 10:32:47 am »
    I am not sure that is the case, Tara.
    "The authors we heard from set up preorders anywhere from one week to three months in advance, and we know some of our publisher partners put preorders live up to nine months in advance. Based on their experiences, longer preorders can be effective for books that are widely available across all retailers, but less effective for books exclusively on Amazon because Kindle preorder sales outside of a books release week dont count toward bestseller list sales."

    any thoughts?
    Since thousands of authors have gotten their letters with long preorders I think the point has already been settled.

    Amanda M. Lee

    Offline Wayne Stinnett

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    Re: Amazon preorder and how the sales are counted...conflicting info.
    « Reply #19 on: November 21, 2020, 06:26:17 am »
    gotten their letters

    I still snicker when I hear that phrase.
    My Bestselling, 18-volume Jesse McDermitt Series and the spinoff,  5-volume Charity Styles Series, also bestsellers, are available in ebook, audiobook, and paperback, wherever books are sold. In my motivational non-fiction, Blue Collar to No Collar, I provide tips, advice, and strategies for new authors, also available in the same formats. Don't forget to visit the Ship's Store for Jesse McDermitt swag.
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