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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys! A lot of you guys probably know me as a designer more than a writer, but I've been writing on a site, which I'm sure a lot of you guys know of, called Wattpad. I've gained a semi-strong following on the site and I've just set up my most popular book for preorder on Amazon. Not sure how WP followers will translate into sales, but I thought I would give it a shot anyways.

Is it a big mistake to set up a preorder if it's my first book? I was a bit nervous about uploading too early or too late for my release date and a preorder just seemed easier. But now I'm not sure :-[

Thank you guys so much for the information you provide through here everyday! I couldn't have gotten as far as I have with this publishing thing without it! lol

*On a semi-related side-note, if anyone is interested in beta reading the book in exchange for a book cover design, please pm me!  :D It's a YA Humor/Romance novel.
 

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Hey, Yoly. Fellow author/designer combo here. I don't recommend using preorder for your first in series. You'll need those sales for launch momentum? Are you planning a series around the book? Have you done any "pre-launch" advertising/review cultivating etc etc etc?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Sylvia R. Frost said:
Hey, Yoly. Fellow author/designer combo here. I don't recommend using preorder for your first in series. You'll need those sales for launch momentum? Are you planning a series around the book? Have you done any "pre-launch" advertising/review cultivating etc etc etc?
Hey Sylvia,

It might be a two book series, although they're connected by secondary characters and wouldn't need to be read together. I mostly did it since I'm new to the works and wasn't sure how long it would take to go live by my release date and thought it would be easier if it was ready to go. I have a street team assembled and my WP followers who might purchase/review when the book comes out, but other than that I'm still looking for new ways to gain readers!
 

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YolyM said:
Hey Sylvia,

It might be a two book series, although they're connected by secondary characters and wouldn't need to be read together. I mostly did it since I'm new to the works and wasn't sure how long it would take to go live by my release date and thought it would be easier if it was ready to go. I have a street team assembled and my WP followers who might purchase/review when the book comes out, but other than that I'm still looking for new ways to gain readers!
Sounds good. Honestly, if you've got the book ready for quick release I don't recommend preorders for authors just starting out, it will zap momentum.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
*starts sweating profusely* fingers crossed then lol  ::)
 

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Just running through with hugs and jelly beans.
 

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I don't know that there is any disadvantage to doing a pre-order for your first book.  Others will have opinions of course, but I don't think I would shy away from it.

If you do a pre-order however, you MUST make your date.  You CANNOT push it out, or you lose your pre-order privileged for a year at Amazon.

You can pull in the date, but you cannot push it out, so pick a date carefully.

On my second book, I set a pre-order date for March, but pulled it into February. The few pre-orders I had were happy to get the book early.  I will likely do the same with my third book, but I won't schedule the date until I'm in the final edit, the cover is finished, the book has been formatted at least once, etc...

Don't miss your date..... cannot stress this enough.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
cinisajoy said:
Just running through with hugs and jelly beans.
:p

thewitt said:
I don't know that there is any disadvantage to doing a pre-order for your first book. Others will have opinions of course, but I don't think I would shy away from it.

If you do a pre-order however, you MUST make your date. You CANNOT push it out, or you lose your pre-order privileged for a year at Amazon.

You can pull in the date, but you cannot push it out, so pick a date carefully.

On my second book, I set a pre-order date for March, but pulled it into February. The few pre-orders I had were happy to get the book early. I will likely do the same with my third book, but I won't schedule the date until I'm in the final edit, the cover is finished, the book has been formatted at least once, etc...

Don't miss your date..... cannot stress this enough.
Yes! I heard that it was very bad not to have your files ready :eek: To be honest I'm getting a bit impatient, everything is ready to go I just chose a date further ahead because I was waiting for formatting which was faster than expected. I might change it to something quicker, or firmly commit to the date I chose. But thank you for the advice! Greatly apreciated :)
 

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You can move your date in within reason. They won't let you change anything with 3 days to go, but even inside 10 days you can move up your date a little.  There are some posts that warn you about uploading a new "final" version inside of the 10 day window, but I don't believe that's a problem and did it without issue.

What they expect however is for you to upload your "final" version 10 days prior to your go-live date.  Don't miss that date.

I moved my release up by 14 days without any issues.
 

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A pre-order is GREAT for your first release!

It's so nerve-wracking doing your first book. Yes, you will miss the "day one" buyers to boost rank, but you will still HAVE a rank from those sales. So your book can chart on Hot New Release lists, Coming Soon lists for your keywords etc. That can bring extra visibility, especially in tough genres like YA/Romance. If you can get some readers interested, either through some sample chapters on your blog etc. and provide a link "hey, here's the preorder so it's on your Kindle the morning it comes out when you wake up!" you can chart on those lists (the coming soon pop list) and the Hot New Release list when your sales on your first book might have not been enough to get you any visibility on any lists.

And if it does REALLY well, you can chart on the bestseller lists too. Also, charting on the Hot New Release list as a preorder does NOT count against your 30 day window.

I have my FIRST 90 day preorder going right now, kind of a long story, but I've been using preorders since September to keep my visibility up between releases. but I am in a niche and have readers that help me chart on at least the Hot New Release list and sometimes the best seller lists as just a preorder.
 

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YolyM said:
Yes! I heard that it was very bad not to have your files ready :eek: To be honest I'm getting a bit impatient, everything is ready to go I just chose a date further ahead because I was waiting for formatting which was faster than expected. I might change it to something quicker, or firmly commit to the date I chose. But thank you for the advice! Greatly apreciated :)
Amazon will ban you from using pre-orders for a year if you miss your date.

A pre-order may take some of your launch day sales, but it will also set your also bought items which is really nice to have on launch day. It also means all those people receive the book on day one. That increases your chances of early reviews, which will help you on book promotion sites.

That said if you're ready to pull the trigger...pull the trigger. Either way, good luck with the book!
 

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To explain what I mean : on Amazon there are 11,000 YA Romances in the Kindle Store, but only 202 are "coming soon" So to get some Amazon visibility, you only need to beat out 202 books instead of 11,000 because 10,798 aren't even eligible for the Coming Soon pop list (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_nr_p_n_date_2?fst=as%3Aoff&rh=n%3A133140011%2Cn%3A%21133141011%2Cn%3A154606011%2Cn%3A3511261011%2Cn%3A6064565011%2Cp_n_date%3A1249102011&bbn=6064565011&ie=UTF8&qid=1425616285&rnid=1249099011) You can see the # up at the top or in ( ) next to a category on the left sidebar depending on which version of the page Amazon shows you.
 

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My main problem with Amazon pre-orders, and the reason I'm debating whether or not to do one for Nidhöggr is that unlike with other sellers, you don't get that sales boost on day one.  Pre-orders count toward your sales rank during pre-order, rather than behaving as if you just got 20 sales within the first hour of release.  It's kind of nice to see that large spike in your sales on release day, but you can get that with enough marketing without the pre-order. 
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Elizabeth Ann West - Oh! See that makes a lot of sense. I didn't really think about charting and such. I think I was more stressed about getting everything in order. I don't really mind if I don't get the spike in sales on the first day, as long as the book gets picked up and doesn't completely flop. I haven't really checked to see how many preorders have come in because I'm too nervous for that. Thank you for the link! Really helps me get an idea, plus lots of cover inspiration there.
 

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Elizabeth Ann West said:
To explain what I mean : on Amazon there are 11,000 YA Romances in the Kindle Store, but only 202 are "coming soon" So to get some Amazon visibility, you only need to beat out 202 books instead of 11,000 because 10,798 aren't even eligible for the Coming Soon pop list (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_nr_p_n_date_2?fst=as%3Aoff&rh=n%3A133140011%2Cn%3A%21133141011%2Cn%3A154606011%2Cn%3A3511261011%2Cn%3A6064565011%2Cp_n_date%3A1249102011&bbn=6064565011&ie=UTF8&qid=1425616285&rnid=1249099011) You can see the # up at the top or in ( ) next to a category on the left sidebar depending on which version of the page Amazon shows you.
I think this is a good strategy for small lists, but if you're in PNR (as I am) or really any "hot" genre where you need all the boost you can get to even touch those lists. I strongly advise against it.
 

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Even Paranormal Romance. That genre has 292 Coming Soon books, versus 1,112 books released in just the last 30 days.

The competition for reader eyeballs has stiffened considerably. You only get 30 days of eligibility on the Hot New Release list and if you wait until then to go for that spike of sales, you have to compete with 1, 112 other books. Pop lists on the other hand with a longer preorder period can be conquered if you can spur your readership into buying your preorder. Just because it's your first book, you still need to have a readership anxious for the book, either through blog posts, chapter samples, etc. The higher you can rank on a pop list or a hot new release list, the more likely Amazon will email out your book as a coming soon book.

I do agree that conventional wisdom for a loooong time was getting that first day sales spike. But that spike has needed to be higher and higher. #100 on the PNR Bestseller list is #1200 in the paid Kindle Store right now, that's well over 100 sales on day one on Amazon.com just to hit #100. #100 on the Hot New Release list is #4277 in the Paid Kindle Store which is about 45-70 sales on Amazon.com. Just last September, to get #1200 in the Paid Kindle Store took only about 70-80 sales on Day One.

If you can't get those sales on Day One trying to have 10-15 sales to get you on some keyword pop lists etc. can be an alternative. The reality is it's definitely taking more books and more readers to chart in some of the more popular categories. Doesn't mean a new author can't break into them, just it's going to take a very strong plan to get the first day or preorder sales going and probably implementing that plan over a number of books in order to build a following. It might not be until your 4th or 5th PNR book that you can actually chart, that's after working your tail off to build a readership reader by reader. :(

I'm not trying to dissuade anyone from what works for them. Just sharing what I've experienced stalking the charts. LOL.

I do think since Amazon has introduced Preorders to all of KDP, the market has changed considerably in what strategies are needed to gain visibility. I am only just now beginning to accept that long-term, it's better for me to have a good preorder period of visibility, then some visibility when the book is out from the sales ranking, and keep the whole machine going by constantly having a book just released and a book on preorder for each of my series. At this point, 8 months in, my books and name are one a number of pop lists, hot new release lists, and bestseller lists and it keeps my name in front of my target readers. They may not buy my book the first or second time they see me, but eventually, they see my books often enough, they're going to check out a sample or read a blurb.
 

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honestly, i don't understand setting up a pre-order if you are still looking for betas.  i always hope that an author sets up a preorder when they are in the very final stages of getting a file together to upload. 
 

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Oh, hey! Nice to see a fellow web fiction author. I'm too much of a newbie to offer valuable advice, but I wish you best of luck with the release. Having a following on Wattpad will definitely give you an advantage over other first time publishers.
 

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telracs said:
honestly, i don't understand setting up a pre-order if you are still looking for betas. i always hope that an author sets up a preorder when they are in the very final stages of getting a file together to upload.
Yeah, this. I've seen a few times in the reviews for books that the book they pre-ordered wound up being little more than a basic outline, or just a wall of text without formatting.
 

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Elizabeth Ann West said:
Even Paranormal Romance. That genre has 292 Coming Soon books, versus 1,112 books released in just the last 30 days.

The competition for reader eyeballs has stiffened considerably. You only get 30 days of eligibility on the Hot New Release list and if you wait until then to go for that spike of sales, you have to compete with 1, 112 other books. Pop lists on the other hand with a longer preorder period can be conquered if you can spur your readership into buying your preorder. Just because it's your first book, you still need to have a readership anxious for the book, either through blog posts, chapter samples, etc. The higher you can rank on a pop list or a hot new release list, the more likely Amazon will email out your book as a coming soon book.

I do agree that conventional wisdom for a loooong time was getting that first day sales spike. But that spike has needed to be higher and higher. #100 on the PNR Bestseller list is #1200 in the paid Kindle Store right now, that's well over 100 sales on day one on Amazon.com just to hit #100. #100 on the Hot New Release list is #4277 in the Paid Kindle Store which is about 45-70 sales on Amazon.com. Just last September, to get #1200 in the Paid Kindle Store took only about 70-80 sales on Day One.

If you can't get those sales on Day One trying to have 10-15 sales to get you on some keyword pop lists etc. can be an alternative. The reality is it's definitely taking more books and more readers to chart in some of the more popular categories. Doesn't mean a new author can't break into them, just it's going to take a very strong plan to get the first day or preorder sales going and probably implementing that plan over a number of books in order to build a following. It might not be until your 4th or 5th PNR book that you can actually chart, that's after working your tail off to build a readership reader by reader. :(

I'm not trying to dissuade anyone from what works for them. Just sharing what I've experienced stalking the charts. LOL.

I do think since Amazon has introduced Preorders to all of KDP, the market has changed considerably in what strategies are needed to gain visibility. I am only just now beginning to accept that long-term, it's better for me to have a good preorder period of visibility, then some visibility when the book is out from the sales ranking, and keep the whole machine going by constantly having a book just released and a book on preorder for each of my series. At this point, 8 months in, my books and name are one a number of pop lists, hot new release lists, and bestseller lists and it keeps my name in front of my target readers. They may not buy my book the first or second time they see me, but eventually, they see my books often enough, they're going to check out a sample or read a blurb.
I charted briefly on my first release. I had a a decent marketing plan, but I spent zero dollars on it. As you can see my ranks now aren't best-seller or anything, but I'll occasionally chart when I do a promo. I'm also in some relatively weird sub-cats that have allowed me to be in the 1,2,3 positions in them from time to time that has gotten me feature on some of Amazon's random "recommended best-seller" lists. All I know is that my third book which was no preorder did x3 as well as my second. But if it's hard to say if that is also because of permafree etc etc. But all in all most authors in PNR have a mixed experience with preorders.
 
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