One of the major benefits that comes with marketing is providing readers the option to pre-order on Amazon. Listing your book for pre-order helps in two key ways, which we get into in this article.
Pre-orders are a large part of effective marketing, and racking up those numbers is a powerful way to boost your chance of landing on bestseller lists. Whether you are thinking about writing a book, or about to launch your newest project, now is the time to learn how to list your book for pre-order on Amazon.
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Pre-Order On Amazon: The Benefits
Let’s set the scene: You just spend the last several months writing your book and making it the best it can be. You are eager to share it with the world and can’t wait for readers’ lives to change as a result.
The only issue is, you created a standout marketing plan and your followers are excited to order your book…but you haven’t released it yet. Rather than let the buzz die down, this is when you choose to allow readers to pre-order on Amazon. There are two key benefits.
#1 – Readers Receive A Limited Price
First, when you present your readers the option to pre-order on Amazon, you also give them a deal they will not receive on release day. When authors make pre-orders possible, they often sell their book at a lower price point.
Not only does this encourage readers to order your book early, but it also helps ensure they will receive your book the day of its release. When your book arrives in their mailbox it acts as a physical reminder to get reading, and this helps keep buzz going even post release day.
#2 – The Author Makes Sales Prior To Release Day
Second, your book sales are a crucial part of your success rates. When readers pre-order your book on Amazon, these orders do count the day off. This may seem concerning for the author who wants all their sales to come in one day. But, if you want to hit bestseller status, your sales rankings are evaluated every hour. Sound stressful?
Enter Amazon’s popularity ranking. René Jung explains this feature in the following way:
“The popularity ranking is not updated every hour but only once a day. Moreover, the sales of the past thirty days are evaluated here.”
This is why the pre-order on Amazon option makes sense for some authors. Jung goes on to explain:
“If the bestseller ranking tells you how well a book has sold compared to all the others within the last hour, the popularity ranking shows the performance of the book during the previous thirty days.”
Those pre-orders can drastically help your sales history!
Your Step-By-Step Guide
Now that you know why offering pre-order on Amazon is important, it’s time to learn how to do so. In order to set up your eBook for pre-order simply follow the steps below:
- Go to your Bookshelf.
- Click “+ Create”
- Click “Create eBook”
- Enter your information.
- Click “make my Kindle eBook available for pre-order”
- Enter your chosen date of release
- Upload your manuscript file
- Finish prepping your book for release day
And you’re done! There are two areas to take notice of when you choose to use the preorder option.
#1 – Reviews
It’s important to note that readers cannot review a book on Amazon until release day. Using pre-order on Amazon with the purpose of collecting reviews early is not possible. That said, you can focus on obtaining reviews on other platforms, such as Goodreads.
#2 – Look-Inside Feature
A second area to note is that the look-inside option will not be available for your book until the date of its release. This is understandable because while the pre-order on Amazon feature allows readers a chance to make a purchase prior to the book's release, it’s not technically available until the day of release.
Should Every Author Offer Pre-Order On Amazon?
Author Jane Friedman recommends offering pre-orders, but mostly for established writers. She says the reason for this is that “If your book is on pre-order and then hits the Amazon system on launch day with little to no buzz, no reviews, and no activity, it’ll quickly plummet due to low sales.”
If you have enough potential readers eager to purchase your book, you may not struggle with this plummet. However, for many new authors, it’s crucial to keep sales high over a period of time. This important sales window includes the day of release.
So, if you have a 300-person newsletter list, and most of them pre-order on Amazon, who is left to purchase your book on release day? It’s these types of questions that are important to consider before offering the option to pre-order.
However, if you already have a book or two to your name and you know you can hit sales on release day even if you do pre-orders, you may want to focus on obtaining orders before release day.
Friedman recommends using a two-week window rather than the year-long, pre-release window Amazon offers. Again keep the importance of buzz in mind as you pursue selling your book before it releases.
Create Two Weeks Of Pre-Order Buzz
You know those movies you can’t wait to release? You hear it’s coming out, then you hear pre-production was postponed. Then you hear casting started. Then you hear they want a new lead. By the time the film lands in theaters, you’re still excited to see it, but your initial energy has died down.
We can apply the same idea to a book’s release date.
Imagine telling your readers that you’re releasing your book in May of next year, but they can order it right now. In today’s world of Amazon Prime order time, short TikToks, and brief tweets, for many, delayed gratification is not a common experience.
To make sure your readers are both ready and eager to get their hands on your book as soon as possible, hold off on pre-orders until two weeks or so before the release date.
During these two weeks, focus on promotion and keeping your book top-of-mind for your current audience and potential readers. When release day comes, you want your readers eager to read your book that very day, rather than faintly remembering a year back you mentioned it.
Get Started Now
Alright, pre-orders can help, it’s important to not drag the pre-order window out, and established authors (generally) should focus on taking advantage of the pre-order option on Amazon.
Now it’s time to take action.
It’s one thing to know what to do, why you should do it, and read a guide on how to execute your plan. It takes commitment, time, and preparation to follow through and create the option to pre-order your book.
However, you now know the benefits, you have a general understanding of how Amazon works, and you know the difference between ranking in bestseller status versus ranking in popularity lists.
You even know that readers will need to review your book on release day, not the day they pre-order your book (although you could recommend readers write their review that day).
Now it’s time to take action! Enjoy the process. We can’t wait to see you on Amazon!