I’ve been testing out pre-order campaigns over Amazon and Draft2Digital. I wanted to see how they worked and what I could potentially learn from them if I decided to try it all again later down the road. So, here’s what I’ve gathered so far:
I started my pre-order campaign on Amazon. Since, I’m self-publishing my latest novel, Every Waking Dream, I wanted to see how much control I had over doing this. I learned that with Amazon, you can only do pre-orders on (as of right now) ebooks. So, the book is currently available for pre-order on Kindle. From what I’ve seen and read about through the grapevine, is that eventually Amazon may offer pre-orders on print books as well, but that’s probably further down the road.
Amazon allows you to turn on pre-orders by simply setting the publication date of the book into the future. You can do this up to 1 year in advance, which is pretty nice if you’re going to do some heavy promotion work. Of course, I’m not testing it a year out, but I did give my book a few months before it’s released. I have to upload the final manuscript a few days before the release date which is a nice touch and allows for final edits.
Draft2Digital has the same concept. However, they’re running a beta for those who want to try their print books. Unfortunately, I’m on a waiting list for the print book version that they offer so I don’t have any comments about how they do pre-orders for that. They also allow you to upload the final manuscript a little before the actual release date for the book.
However, Draft2Digital allows you to distribute your book to other markets like Apple and Barnes & Nobles. Currently, I have my book for pre-order on those sites as well. Both use a reporting system to see your pre-order sales.
So, why even bother with pre-orders in the first place? It’s a great way to drum up advertisement for your book and to promote it before it actually hits the bookstores. It allows readers to get a glimpse of the cover art and synopsis and gives them something to get excited about.
It’s a great marketing tool and let’s be honest. When you self-publish you have to learn a few trades to get your book noticed by the masses. Word of mouth only gets you so far, but social media really helps drive it home.
Whatever you decide to do, have fun doing it! Happy writing!