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message 1: by Meredith (new)

Meredith Mansfield | 10 comments Has anybody tried Amazon's new pre-order option? What seems to be the best length of time for a pre-order?


message 2: by Caroline (new)

Caroline Gebbie I have two books on pre-order at the moment. I've sold a handful of copies but to be honest I've done very little with them. One goes live on Monday so I will let you know how it goes.


message 3: by Gibson (new)

Gibson Michaels | 15 comments I put the second book of my trilogy up for pre-order on Oct. 23, with a release date scheduled for Nov. 28. To date, I have ~20% of Book-1 sales pre-ordered. The biggest change however has been that daily sales of Book-1 have shot up ~4X, since the sequel became available.


message 4: by Caroline (new)

Caroline Gebbie Gibson wrote: "I put the second book of my trilogy up for pre-order on Oct. 23, with a release date scheduled for Nov. 28. To date, I have ~20% of Book-1 sales pre-ordered. The biggest change however has been t..."

Yeah I think with a series it gives the reader confidence that they are coming out. I have a series planned for December, so best get back to writing LOL


message 5: by Lori (new)

Lori Schafer (lorilschafer) | 41 comments Meredith wrote: "Has anybody tried Amazon's new pre-order option? What seems to be the best length of time for a pre-order?"

I put my book up for pre-order at the end of August - it just went live on Friday. The pre-order sales were pokey at first, but picked up in the last couple of weeks, although that may have been as much because of my promotion as anything else.

I'm still not sure how much I benefited from doing the pre-order, and in my opinion, there are a number of problems with it. One - and I know there's a lot of confusion on this where Amazon is concerned - the pre-order sales do not all hit as sales on the day you launch. Instead, each pre-order affects your rank on a day-by-day basis, as a "normal" sale would. That's okay, but since I know that at least half of my pre-order sales came from friends on social media - people who were likely to buy my book anyway - I wonder whether I would have gotten a more significant boost in ranking had I consolidated those sales into a shorter time span. On the other hand, having the longer pre-order period may have allowed more people time to discover my book, which could have provided a bigger pre-release advantage.

However, that, too, I suspect may be problematic. My book is a niche book - a memoir of my mom's mental illness - and therefore falls into categories with limited numbers of new releases. Sounds good, right? Makes it easier to find. However, I wonder whether the fact that there's no pre-order available for paperbacks may actually have cost me some sales. Did members of my target market look at my book, realize that there was no paperback, and simply move on? The title is unique enough (On Hearing of My Mother's Death Six Years After It Happened) that people might well remember it - and also remember that they already looked at it and decided not to buy it. And I do have some mathematical evidence to support this suspicion, because my book has ranked very high on several different "most wished for" lists both in the US and the UK - much higher, in fact, than the number of pre-orders would suggest. If the people adding my book to their wish lists were potential eBook buyers, then why didn't they just pre-order the book? And if they were potential paperback buyers, will they remember to go back and buy it now? I question whether I would have done better with a book that was already available, or very soon to be available, although I do think that that might depend on the title.

Two major advantages of doing the pre-order that I can see. One, it puts you into the "Coming Soon" category, which typically has far fewer titles in it than "Last 30 Days" or "Last 90 Days," which, depending upon your genre, could significantly increase your visibility. (Incidentally, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that pre-order sales can get you listed as a Hot New Release even before your book comes out.) And two, having your book go out to a lot of readers shortly after release, even if it doesn't give you a boost in your ranking, does increase the likelihood that you'll get reviews early on, which, as we all know, could be tremendously beneficial to a brand-new release.

I have two novels in the romance & women's fiction genres releasing in May, and I do think I'll do the pre-order again because those are large enough genres with large enough audiences where I think I'm less likely to lose a significant number of potential paperback buyers if the hard copy is not available on the day a reader discovers my book. Also, because those are crowded categories, giving readers additional time to discover my books is likely to outweigh any other potential disadvantages. But I will definitely be putting something in my description stating that there will be a concurrent paperback release, and I will make an effort to encourage those people I know who are going to buy the book to do so within a narrower window so that I can get the full benefit of the boost in ranking.

In conclusion, I think the decision of whether to do the pre-order and for how long to do it depends heavily on your specific circmstances - what type of book it is, how much and what type of marketing you're planning to do, how many buyers you personally can bring to the table, and so on.

Long answer to a short question, I know, but I hope it helps. :)

Lori


message 6: by Meredith (new)

Meredith Mansfield | 10 comments Thanks everyone. I have an epic fantasy (second in a four book series) releasing in mid-December. Currently mulling how long to make the pre-order period.

I was thinking a month, but with the Hot New Releases complication, may go for two weeks instead. (Book 1 hit the Hot New Releases in three categories--Epic Fantasy, Sword and Sorcery, and Coming of Age. Book 2 won't be eligible for Coming of Age.)

Of course, I've still got to nail the blurb anyway.


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

I'd be interested in hearing how the preorder works out for you Caroline.

- Brad


message 8: by T.H. (new)

T.H. Hernandez (thhernandez) | 113 comments I've had mine on pre-order since October 30. So far, I have ten pre-orders and pretty sure they're all friends or friends of friends. Not sure if on a first book it makes sense. I think once the second book in the series is ready, it might make sense to set up pre-order on that and put the first book on sale.


message 9: by Gibson (new)

Gibson Michaels | 15 comments T.H. wrote: "I've had mine on pre-order since October 30. So far, I have ten pre-orders and pretty sure they're all friends or friends of friends. Not sure if on a first book it makes sense. I think once the second book in the series is ready, it might make sense to set up pre-order on that and put the first book on sale. "
Agreed... that's "why" I've scheduled my first 5-Day FREE giveaway for Book-1, M-F, Nov. 10-14, while pre-orders for Book-2 is still active.


message 10: by T.H. (new)

T.H. Hernandez (thhernandez) | 113 comments Makes sense. I swear there is so much to learn with this!


message 11: by S. (new)

S. Aksah | 100 comments I did a pre-order for 2 months. Did nothing much for me.


message 12: by Ken (new)

Ken (kendoyle) | 347 comments I suspect preorders work well for authors who have legions of fans anxiously waiting for their next release. I don't, which is why I'll make my next book available as soon as it's published. No sense in waiting.


message 13: by Caroline (new)

Caroline Gebbie Bradford wrote: "I'd be interested in hearing how the preorder works out for you Caroline.

- Brad"


Thanks Brad. I sold 15 copies, with very little promotion and none from friends and family - my books are very gruesome so I don't share them that much. I think I will continue to use it as I have the link to the next book in the back of this one and when I get the series out I think it will be well worth it.


message 14: by D.C. (new)

D.C. | 198 comments I have a book that's releasing on December 1st up for pre-order (it's been available since mid-October). The response has been very slow, but this is not a series that I ever expect big sales on because there is just not an enormous market for LGBT inspirational romances. I'm really not sure if it's been helping or hurting. It has allowed me to play with promos a little, and I think it's a positive with book bloggers. I've also seen some movement on earlier books in the series. Ask me on December 2nd or 3rd and I'll probably have a more definitive answer.


message 15: by Meredith (new)

Meredith Mansfield | 10 comments Well, it's up for pre-order with three weeks to publication. I guess I'll see what happens.


message 16: by T.H. (new)

T.H. Hernandez (thhernandez) | 113 comments I set up my preorders about 3-1/2 weeks out. I only got about a dozen preorders, but it helped me with marketing. I had a link I could send people to. And once the book released, I did get quite a few borrows through KU in the first few days and I think that was due to the pre-release marketing.


message 17: by Meredith (new)

Meredith Mansfield | 10 comments 5 so far. I think it helps that this is the second book in a series. :)


message 18: by Gibson (new)

Gibson Michaels | 15 comments Let me preface this story by saying that I am a member of over 280 Facebook groups, and I heavily "advertised" in virtually all of those groups during my recent pre-order / giveaway promo.

First off, I noted that daily sales for Book-1 in my trilogy increased by ~4X what it had been averaging, just after I launched the pre-order for Book-2.

Book-1 cracked the Amazon Kindle PAID Best Seller (#66) list in one category, just prior to my beginning a 5-day FREE giveaway on it. During that giveaway, 1,567 downloads of Book-1 occurred over these five days, reaching #1 on the Amazon Kindle FREE "Best Beller" list in two different categories, and held them for over 36 hours. Naturally, Book-1 fell off the PAID Best Seller list during that giveaway, but surprisingly appeared back on it (#78) just two days after it went back to its regular price.

During the five week pre-order period for Book-2, 157 pre-orders were sold. On release day, Book-2 cracked the Amazon Kindle PAID Best Seller list in three different categories (#28, #46 and #50).

From a marketing perspective, having both books crack the "Top-100" in Amazon Kindle PAID Best Seller rankings is huge. It bodes well for when I put Book-3 up for pre-order, sometime in January.

-- Gibson Michaels


message 19: by Meredith (new)

Meredith Mansfield | 10 comments I think timing has a lot to do with it, too. This may not have been the best week to start.

Unfortunately, my attempted promotions didn't pan out. (A lot of competition for those spots this time of year.)

I have seen an up tick in sales of book 1, though not as much as I hoped. It's on sale next week (part of Clean Indie Reads Christmas Sale) so that should help.

I've had 60 pre-orders in less than a week, so that's good.

I'll have an opportunity to plan ahead better next time (book 3). And I'll know what I'm doing (at least a little).


message 20: by Linda (new)

Linda Rappoport | 35 comments So I guess I'm doing giveaways. What price range did you settle on after the giveaways. I'm on face book and have targeted the horsey set, but haven't even mentioned my book yet. I'm very new to the publishing/marketing game so I'll have to stumble along and take advice from you pros. Help is always appreciated.


message 21: by Ken (new)

Ken (kendoyle) | 347 comments Linda, are you talking about Goodreads giveaways or KDP Countdown/free promos? For Goodreads giveaways, I didn't make any price changes. I did a few Countdown promos and those that I advertised worked well. I experimented with a couple of stages but a simple drop from the regular price of $2.99 to $0.99 during the promo worked best.


message 22: by Linda (new)

Linda Rappoport | 35 comments Thanks Ken, I will do just that. I'm talking about KDP Countdown. Also did you do Kindle Select. I'm very confused about that. If anyone else has any suggestions, I'm open.
Tx


message 23: by Meredith (new)

Meredith Mansfield | 10 comments You have to do Kindle Select in order to do a KDP Countdown Deal. It's not available otherwise.


message 24: by Meredith (new)

Meredith Mansfield | 10 comments As of this morning, 175 pre-orders. Pretty good. Now that I've got the final uploaded, maybe I'll even have a chance to do some promotion.


message 25: by Linda (new)

Linda Rappoport | 35 comments Congrats. I hope I can do as well. It's encouraging to have you all pitch in with your comments. I no longer feel like I'm treading water in the dark and can't see which way to shore. Good Luck to everyone who takes this journey.


message 26: by Gibson (new)

Gibson Michaels | 15 comments Gibson wrote: "Let me preface this story by saying that I am a member of over 280 Facebook groups, and I heavily "advertised" in virtually all of those groups during my recent pre-order / giveaway promo.

First..."


My first pre-order experience on Book-2 of my trilogy worked out so well, I just put Book-3 up for pre-order. Publication Date: 3/2/15

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00QNW236I/


message 27: by Linda (new)

Linda Rappoport | 35 comments Thanks Gibson, I will try to follow in your footsteps. Good Luck on #3.


message 28: by Jack (new)

Jack Erickson (goodreadscomjack_erickson) | 2 comments I've posted my first pre-sell, "Bloody Mary Confession," which will be available December 14 on all ereader sites.

Baseball . . . Hollywood . . . and murder. And some sexy parts too . . .

amzn.to/1zCaJ42

I have published several short mysteries in the past, all with a twist at the end. Reviews were very positive with many saying (paraphrasing here): "I wish this story was longer, I wanted more."

BMC started as a 7500 short story, edited, cover designed, a clever twist at the end, ready to go. I held back, deciding to see if I could turn it into a novel. I expanded to 20 K words, novella length, then to 40 K words adding new characters, subplots, backstories.

Once I reached the 40 K word 'mini-novel' length, I started over one more time and found places to punch up the intrigue, drama and character development.

BMC is now over 60 K words and ready to go.

It was a great learning experience. I was patient, taking time to anticipate what readers would want to know more about -- characters, conflict, and especially drama. I devoted nearly three chapters, building up to the suspenseful climax when readers learn the meaning of Bloody Mary Confession.

If you're interested, BMC is discounted 33% at Smashwords to two bucks. A real deal. Enter the code: LK23A

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/...

Hope you like it!

Jack


message 29: by Meredith (new)

Meredith Mansfield | 10 comments Final tally: 633 pre-orders.

And it broke into the top ten Hot New Releases for Sword and Sorcery. I call that a success. :)


message 30: by Gibson (new)

Gibson Michaels | 15 comments Meredith wrote: "Final tally: 633 pre-orders.

And it broke into the top ten Hot New Releases for Sword and Sorcery. I call that a success. :)"


Gratz! Nine days into my Book-3 pre-order: 41.


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