Great info over at Live.Write.Thrive on how to use Amazon’s PreOrder feature. Here are some key bullet points in the article that can help you to make wise preordering decisions (please visit the site for the entire article). Penny C. Sansevieri, Founder and CEO Author Marketing Experts, and best-selling author says:
- First Time Published Author: If you’re a newly published author, the idea of a preorder probably seems exciting, right? Your book is up on the Amazon site as time ticks down to its release. And while it seems exciting, it’s not advisable to spend a ton of marketing time on the book because you can’t get reviews (though there is a workaround for that), but using this to build a fan base may not be the best idea.
- Already Published Author: If you have a book out there (or several), and you’ve built a mailing list of fans, then preorder may be a fun thing to do to build excitement for your upcoming book.
I would still caution that the lion’s share of your work should only begin when the book is actually ready for purchase. Why? Because unless you are some mega-bestselling author, it’s hard to drive significant numbers to a preorder page.
The other issue is immediacy. If a reader wants something now, they may not want to wait for your book to be ready and will, instead, buy another Amazon-recommended book. Also, this is another reason to keep your preorder time short—which I’ll explain next.
<<<I only gave about 2 weeks for my preorders. Penny explains why you should keep your Preorder time short>>>
- Timing of Your Preorder: Though I know there are folks who are fans of long preorders, I am not one of them. Amazon allows you up to ninety days, but when I’ve done this, I have found that a month is just about right. That way you can promote it to family, friends, and even your e-mail list, and still build some momentum for it without spending a ton of time pushing a book that no one can read.
- Promoting a Preorder: Along the lines of what we discussed earlier, I would share this with your followers and your e-mail or newsletter list. If this is your second, third, or fourth book, the interest is going to be stronger than if it’s your first. But even a newbie author should not be discouraged from pushing this to folks who know you to let them know it’s coming. You can do this through images, blog posts, Facebook posts, and Twitter updates.
- Pricing Your Preorder: For reasons I mentioned earlier, I would keep your pricing low— even if you plan on raising it later. Why? Well, you’re competing with millions of titles on Amazon and your book isn’t ready (yet), so the immediacy isn’t there. If you want to entice an impulse buy, keep the pricing lower at first, then once the book is live, you can always raise it.