Amazon has an exciting new distribution option that allows you to setup a pre-order page for your book so that you can get orders before your book goes live. Businesses and large publishers love pre-orders because it can generate new sales and get things rolling, but indie authors might not see the intrinsic value of this option. This can be one of the best ways to get your book exposure while keeping your readers happy.
How it Works
Amazon now allows you to set a pre-order page for up to 90 days before the book is actually released. Normally you have to have the final manuscript finished and submitted before you get a product page, but this gives you the opportunity to get a product page long before the book is ready. You’ll need to upload the final manuscript 10 days before the book goes live though, so keep that in mind.
Making the pre-order is easy. Create a new title (this can only be done with new and original books) and go through the normal steps until you reach the section about book release options. Choose to make the book available for pre-order and then enter your final release date. That’s all there is to it. You’ll have to submit a manuscript so that it can be reviewed for content, but you can use this time to polish it up and make changes. Be sure that this manuscript is close to finished because the pre-order page will show the number of words in the manuscript. If it’s small and far from finished, then people might think you’re selling a really short book.
Exposure is everything when it comes to selling books, and this gives you a great way to gain more of it. First of all, you have your own product page now. You can send people there, readers can find it while searching and they can start buying the item. This will improve its rank, and it gives you a landing page for marketing.
Also, Amazon has a page of pre-order books that will be coming out soon. This puts your book in another section that’s fairly small and easy to skim through, so people looking for pre-orders can quickly find your book. Being listed in as many places as possible greatly improves your odds of success, so this is a major boon to authors.
Before the pre-order, you could launch indirect pre-order marketing, but it would be choppy at best. You could direct people to your blog where you talked about the book, but you couldn’t get them to buy until the book was finally released. This new option allows you to bring people directly to the product page where they can buy the book. They won’t get it now, and you won’t get the money until the final release, but you can start racking in the sales with some clever marketing.
You should also reach out to your mailing list if you have one. Don’t bombard them (most readers still prefer to buy the book when it’s finally released, so don’t use all your marketing muscle yet), but tell them that they can reserve their book and have it delivered the moment it’s released.
Anyone who buys your pre-order should be appreciated, don’t you agree? The reason for this, especially in a digital setting where scarcity doesn’t apply, is to build buzz and make your fans feel special. You can lower the price on your pre-order to entice some impulse buyers. For example, if you plan on selling the book for $3.99, then make the pre-order price $2.99 for a short time. You’ll give your readers something to cheer about, and they’ll gladly fork over their money before the book is even released.
Amazon’s new pre-order option gives you the ability to build buzz, exposure and money before the final product is available for download. While you’ll surely make the most of your sales after the pre-order, this gives you some great marketing opportunities that you shouldn’t pass up. Now’s time for a small push to get readers excited.
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