Why You Need a Pre-Order Book Strategy

You finished your book! Congratulations are in order. Completing a book can be a lifetime achievement and is a big step toward becoming a successful author. So now that the book is done, is it time to relax? Well, not exactly. Now’s the time to start thinking about your pre-order book strategy. A pre-order campaign is a great way to build momentum for your book launch . Without it, you might struggle to hit your initial sales target. So, let’s take a closer look.

How do book pre-order campaigns work?

A pre-sale period is the time between when your completed book is ready for distribution and when it’s actually available for sale. Don’t think of a pre-sale period as days or weeks. Think months. In fact, I often suggest authors begin telling the story of their book long before it has actually been completed. Offering small glimpses into your creative process, or ideas that didn’t quite make the final cut are great ways of building a buzz before your final draft is even complete. The longer the pre-sale period, the more time you have to promote your book .

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How to boost your pre-order book sales

A successful pre-order book strategy will make use of all of the marketing channels you have available. There are the obvious ones like posting on social media , an email newsletter, your author website . But think outside the box, too. Could you partner with a local bookstore to hold a pre-order event where you read a snippet of the book? If you’re being interviewed on the radio or for a podcast, ask for a shout-out.

It’s not just a case of letting people know your book is on the way, although awareness is obviously important. To encourage people to place a pre-sale order, you’ll need to offer incentives. Bonuses for these early bird fans could include:

  • Pre-order swag: a guaranteed signed copy of your book, an exclusive excerpt, a sneak peek of a deleted scene, etc.
  • Discounted book price
  • A charitable donation of their choice
  • A shoutout on social media
Photography book on a pink background

Use the time to get your book reviewed

Before your book officially launches, send exclusive early proof copies to trusted readers, fellow authors, or known experts in a relevant field. Positive reviews from the right people lend credibility to your project and help to build anticipation amongst your ideal target audiences.

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There are practical benefits too …

Some retailers place great emphasis on authors having pre-order promotions. Amazon , for example, tracks things like pre-sale page views, pre-orders, and adds to wish-lists to help determine the number of books they will order.

In essence, a pre-order book strategy is about building excitement around your book before it launches. The earlier you can start this process the better. Use all your available marketing channels to ensure that when your book is officially available for sale, there is already a long list of readers who have made their purchase. This is no guarantee your book will become a bestseller, but at the very least you are laying the foundation for a successful publishing experience.


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