Of Writers and Prose: Do Indie Authors Really Need the Pre-order Option?

Quill-InkBy now, you’ve all heard about Amazon allowing for authors to do pre-orders. At first, everyone was all ga-ga about this, but as the days wore on, some of that shiny began to wear off. I’m not going to sit here and tell you the pros and cons of this feature, or why you should or shouldn’t sign on. That’s not my job, and no one should dictate how to run your career.

I’m not doing it. Not on Amazon, not on Smashwords.

Pre-orders are a great tool for Trade publishers to get an understanding of how popular a book will be. I remember the excitement surrounding the new Harry Potter books and people were pre-ordering so they were guaranteed a copy when it was released. This makes sense for publishers. It gives them an idea of how many books to print up, ensuring that everyone who wants a copy gets one, but I’m a digital author. There are no books to print or to ship out. When my book is published, there is literally an endless supply of copies and anyone can purchase my book at several online retailers any time they want. Along those same lines, if did have a print book, it would be P.O.D, and once again, there would be an un-limited supply.

There could be one advantage to Amazon pre-order; the sales jump and bump in rank. I’ve gone on record here stating that sales are the only thing that affect your rank on Amazon’s Top 100, so how to pre-orders fit into this? More importantly, for how long does it affect your rank position? I think these are things all authors need to look at, if they’re going to use this feature.

What about pre-orders do you like? Do you use them? Are you in the future?


About Darke Conteur
Darke Conteur is a writer at the mercy of her Muse. The author of stories in several genres, she prefers to create within the realms Science Fiction and Dark Fantasy. A pagan at heart, her personal goal it to find her balance within nature; exploring the dark through her stories and the light through her beliefs. When not writing or working with crystals, she enjoys knitting, gardening, cooking and very loud music.

3 Responses to Of Writers and Prose: Do Indie Authors Really Need the Pre-order Option?

  1. Nya Rawlyns says:

    Apparently pre-orders count as sales so if you have a sufficient number to put you in the ranks, then on launch day you are way ahead of the game, and any additional sales that come with the usual first day flurry will only boost your visibility more. So yes, it is a good marketing tool.

  2. I just used it. I’m releasing a new series, the first two books close together. If they preorder, it’s a special low price. On release day, the price goes up. So yeah, it’s a marketing tool.

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