by Ray Brehm
Hi everyone! There have been a lot of questions and misconceptions about pre-order out there the last few months, so I want to set the record straight.
The first rule of Pre-Order is:
DON’T USE PRE-ORDER WITH YOUR FIRST BOOK.
Now that you have agreed to that (haha), here is the other side of it.
Pre-Order is a very powerful way to launch, especially if you already have your first book published and have some kind of list. I have seen a lot of misinformation in mastermind groups about pre-orders, especially from people who have never actually used it.
No matter what you are looking for, always remember to please make sure the people you are getting advice from have actually done what they are advising you on!
Pre-Order seems scary, but……You simply have to have all your ducks in a row, and once again, don’t use pre-order with your first book. You have to have handle on all aspects and gotchas of publishing before you try it yourself.
That being said, Pre-Order is the only method I use to launch books now. I find it easier to hit Bestseller and a less stressful way to manage a stealth period.
I read someone post recently that Amazon weights against Pre-order. I have found no evidence of Amazon “weighting against” your book, in fact the quite opposite! My experience has been that the Orange Banner appears slightly easier during Pre-Order. You can also get the banner with zero reviews (because reviews cannot be posted during pre-order).
Should you listen to me? That is debatable (haha), but in the last 6 months I have launched 4 of my own books, and managed the launches of at least 20 others, all using Pre-Order, and ALL became Bestsellers.
Here is the way I see it:
- Divide up the tasks, during Pre-Order no one can buy or download your book, so you can perfect your Amazon Book Description page, and more importantly just focus on marketing your book
- Get Bestseller Banner out of way (in some cases) and use that in advertising once you release: “Became a Bestseller Before It Was Released”
- Sales carry forward (as a batch), and allocated across first three days towards the big lists USA Today, etc (Amazon does Bestseller lists hourly). This helps you concentrate sales to the first three days of release (and you can work other promos during that time). Think about having 30-60 days to batch up all your sales, and then have them release across your first three days.
- You can test your message, and conversion rates on that message, before it is even live.
- Can’t use most many types of promos (those that require reviews). That’s ok, you can line those up for right after release. A Pre-Order Launch can be very effectively done by focusing your efforts with Bookbub Ads (not Featured Deals).
- You are not doing a Free Launch and you will not get a post Free Launch bump (but I have found this). You can still set a free period up to occur after the release date.
- There is a risk of not being ready. This is simple, just like a regular launch, do not press the button to set up pre-order until you have everything back from (editors, formatters, cover designers). Do not do it until you do and you are in complete control. Set Pre-Order release date at least 30 days out.
- You won’t have your launch team sending you errors in your mobi file, unless you send them the upload. So make sure you have it right. That being said, you can upload new versions of your cover, or interior file right up until 3 days before release.
- Like anything, it will be a little nerve racking the first time.
Oh, and one more thing, did I mention:
Don’t use Pre-order on your first book.
My next launch will be a pre-order and if you want to see a pre-order launch up close, feel free to join my launch team. I am sharing a behind the scenes documentary on what I do, with my launch team for my new book Rock Star Business Card. You can check it out at RockStarBusinessCard.com.Or you can have me handle your launch using these techniques, and get trained on how to do it yourself next time: ghostlauncher.com