Tag Archives: Pre-release

Debating the merits of a pre-release on Amazon’s KDP

I am super stoked.  I have a new book coming out.

Here’s the cover.

DarkCloudBookCover2

When I first saw it, I said, “I would read the heck out of that!”

 

 

It is the sequel to Dolbin School for the Extraordinary.  It looks like I have another series on my hands.  So I considered setting it up for pre-release.

Pre-releases like the big boys

Amazon now allows pre-orders for indie writers.  At first glance that sounds like a great idea.  You can use a pre-order as a way to get more buzz and word of mouth about your book.  In some book stores such as Kobo and Apple pre-orders are all counted as sales on the day the book is released.  That can be very beneficial.  Even for books that don’t sell much.

Say for example you know that you can sell 20 copies of a book.  Yes. Just 20.  20 of your friends are willing to shell out 99 cents for you.  Now, you set-up a pre-release for your book and you set a time table of six weeks from pre-release to actual release.  All the purchases over that six weeks actually count as sells in one day.  The day of release.  That can really throw a book up the best-seller lists.  At least on Kobo and iTunes.

How Amazon does it

On Amazon though, they currently count each pre-order sale that day in terms of rankings.  So if you set a pre-sale and all your friends by the 20 books, not on one day, but over six weeks, in terms of rankings that will hurt.  Now 20 sales over six weeks, isn’t bad for a lot of indie-writers, BUT 20 sales in ONE DAY can be a big deal.  On Amazon that’s enough sales to throw a book onto several best-seller categories and therefore increase visibility.

In fact, when I did the pre-release with Baseball and Aliens back in September I let the book be released early.  For two reasons, one you can’t leave a review with a pre-order book and secondly there is no preview available for customers.  You essentially only sell the book to people who are going to buy the book anyway.

Pre-release to your own mailing list

So with that knowledge, I am changing plans and not setting up a pre-release sales page for my new book.  Here is my plan.

Send pre-release review copies to people who have joined my Street Team.  They will get the book early to read before it is on Amazon.  Then when the book is uploaded to Amazon. I will send out notice to my mailing list first.  Then the next day I will send out a notice on this blog and Facebook.   David Gaughran in recommends this approach in his book Let’s Get Visible of spreading out the announcement of a book.

By doing it this way I am hoping for two things.  All the people that are going to buy the book anyway will buy the book in a narrow 48 hour window.  Secondly, by sending out pre-release review copies I can get enough reviews to move the algorithms.  Amazon favors books that have more reviews.  So hopefully there will be enough sales in a short amount of time to move it up best-sellers lists and with reviews increase.

If you are interested in reading the book for free before it is release please join my Street Team.

If you have an experience with a pre-release please share in the comments.