If you’ve followed Christian writers for any time, you’ve probably seen quite a few write a new book and then request not only that you order their book, but that you pre-order it. If you follow this Christian writer, you’ve recently seen me make that very request. But maybe you’ve wondered why there is all this emphasis on pre-orders. Allow me to explain. There are actually a few reasons why pre-orders are especially important for a successful book launch.
- Pre-orders are the #1 sign to booksellers that there’s interest in a book. Bookstores no longer just stock what they think will sell, but are increasingly looking to data and algorithms to tell them which books will be of special interest to readers. In large part, they look for books that have generated strong pre-sales. Basically, every pre-order is a message to a retailer that they should pay attention to this book.
- Retailers will sometimes lower prices during the pre-order window if there’s significant interest. This helps everyone get the best price. Many retailers, like Amazon, offer Pre-order Price Guarantees so you are sure to get the best price they offer from the time you pre-order until the book actually ships.
- Pre-orders build momentum for the author. This can lead to speaking invitations, publicity, radio interviews, and other helpful or even essential parts of a successful book launch.
- When books don’t get pre-orders, it can be difficult for bookstores and publishers to measure and meet consumer demand. When buyers pre-order books, it helps stores to manage their inventory and promotions, while publishers can manage their print runs and inventory. (When books launch and immediately run out of copies, as happened with one of mine, it’s often because they misjudged interest; a strong pre-order campaign would have alerted the publisher to print more copies before launch.)
- Often authors will have ideas for additional bonus materials that can be developed, but can’t be provided in the actual book due to limitations related to size or word count. (Think: study guides and other bonus content). The pre-order window is a great time to give away related pieces of content that will help or interest readers.
Of course there is also the benefit to you, as the reader, that if you pre-order, you will usually ensure you are one of the first to get the book! That’s especially true of online retailers that now ship the book before release day so it arrives on release day.
With all that said, if you intend to order my book Epic anyway, it would be helpful if you would pre-order it.