One of the great advantages large publishers have over self-publishers—really anyone using KDP—is that they can offer their books for pre-order. This allows them to market the book and capture early interest in the form of book orders. Once the book is released the pending orders are fulfilled and the Amazon algorithms take over and potentially reward the book with a sales ranking that gives it even more visibility, ideally “best seller” status. Under perfect circumstances it becomes self-perpetuating and the book continues to climb the charts.
Kindle Pre-Order gives micro publishers this same capability thus leveling the playing field.
Before going further I should point out that your book must be the final version or a draft manuscript before it can be scheduled for pre-order. Amazon explains a draft manuscript this way:
“Typically, a draft manuscript would be something like a complete book that might still need copyediting and proofreading.”
3 Important Things to Know
If that describes your book, here are the 3 most important things to know:
- You must upload your book for approval, just as you do today.
- Your final version must be uploaded to KDP at least 10 days prior to release date. So a 9/1 release requires the book be posted by 8/22.
- You can schedule the release up to 90 days in advance.
- The book goes live at midnight local time the day you select.
- Only new books are eligible. No public domain books.
- Pre-orders are reported immediately.
- Sales are reported the day it goes live and royalty payments follow the normal schedule.
Clearly this doesn’t work for those that have tight timeframes, or those that do not plan pre-release marketing. But I like to think of it as a reward for good planning. Perhaps we’ll start seeing more self-publishers emphasizing this aspect of the publishing process to take advantage of Kindle Pre-Order.
Here are two articles about planning that you might enjoy: