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.
Three important Things to Know
If that describes your book, here are the three 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 72 hours prior to release date.
- You can schedule the release up to one year in advance.
A cautionary note about number 1 and 2 above. In early 2020 one of our clients needed to make a last minute change to her eBook file. The new file was re-uploaded before the 72 hour cutoff but Amazon asked that we verify certain content was not available in the public domain. Unfortunately the confirmation request came within the 72 hour window and we could not comply with their request so the pre-order was cancelled.
We now recommend uploading files at least seven days prior to release, or even sooner. If Amazon flags a quality or property rights issue, you'll have time to fix it and resubmit.
A few other things to know:
- 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.
For details about this policy, and 33 other Amazon policies and programs, visit our Amazon Publishing Cheat Sheet here.
Here are two articles about planning that you might enjoy:
- The 2021 Guide to Amazon Fees and Royalties for Kindle eBooks and KDP Print
- Kindle eBook Royalties: 70% vs. 35% and 6 Essential Things You Need to Know
- Should You Use Amazon KDP Select or Distribute Your Book Wide?
- How to Research a Name for Your Self-Publishing Imprint
- How Much to Charge When Pricing a Self-Published Book to Sell on Amazon