Are Pre-Sales Important for Your Book Launch

Have you heard people saying, you have to put your book on pre-sale? Do you know what that means? Even more importantly, do you know if pre-sales are important for your book launch?

What is a pre-sale period?

In this video, I show you what it looks like when your book is on pre-sale:

Pre-sale period is the time between the upload of your book for retail listing and when it will ship out to readers.

Now, here’s when things get a little confusing and can be kind of tricky. A pre-sale period is not mandatory nor necessary. But, unless you’re only selling your book on Amazon you’re going to need time between when your book is done and you officially make it for sale to the world. There are a lot of things that have to happen before it’s really the right time to launch your book completely.

For starters, you have to make sure Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Chapters Indigo, Kobo, Apple, or wherever your book is going to be available, have been set up right. Book Launchers takes care of all of that but it still takes time to populate the catalogs across these companies. Each retailer has its own schedule and process.

Use your pre-sale period to build a foundation of success for your book’s launch and give these places time to properly populate.

How Long Should You Set up For Pre-Sale?

Again, you don’t need to do any pre-sale period. But, if you do, generally it’s ideal to spend a minimum of two weeks in pre-sale but not more than three months (Ingram Spark will let you spend up to a year in pre-sale but Amazon e-books can only be on for pre-sale for 90 days).

So what are you doing during this pre-sale period?

  1. Check distribution, pricing, and other meta-data at all distribution points.
  2. Sell copies to your early reviewers at a discount.
  3. Send readers to Amazon and other stores to buy books. If your readers are buying print copies, these pre-sale orders all add up and count as sales on your release date when the book ships out which gives you a good chance at cracking some top 100 bestseller sub-genres lists top 100 bestseller subs on top 100 bestseller sub-genre lists on sites like Barnes & Noble and Apple. If readers buy on Amazon, it counts the day the purchase is made. For the E version of your book on Kobo, the sale counts twice. They actually give it twice the weight as a regular sale so it’s easier to rank higher in pre-sale on Kobo. So woohoo for Kobo.
  4. Pre-sales help prevent inventory shortages on launch day. This helps reduce the likelihood you sell out on launch day and Amazon shows this temporarily out of stock message. If that happens, Amazon often tells a buyer the title is going to ship in four to six weeks. You will lose sales if it does that. Titles that are in stock will be listed as available and will ship immediately and that’s what you want.

Unless your book is on a really timely subject like a tax loophole or some brand new technology, then I would not rush the release of your book.

And, if you’re looking for more book launch marketing advice, check out these two videos: