Setting up your self-published e-book for a pre-order is a great way of attracting the masses. However, it is also completely optional. You could call for pre-orders for your e-book or just start taking orders from the launch date. We do recommend that you use the book release feature, as it can help you in your marketing campaigns, helping you build hype around what you’re going to launch.
If you decide to make your e-book available for pre-order, lowering your book’s cost initially is a great idea. This not only brings in more customers, but it opens up the possibility of an impulse buy. It also creates value for the early buyers.
Amazon allows a 90-day pre-order period. They will create your product page within 24 hours of signing up for the pre-order option, and will then release the book at midnight on the day you select. Ideally, you should allow for pre-ordering of your e-book just a few weeks before release, so it’s not forgotten by the time it releases. Finalize a release date, and remember to upload the final version of your e-book at least 10 days before the scheduled date. If you want to publish immediately, do not select this option.
How Should You Start?
If you want to use the pre-order option on Amazon, first you need to become a KDP author. Once you have created your account, go to “Select your Book Release Option” and select “Make my book available for pre-order.”
Apple iBooks also allows uploads of pre-orders, up to a year before the book’s release date. In Kobo and SmashWords, you can set up your book for pre-order 180 days before the release date.
You can arrange limited pre-sales offers for your books and arrange a free giveaway. That way, you can get reviews even before your book releases. This may increase your sales after release.
Planning for pre-orders and pre-sales is not going to help you all by itself though. You need to spread the word that your book will be available. Use email, blog posts, and social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to let your friends and followers know about your impending book release. Build excitement in the weeks before your book launch through pre-orders, contest giveaways, and beta reader reviews.