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Friday, August 30, 2013

Smashwords expecting to hit big with pre-orders

This is how their announcement runs:

Here's how preorders work:

1.  You upload your book from the normal Smashwords Publish page and set a release date (aka your "onsale" date) that is in the future.  We and our retailers recommend at least four weeks in the future to get the most benefit from preorders, though you can do less.

2.  Your fans reserve their preorder copies in advance.  When the book officially goes onsale in the future, their credit card is charged.

3.  At Apple and Kobo, all accumulated preorders credit all at once on the same day, which can cause your book to spike in genre or store-wide bestseller lists.  *THIS* is the magic of preorders.  This increases the visibility of your book, which increases discoverability and sales, which then leads to a virtuous cycle of more sales driving more sales.

4.  Preorders allow authors to stage strategic, advance marketing campaigns prior to your release date.  The longer your preorder runway (the time your book is available for preorder), the greater your opportunity to accumulate preorders.

5.  Advance delivery so your book is ready for purchase at these major retailers on your official release date.  No more wondering when the retailer will list your book.  By working in advance with a preorder, the retailer has more time to process, list and promote your book.

And the internet was supposed to be instantaneous ...  But that was not how it worked, at all.

With distributors (like Smashwords) logging a definite time-lag in listing changes (such as price) in your book, staging promotions was a hit-and-miss affair.  Hopefully, with this initiative, that will be fixed.

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