Writer’s Journal: Pre-orders

Welcome back to Austen Promises and the Writer’s Journal!


For the first time in my four years as an author and publisher, I did a pre-order. For those who might not know what that means, I uploaded my book onto the vendor sites, and they allowed people to order it before it was actually available. It will be delivered to their devices on October 20th, which is four days after this post goes live, if I counted correctly.

There are advantages and disadvantages to doing a pre-order, just as there are for everything else in life. The biggest advantage is that the book is earning money while I’m still getting it ready. The digital files were complete, but the print was not, and I intended for them to all be published as close to the same day as possible. That did not happen; the print and large print went live the same day … a full week before the ebook. I was disappointed, but I’m sure it’s my fault. I must have missed something in the uploading and previewing process.

That being said, and this is a second advantage to putting books on pre-order, I’m glad I did it, because readers at DarcyandLizzy alerted me to a major typo, I was able to get all the files fixed, both print and ebook, and re-upload them.

The third advantage is related to the first: you can get your print books out and selling at or near the date of your ebook release. Many of you know that I have always just missed it with timing. Usually, the ebook is out well before the print, which is fine on the one hand, because ebooks are where the money is to be made and print is not such a large chunk of my income. I prefer, though, to have them all come out at once. Now, that may never be possible. It could be that I was imagining things when I thought the regular-sized print was set to come out the same day as the ebook. Or it could be that I just need to keep refining my processes. I’ll do my best to pay better attention the next time. 🙂

As I mentioned before, there are disadvantages. The biggest that I have found so far is the wait for the actual release. I set my release date for almost two weeks away from my initial upload, and a week ahead of it, I uploaded the final files. Now I have to sit here and wait for the release. It’s not easy being patient! LOL

Another disadvantage is that I don’t actually see the sales numbers for my pre-orders in my vendor dashboard, or on BookReport. At Amazon’s back end, called Kindle Direct Publishing, or KDP, I have to go into a tab called “reports” and click on the pre-order reports. Even then, I only get the number of books pre-ordered (102 as I type this on Sunday evening.) I have to do the math myself. I am estimating at this point, because I don’t remember the exact royalty figure and am not motivated enough to dig for it. LOL At other vendors (and for Nook, I never saw a “pre-order” option), I have not figured out where to find pre-order numbers.

So will I do a pre-order again? I might. I’d like to see how closely I can get the editions to release. I do like knowing that I am earning that money, too. It helps me relax a bit while I finish up the other release-related activities that I must do. I think I’ll take it book by book for now.

Have you ever put one of your books on pre-order? What was your experience like?

Come back next Wednesday for another peek into my journal! <3

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