Monday 20 November 2017

Pre-orders & Promotion - The After Process


It's coming around to that time of year for me, when I start pulling my soon to be release, editing it to pieces and slowly putting it back together. I'm still doing two book releases in one year, after the success I had this year with both Dying Thoughts - Fifth Secret and It's Not Always Rainbows being released. I thought though that I would do a piece about the build up to release and all that went with it. That means setting up pre-orders, and dealing with the promotional aspect of getting ready for the big day. I thought I could split this into two categories, and first I'll start with my tips about pre-orders.


Why? You might be asking if it's worth it to do pre-orders. There are several reasons why I personally think it is. In my experience, it's better to do pre-orders than to not. I can outline those reasons, and while it may seem like a lot of hassle, it can be used as a good tool to get the word out about your book, leading into promotion.

So the number one reason is, it helps to built hype. If, like me, you're doing cover reveals and ARC, then you realise that having a link for people to pre-order makes a lot of sense. Otherwise you're utilising a very powerful tool with the cover reveal, but not giving any follow through. This means that readers might look at your awesome cover and want to buy the book, but if it's not up for pre-order, then they're more likely to forget by the time release date rolls around. It makes so much sense to combine the two. Have your cover reveal be the day you release the pre-order link. That way when all the blogs taking part in the cover reveal post, they're also doing a heck of promotion for you.

Another reason is, if the book is part of a series, it can draw people to the earlier books. For example, with the Dying Thoughts series, I pushed the first four books on a promotion once the fifth one went live on pre-order. It made people suddenly more interested in both my newest release, but also the books that came before it. It's a great tool to use, and if done well, can help you jump up in the rankings when it comes to release day.

That's another big reason: release day. You've got all this hype to build, and if no one can do anything in advance, like when they see a teaser, or a cover reveal, to click and buy the book, then you're working against yourself when it comes to the actual release. Yes, promotion around that time matters, and I'll get to that in a moment, but so does the weeks and months leading up to that day. If you've got a handy pre-order link, people will get invested, and readers will be waiting to get their hands on your masterpiece. It all works for you, and that's why pre-orders should be something you do.

I know that with KDP it's possible to do pre-orders on ebooks, and the same applies to Smashwords if you choose to go wide from the start. Paperbacks are harder, and I personally, don't have a way to set up a pre-order for them. That said, I find the majority of my sales are in ebook format, so for me, it works to release the paperback as close to the live date as possible to give Createspace a chance to distribute it to Amazon and such in time for the big day.

So, I've mentioned the other part of this piece a few times. Promotion is just as important during the after process as pre-orders. Both help build up hype for your book, and build an audience for your book. On top of that, it's a way to engage with your readers. If you're talking about the latest release and you're engaging with your audience, then they will be just as excited about it as you are. There are so many different ways to promote and I won't be able to cover them all in this piece. The obvious one, such as ads, seems like a no brainer. It's one I've used and will use again and again.

However, there are other ways to promote your book and previous works at the same time. A few of these you'll have seen around the social media sites, like taking part in Teaser Tuesday, sharing snippets on Instagram, quotes on Goodreads and all of that. You can do release day blitzes where you have a number of bloggers all plan to post something about your release on all their sites. It's all about getting the word out, but it doesn't start the day of release or even just before the cover reveal. It starts long before that.

I've got eleven books out, so I'm constantly promoting my previous works, while also promoting the works that will be released in 2018. On top of that, I'm sharing snippets on #1linewed from my current works in progress. Screenshots on Instagram and all of that will build the interest that you want, it also leads to engagement from your audience. It's not just blasting cyberspace with a link and a quick "buy my book" every day, it's about crafting an interest and spamming people with buy links doesn't do that.

A lot of people will say that you need to be reminding people that you've got something on offer, but the majority of people following you already know that. That's probably one of the reasons they follow you. So while it may take time, and it may seem liked a wasted tweet to start slowly and months in advance, it's the best path to take. The audience I have is small, but they also are very aware of what I'm writing at the moment, and what's coming out in 2018. So when it comes to promotion, yes, ads are a good thing, but also engaging, chatting, and make connections (and friends!) are also powerful tools.

What are you thoughts of pre-orders? Do you have that one author you one-click no matter what they write? Let me know in the comments below!

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