Yes, your book is a fabulous literary work that is destined to impact many a life. It is a work of art, born of deep heartfelt passion. It is a resource of important information or data, a font of knowledge. But guess what else your book is? It is a product.

The sooner an aspiring author grasps the concept that the book they write is a marketable product to be sold to generate income, the better. With this understanding, self-published authors can begin to conjure up a big picture plan of creative ways to get their book into the hands of readers—also, the sooner, the better. Hence, the book preorder campaign.

Marketing your finished product will involve myriad strategies that, when executed thoughtfully, will help catapult your book to success. An effective way to launch that book marketing strategy is through a preorder book campaign. This option allows the author to begin showing off their upcoming book for a certain period before its actual publication.

How Do Preorders Help Authors?

A preorder campaign is an advanced listing of your book that allows customers to purchase it in advance of publication. A preorder book sale lays the foundation for bringing your book to market. By doing the preliminary steps to set up a preorder book sale, you position the book for a higher rate of success. There are several ways that a preorder book marketing strategy can help boost interest in your upcoming book:

  • The more books you sell before the book is launched, the higher your sales ranking will be when it publishes. Why not be a successful author right out of the gate?
  • The sooner you get book reviews, the sooner you are positioned to begin promoting your book through advertising campaigns. Preorders get the ball rolling before the book is even published. These early birds will receive their books first, and will hopefully not be shy about leaving a review.
  • Like a snowball rolling downhill, your preorder campaign efforts help the book gather interest and momentum over the 90-day preorder period.
  • As you share with followers on social media about the progress of your work in progress, you will always include the preorder link and capture these early sales.
  • If you have authored other books, you can cross-promote by updating the back matter of the existing book to include the new upcoming title.

How Do You Set Up a Preorder for Self-Published Books?

Setting up a preorder book sale is easy. Generally, you can expect the following basic steps when you select the preorder option:

  • Enter the book details, including the price. These can be modified up to a certain point during the pre-sale period.
  • While you don’t need the final version of your interior file when you set up a preorder book sale, you will need the cover art file to upload to the product page.
  • Provide the book’s release date. While authors are allowed up to a year for pre-sale, it is advisable to keep that window shorter, such as 90 days.
  • Some may want to upload a sample chapter to the listing.
  • Submit listing.
  • Authors should upload the final interior file no later than 10 days prior to the publication date to allow enough time to work out any formatting issues that may crop up.

6 Ideas to Include in Your Book Preorder Campaign

A preorder book campaign can be really fun, as the author can get creative in tailoring the details to suit the book’s genre. The campaign should be thought of as a marketing tool, something that attracts potential readers to purchase your book hopefully. Here are a few ideas to get you thinking:

A book giveaway contest.

This is a great way to capture leads that can be invaluable for future promotions. Select your most active social media platform and announce the contest and the date of the drawing. Have an opt-in email form where they can enter to win a free copy.

Build an author fan club.

Use your Facebook product page to grow a following. Interact with posts often, and keep all conversations upbeat as you build a relationship with your following. Post chatty Facebook posts that end with a question, as in seeking feedback about something, which elicits more engagement. Keep your followers in the loop about the book’s progress and talk up your book regularly, providing the preorder link.

Offer some freebies.

Everyone loves some free swag! Offer something in exchange for submitting a screenshot of their preorder receipts, such as a cool pin, branded stickers or notepad. If you want to keep the price down, consider a digital freebie, such as a signed poster download.

Offer a discounted price on earlier titles.

Leverage earlier books to help sell the new one by offering a discount on the older title.

Update your social media images.

Use that prime real estate to call attention to your upcoming title. Incorporate the book cover art or create a call-to-action banner to inspire followers to preorder.

Special preorder pricing.

Everybody loves a bargain. Announce on your channels that you will be offering special pricing for your book exclusively for preorders.

What Does a Successful Preorder Campaign Look Like?

Preorder campaigns are all about generating buzz around your book. Setting up a preorder book campaign that bears fruit will take time and patience, efforts that will be handsomely rewarded. A successful preorder book campaign can be crafted using the following steps:

Build an audience.

  • Blog. If you already have a blog, then you have a built-in audience for talking up your book. Even if it is just a blurb at the end of a blog post announcing your upcoming book, you will be stirring up interest.
  • Social media. Use your social media platforms to promote your book. Set up a Facebook author page or Instagram author page specifically for your book and start adding interesting content related to the theme of the book. Always mention your “soon to be released” book in each post.
  • Website. If you have an author website, gather the emails you collect from followers so you can use MailChimp to send occasional reminders of the book’s publication date. Once you set up a preorder book sale, promote it via an attractive email announcement.

Tease them with excerpts.

Share short excerpts from the book on your social media platforms to stir up curiosity in your upcoming book. Create stunning graphics on Adobe Spark to make these snippets of content stand out and grab the reader’s attention.

Have a countdown.

Your followers will love being swept up in the excitement preceding the preorder book sale. Short posts such as: “Looking for a great summer read? 8 days until [book title] is available for pre-sale.”

Reveal cover art.

Offering a visual, such as posting a sneak peek of your book’s cover art on social media, can be very effective in making the book feel tangible versus conceptual.

Entice them.

During the preorder period, entice potential customers to pull the trigger and order your book by offering it at a special price. Once the book is published, you can easily raise the price.

Have a preorder launch.

Why not host a wine and cheese party for family and friends the day the book becomes available for pre-sale? This can be a casual event where you have an opportunity to thank your supporters and chat up the book. Surely these folks will happily be among your earliest customers.

After sowing the seeds through these efforts, you will be well-positioned to benefit significantly when the preorder book campaign goes live.

Learn More About How to Make Your Self-Published Book a Success

Setting up a preorder book sale is only one aspect of preparing for a successful publishing outcome. To make this book launch the best it can be, reach out to Gatekeeper Press for expert publishing guidance every step of the way. They can help with formatting, editing, and proofreading, as well as all your artistic needs, such as cover design or illustrations. Gatekeeper Press is here to help you make your book an amazing success. Contact us today!