Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Indies and Pre-Orders

Last week, Amazon gave indie authors the ability to make their books available for pre-order. (Smashwords already offered authors this feature.) The final version has to be uploaded ten days before the release date; if it's not, the author loses the pre-order feature for a year. I'm not certain yet if pre-order sales are counted as they accrue or on the release day. If the latter, then the spike in sales can give the book a boost up the charts and increase its visibility. Admittedly, not all books may generate pre-orders, especially for new authors or series without an established fan base willing to buy them sight unseen. (Even if you don't get a lot of pre-orders, it may be helpful to have a buy link ready when setting up marketing. At the very least, pre-orders impose a schedule for getting the book out.)

I'm not sure yet how useful this feature will be, but I can't resist experimenting with it. I've therefore made my next book, Seasons' Beginnings, Book One of the Season Avatars series, available for pre-order. It's a fantasy novel, and it'll release October 21, 2014. (It's mostly done, but I'm waiting for feedback from my beta readers before I do the final proofreading.) I already posted the link on my blog, but I'm shameless enough to do it here too, along with the cover and blurb:

Kron Evenhanded is an artificer, able to enchant any man-made object, but he finds people more difficult to work with. When he visits the city of Vistichia, he encounters Sal-thaath, an extremely magical but dangerous child created by Salth, another magician Kron knew at the Magic Institute. Kron attempts to civilize Sal-thaath, but when his efforts lead to tragedy, Kron is forced to ally himself with a quartet of new deities and their human Avatars. Together they must defend Vistichia as Salth attempts to drain its life and magic. But Salth has Ascended halfway to godhood over Time. Will Kron’s artifacts be enough to protect the Avatars, especially the woman he loves, or will Time separate them?

 What do you think about pre-orders? Readers, do you pre-order books, or will you wait for them to become available? Authors, would you use this feature, or do you prefer publishing as soon as the book is ready?


  1. It'll be interesting to see how the pre-order option affects things. Brandon (from A Beer for the Shower) is do the pre-order thing for his new book, which comes out in about a week.

  2. I'm testing it with one, though I doubt it'll be very useful for me.

  3. It's always worth experimenting with these new options. Even if they don't work in one instance, they could still work for something else.

  4. I'd seen where Amazon was making this an option. I agree that it will be most useful for those with an existing fanbase. But it's nice to know that indie-writers have another tool in their hat that was previously unavailable.