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KDP Pre-orders: What’s the Point?

KDP Pre-orders: 80 days of Hype vs Getting the Book in the Hands of Readers 10 Days Sooner

Like many other indie authors, KDP’s announcement regarding pre-orders thrilled me. Having the ability to make my upcoming books known to readers via Amazon is a big deal. Visibility is the key to book marketing.

But after looking into the program, I’m not sure it’s worth it, and here’s why:

Preorder Req

 

Authors must upload their final manuscript 10 days before the launch date. That’s ten days of waiting around when your book could be in the hands of readers! I’m all for 80 days of hype, but that’s all it is: HYPE. I want my book in the hands of readers as soon as humanly possible so that they can form opinions based on the actual product and leave reviews on Amazon.

Benefits

  • List book up to 90 days in advance
  • Publicity for 80 days without a completed product

Risks

  • Miss your deadline and lose your pre-order privileges for a year
  • Not to mention disappointing your readers by postponing the release

Negatives

  • Holding back a book’s release for 10 days when you could be generating reviews and buzz based on the quality of the product and not on hype

This program certainly has benefits. I would love to have 80 days of free marketing on Amazon without having a finished product, but then reality invades. As an indie mid-lister,  I can’t schedule my books that precisely. Even given a 90 day window with the ability move the release date up, I am only one person with a real life that gets in the way, with contractors whose lives get in the way or whose schedules don’t mesh with my plan. I don’t have a staff or a dedicated team of editors who can work on strict deadlines. My workflow is very loose, and it has to be.

If you plan to use the pre-order option, I’d love to hear about your results. I just don’t think it’s going to work for my particular situation.

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