The Importance of Pre-Orders
If you’re anything like I am, you follow some of your favorite authors on social media to keep up with new book releases and just general books news. Oftentimes, before the release of a book, authors will urge their readers to pre-order the book. Sometimes, they’ll even do a special pre-order campaign, where readers will get a pin or fanart or something else if they pre-order the book. I usually pre-order the book if it’s an author I really love, but I’ve never really thought about why pre-orders matter so much.
The most obvious reason is that pre-orders help build excitement for new books. If there is, like I mentioned above, for example a gift sent with the book, more people will be inclined to pre-order it. Most likely they will then tell their friends about it and thus spread the word about the book and build excitement for it.
According to Penguin Random House Publishing, “pre-orders can alert retailers… they should pay attention” to the book. Once retailers start paying attention to a book, they will promote it more and causing even more pre-orders and even more traction. In my research I’ve learned that in the world of publishing, attention is the most important thing to having a successful book launch (it doesn’t even necessarily have to be positive attention).
Something new I learned from my research is that all pre-orders count towards the first weeks of sales and that number of sales determines whether or not the book will appear on a bestseller list. The most famous list is the “New York Times” one, and as written in a vox.com article, “according to a 2004 study by economics professor Alan Sorensen, appearing on the “New York Times’s” best-seller list increased debut authors’ sales by 57 percent” (Grady). So, the higher the number of pre-orders, the higher the chance of landing on a bestseller list, a status that increases sale numbers, leading to a repeating, loop effect.
Finally, pre-orders help authors get future book deals because they serve as something for an author to refer back to. After the release of their first book, authors can go to a publishing company and tell them the number of pre-orders on a previous book’s launch. Based on that, the publishing company can make a calculated risk to see if it is worth it to invest in the author.
But, are pre-orders the only way for an author to build visibility and gain traction? No, they’re just the most obvious way. According to Penguin Random House Publishing authors can also increase their visibility by going on book tours and fan conventions, growing their following on social media, starting a newsletter and making connections with booksellers.
So, to conclude pre-orders are very important, especially for authors still trying to make their mark, so, if you can, go and pre-order some books to support authors!