As you might know, Amazon KDP allows authors to setup pre-orders. Publishing professionals have been singing pre-orders praise for ages. All those sales take effect on the books release date and the Amazon rating shoots up.
I was so sure I'd do pre-orders for Chains of the Sciell until I leaned you can't do it through BookBaby. If the book has a future release date, it won't be available for sale on the online retailers websites until that date. To setup pre-orders for Chains of the Sciell, I'd have to put the book up on KDP. I started doing research, looking for pre-order case studies.
On the KDP Community, the discussion was heavy with anti pre-orders.
Pre-Orders? Why do it?
Pre-orders: just for the big boys?
I did some more research.
Author Marketing Experts: How to Boost Your Book with Amazon Pre-Order
Huffington Post: eBook Preorders Help Indie Authors Hit Bestseller Lists I might have to check out Smashwords
Amazon Kindle Pre-orders without Preview not so great for Indie Authors
A pre-order campaign is a great way to built buzz, but it may not be effective if you don't have a fan base, people who are looking forward to your book. For traditional publishers, pre order sales take effect on release day. For Amazon KDP, I've read different opinions on when sales take effect.
What Do Pre-Orders Mean for Your Book?
The campaign might work if you pair it with a blog tour, for instance. But, my blog tour is around the on sale date.
I started to question whether a pre-order campaign was worth the extra work of emailing BookBaby to stop distribution to Amazon and putting Chains of the Sciell on Amazon myself.
Smashwords: 2014 Smashwords Survey Reveals New Opportunities for Indie Authors
Publisher's Weekly: Advanced Marketing Tactics for Indie Authors
My focus for this book is getting pre-pub reviews. If the book isn't available for pre-orders, all my reviews will be up only on Goodreads. I setup Chains of the Sciell for pre-orders mostly for the space. If I get advance reviews, I don't want them concentrated on Goodreads.
Indies Unlimited: What You Need to Know about Amazon Pre-ordering
According to my research, doing pre-orders is the smart move. You're already doing heavy pre-pub promotion. Now, people can order your book during the promotion instead of just adding it to their To-Read pile.
Also, thanks to +Kelly Hashway's tip, I'm working with Patchwork Press. Through their Co-Op program, Chains of the Sciell will be on NetGalley for a month and I only paid $40. Also, Patchwork Press had some space available and they suggested I put Book 1 on NetGalley for a week! Two books for the price of one. So far, I'm happy with Patchwork Press. Now that my books are on NetGalley, I'm hoping for more reviews.
As an indie or hybrid author, these are the things you have to think about. Don't blindly follow anyone's opinion. That's why doing research, knowing the industry, is so important. What worked, or didn't work, for one author may produce different results for you. It's all about what you want to get out of the campaign.
Now the price. Since Chains of the Sciell is about 100,000+ words, it can't cost the same as The Sciell book 1, which was like 80,000 words. But, I'm still fairly new to the game. If I charge too much, people won't buy it. I found a happy medium, I think. Chains of the Sciell will be $4.99 until June 2- release date. Then the price will go up to $7.99. Let's see how this works.