Lessons Learned from Pre-Order

Lessons Learned from Pre-Order

So, I’ve been working on Book #5 in my Leftover Girl series, Fate of War, and struggling with the decision to offer this last book for pre-order. Books 2 and 4 were both listed for pre-order and this is what I’ve learned:

Book #2 was listed for pre-order and went smoothly. A week before, I loaded the final text and everyone who pre-ordered got what I wanted them to have on release day.

Book #3 wasn’t listed for pre-order. The day before release day, I loaded everything on Amazon and hit publish. Not much problem there either. As usual, there are always a few small aggravating typos I don’t catch until I download a copy for myself and read it on Kindle. Even with professional editing and having others read the text, something always slips through. Guess what I’m always doing at 6 a.m. on release day?

Book #4 was listed for pre-order. I loaded updated drafts as I went. However, I got really sick at the three day mark and missed the cutoff for the very last revised version. There were a few outstanding issues and by afternoon on release day, the final version was live. However, those who pre-ordered already had their copy.

Now, I will say updates to books are common for me. Anytime I find an issue I update (like the dreaded typo), but never to the overall story or plot. If you’ve downloaded any of my books, there’s probably a newer version out there. For some reason, Amazon has never forced out a revision – maybe because they don’t consider any issues I’ve corrected as major. If it’s been awhile since you downloaded and you want the latest copy, just contact them. It’s what I’ve had to do when I want to check my own stories.

Disadvantages of Pre-Order?

Like I said above – miss the cutoff and potentially disappoint those who have been waiting for the story.

Advantages of Pre-Order?

Setting up a pre-order gave me time to get the book and description tweaked on Amazon. It also gave me time to talk with Amazon about connecting the book with others in the series. (Yes, I have to ask for this and yes, it can take several days.) Having a set release date also brings a certain motivation to keep driving toward that finished product on time.

Pre-Order Again?

I’m thinking probably not. I started writing as a way to relieve stress from my day job. My last experience with pre-order created a new form of stress – 3 days of it. For this fifth book, I think I’ll list it on Amazon within a few days of my planned release date. I won’t promote to anyone until I’ve downloaded a copy myself and read the entire text. UPDATE: There is one benefit to pre-order that might overcome the downsides: VISIBILITY. By placing a book for pre-order, it will remain as a new release longer and improve the chance someone will see it.

If you’ve read any of my books, thanks. I’m doing this writing thing on my own and I’m doing it for fun. When it stops becoming fun and starts drowning me in stress like everything else in life, what’s the point?

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