Pre-Sales, the Reason Why by Catharine Bramkamp

Pre-Sales, the Reason Why by Catharine BramkampLet’s welcome back monthly columnist Catharine Bramkamp as she shares with us “Pre-Sales, the Reason Why.” Enjoy!


Is there a good, compelling reason to create and manage a pre-sales campaign?  


If your book has gathered enough pre-sold books, it shows your publisher that you have a fan base and more important – sales.

Pre-sales numbers will spur your publisher (and this includes Amazon) to print books ahead of the official book launch date/publication date so when the book actually launches, there will be a very short wait time for your customers to receive delivery.

Ah ha, a good solid reason to go through the pre-sale process.

And how do we run this magical pre-sales campaign?

The Pre-Sale Campaign

First, set up a pre-sales campaign to run longer than you think. A strong pre-sale campaign can run for as long as three months, sometimes longer.

And the longer we can give to our pre-sales, the stronger the book launch will be.

Plus those pre-sales count as full sales. A win/win.

As with any activity associated with literature, there are myths and legends.

First, the legend of reviews. Listed in the benefits column of pre-sales is the legend of ready reviews.

Distribute the ARCs to your Beta Readers and thank your pre-sales customers by giving them homework!

Yes, we need to ask for reviews, but pre-sales or not, ARC or not, it’s a challenge to convince our readers, even die hard fans, to leave a review.

But by all means, use the pre-sales months to beg readers to be ready to post reviews on launch day.

The Myth of Excitement

Another check box on the pre-sales pro column is the myth of “building excitement!”

Excitement is a bit of an overstatement.

Generating excitement is far more in the preview of a popular rock star with a propensity for writing slanderous lyrics.

For authors, perhaps not so much. 

So instead of excitement, how about sales?

How about building a case for a posted review?

Give readers time to get around to ordering the book.

That may be the best manifestation of generating excitement an author can expect.

And that mythical, legendary list? 

It would be unfair to reference a list and not offer the whole of it.

Here is your mythological/legendary pre-sales success schedule:

How To Set Up The Pre-Sales And Launch In Your KDP Account

Finish writing the book.

Sign in to your KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) Account: Log into Kindle Direct

Add a New eBook:
If your book is not already added to your KDP account, click on “Create a new Kindle eBook.”
Fill in the necessary book details, including the title, author, description, and keywords.

Set Up Pre-Order:
In the “Ebook Content” section, you’ll find an option to enable pre-orders. Click on “Set Up Kindle eBook Pre-order.”
Choose the date you want your book to be available for pre-order. This date should be at least 10 days in the future but no more than 90 days.

Upload Your eBook Content:
Upload your book’s manuscript.

Book Cover:
Upload a high-quality cover image that meets Amazon’s specifications.

Book Pricing:
Set the pre-order price for your book. This price can be adjusted before the book’s official release, but not during the pre-order period.
Consider offering a discounted pre-order price to entice early buyers.

Description and Metadata:
Write a compelling book description that entices potential readers.
Choose relevant categories and keywords to improve discoverability.

Now That You Have the Launch Date

Now that you have the launch date:

3 to 4 months ahead of launch – Send ARC to your beta readers in exchange for early reviews because you can always ask.

2 to 3 Months ahead of launch –  ask friends and family and newsletter subscribers to pre-order the book. Create an offer or reward for a pre-sale purchase, and create a second reward/offer for posting a review on the launch date.

2 months ahead of launch – pre sales announcement – Share the pre-sales of your book on your Website, your blog, Social Media

6 weeks ahead of launch – cover reveal. – Same outlets! – a cover reveal is a great reason to connect again through social etc and promote your book.

5 weeks ahead of launch create a video with you, the author, interviewed about writing the book – post on YouTube, or Instagram reels or Tik-Tok, whatever platform you prefer.

4 weeks ahead of launch share teasers and a # for social shares.

3 weeks ahead of launch remind your fans and subscribers that you are offering bonus materials for pre-orders and day of the launch reviews.

2 weeks ahead of launch, keep going – publish a contest for pre-orders, like the first 10 verified orders will receive a signed book, swag or a video call with the author. (I recommend a video call, a short story or teaser for the next book, or a gift card for Amazon, something you do not need to ship, easier.)

2 days ahead of launch – Video interview (and yes you can just interview yourself) – Share on social, web site, YouTube. And Amazon, which includes video options on your listing

And don’t forget the follow up Book Launch! 

Go ahead and post throughout the day that your wonderful, mythologically excited, special book is available to buy. Now. Right now.

For once, spend 24 hours indulging in posts dedicated to buy my book.

Day after the launch:

Thank those fans who pre-ordered.

Thank the early ARC readers.

Thank everyone for the launch: record a quick video and post on social media.

By working the pre sales you can make your book successful, even a best seller in your category on the very first day it’s available for sale. That kind of success will increase and feed future sales and become, ideally, a self fulfilling prophecy.

If all this sounds like a lot of work just to satisfy the Amazon algorithm, you are correct.

But for so many of us, Amazon is the only game in town, and a strong pre-sale effort can go a long way to helping you win that game.


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Catharine BramkampCatharine Bramkamp is a successful writing coach, Chief Storytelling Officer, former co-producer of Newbie Writers Podcast, and author of a dozen books including the Real Estate Diva Mysteries series, and The Future Girls series. She holds two degrees in English and is an adjunct university professor. After fracturing her wrist, she has figured out there is very little she is able to do with one hand tied behind her back. She delights in inspiring her readers.

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