There are two things you should know about publishing. First, its inner workings are a mystery to most of the world. Second, its inner workings are a mystery to authors until we actually start doing it and then we learn things along the way, mostly by accident.
This would be known as “building the plane while you’re flying it.”
(Incidentally, when you have an agent as terrific as Agent Emma, you don’t have to worry about all the things you don’t know. Because guess what? She does the knowing FOR you.)
One of the things I’ve learned about publishing, mostly just by watching other books release, is that pre-order sales are MUY IMPORTANTE.
(That means “very important” for you non-Spanish speakers out there.)
Why are pre-order sales so important? Well, there are some small reasons (early word-of-mouth publicity, for example), and then there is one really big reason. And the really big reason is this:
Pre-order sales count as part of first week sales.
That means that any pre-ordered copies of a book count toward that book’s sales numbers in its first week after release.
Okay. So what?
Guess which sales numbers are used to populate bestseller lists? Yep, you guessed it. It’s the sales numbers from the first week, which includes pre-orders.
So, to put it into mathematical terms:
Pre-orders + First Week Sales = MAYBE HITTING A BESTSELLER LIST, LIKE, I DON’T KNOW, THE NEW YORK TIMES ONE, I HEAR THAT ONE IS PRETTY POPULAR.
Now, let me go ahead and say this: ALL sales are important to an author and their publisher. It’s not like you shouldn’t buy a book after the first week. YOU SHOULD. Authors’ careers can be launched off the charts by hitting a bestseller list, but steady sales keep their books selling to publishers, which, in turn, keeps their books on shelves.
I think I speak for all authors when I say we appreciate every single sale.
But those pre-orders–well, they can really make a difference for us. If we debut on a bestseller list, it’s MASSIVE exposure, which can result in…
which helps solidify our careers,
which keeps our books selling to publishers,
which keeps our books on shelves,
which keeps our books in your hands.
My awesome friends, family, and readers often ask me: “I know I can buy your books anywhere, but where do you make the most money? How can I buy them in the way that benefits you the most?”
This is one of the biggest answers to that question: Pre-order it. Or buy it the first week. Use your local bookstore if you can, because I’m a big supporter of local businesses. But if you can’t, there’s this other website called Amazon, where you can pre-order it right this minute, if you’d like.
You can also click this lovely screenshot of PULL’s Amazon page and be taken straight to the pre-order thingy (technical term).
So there you have it: Pre-orders And Why They Matter, by Anne Riley.
Thank you for all the support, Grasshoppers. To those of you who have already pre-ordered the book and then told other people about it, gosh darnit, I just wanna give you a hug.
Until next time…