Why pre-orders are so important – Kim Hooper

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By Kim Hooper

Confession: Before this year, I had never pre-ordered a book. Ever. If there was a book I wanted to remember to buy, I just put it in my trusty Amazon cart and waited until it became available. It was only when I got my book deal (People Who Knew Me) that I became aware of the importance of pre-orders.♥

My publisher, St. Martin’s Press, said I should use my social media channels to encourage people to pre-order my book. At first, I thought this was strange. What’s the big deal with pre-orders? Isn’t the post-launch period more important? The short answer is no. Buzz is what’s most important, and pre-orders can help generate buzz. Here’s how:

• If a publisher sees that a book has a lot of pre-orders, they’re likely to increase the print run to meet the anticipated demand. If they increase the print run, they may increase their marketing efforts to sell all the copies. More marketing means more sales.

PeopleWhoKnewMe• If a bookstore (online or brick-and-mortar) gets a bunch of pre-orders, they’ll realize their customers are interested in the book and they may stock more of the book when it’s released. Rumor has it that for every copy of a book that a customer pre-orders on Amazon, Amazon orders three more copies.

• For an author whose book might have a chance at making the New York Times bestseller list (a girl can dream), pre-orders can make a huge difference. The bestseller lists are compiled based on weekly sales data, and pre-orders count toward the first week’s sales.

• Decent pre-orders can help convince the publisher to say yes to the author’s next book. For those of us who want a career at this writing thing, this is incredibly important. I don’t want to write one book. I want to write many books, preferably without a decade between them.

Basically, each pre-order is like a vote in the author’s favor. So, tell people to pre-order your book (even if it makes you feel uncomfortable because you hate self-promotion). Pre-order the heck out of your own book (I sure did). And make sure to pre-order fellow authors’ books. I’ve become an avid pre-orderer, especially of debut authors’ books. I know it’s the best thing I can do to support them. Because we’re all in this together, right?

Kim Hooper lives in Southern California with her husband and an absurd number of pets. People Who Knew Me is her debut novel and is out now.



  1. Sue Coletta

    June 23, 2017 at 7:21 am

    Right! And congratulations on your deal with St. Martin’s Press!!!


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