Hell Raiser, John Hartness, Pulls back the publishing curtain

Why Do Writers Care About Pre-Orders?

This will be another one of those posts about how the sausage gets made in the publishing world, so if you’re only looking for the plug, here you go –

Dracula calls him “nephew.” The sexy detective assigned to his case call him a pain in the ass. Monsters call him a really bad day. He’s Quincy Harker, Demon Hunter, and he’s here to Raise some serious Hell. Available for pre-order now, exclusively from Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Raising-Hell-Quincy-Harker-Novella-ebook/dp/B00RDM3N8O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1420049301&sr=8-1&keywords=raising+hell+hartness

Raising Hell CoverStill here? Okay, good. Now I’ll talk about why I give a shit about pre-orders. After all, Amazon pays me two months after the end of each month, so it’s not like I get my money faster. And since I’m self-publishing Raising Hell, and this book isn’t releasing immediately in print, there’s pretty close to zero chance of me ending up on a big list, like the NY Times or USA Today bestseller list.

So those are good reasons NOT to care about pre-orders, why do I care? The answer is in one of the buzzwords of publishing and marketing – discoverability. If my bookbis easier to find, then it’s easier to buy. And if something is easier to buy, people are more likely to buy it. So I want to make my book easier to find right out of the gate, and I want to do as much to separate it from the herd of books being released every single day as I can.

One way to do this is by having a very good (low) Amazon ranking. The lower the Amazon rank of a book, the higher it is on Amazon’s overall bestseller list. That’s what the ranking is – it’s a measure of how well your book is selling against everything else on Amazon. So I want that number to be as close to #1 as humanly possible.

And one way to do that is through pre-orders. Amazon tracks pre-orders almost like they are regular sales, so a boo that is slowly developing some pre-orders is already moving up the rankings. This also will allow the book to debut higher on genre bestseller lists, show up on the “Customers who bought this also bought” lists on other books more quickly, and generally be more discoverable more quickly. Raising Hell is the first book I’ve done a pre-order for, and so far it’s going fairly well. The book has pre-sold a few dozen copies, and moved into the top 65,000 on the Amazon list. That’s far from where I want it to be, but that’s why I’m out here doing guest posts – so more people know about the book, and more people pre-order it.

So that’s a little bit about pre-orders, and why we writers care about them. So if you like your fantasy dark, your protagonists snarky with more than a little bad boy about them, and your stories quick and action-packed, go ahead and pre-order Raising Hell today.