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6 Reasons Why Amazon’s Pre-Order Strategy Works

pre-order strategy

Part of any book marketing strategy is deciding on a release date for your book. The release date is defined as the day the book is available to the public. An author will usually choose the publishing and release date when entering the book’s metadata. Releasing it immediately allows customers to purchase and receive the book as soon as it’s available and appears online. Authors should consider a plan to choose a release date a few weeks after the publishing date, creating a period of marketing known as the pre-order strategy. If done correctly, this will have a big impact on sales ranking and book status.

Once you set a release date, you don’t want anything affecting your strategy. To prevent added stress make sure your book is proofread thoroughly and ready for release. This includes receiving and approving a ‘physical’ copy of the book. Any changes should be done at this time. With IngramSpark you can change the publication and release date up until the time you activate the distribution feature.

pre-order strategy

Below are 6 Reasons Why Amazon’s Pre-Order Strategy Works

    1. The longer your book is available for pre-order, the more planning you can do to launch simultaneous marketing strategies. Sending all of your customers to purchase your book on Amazon will not only increase sales but will show them as verified buyers when they write a review. A focused strategy will give your book a nice shot in the arm.
    2. All of the pre-orders count as sales on the day your book is released. Having a large number of books sold in one day will affect your ranking and potentially give your book a “best new release” badge displayed on your product page.
    3. The more visitors to your page during this time, the more Amazon’s analytics will track activity, including connecting your book to other ‘similar” and even higher ranked books. You will begin to see your book appear as suggested reading from other customers. Sales and exposure should increase when customers see your book listed on the product page of a better selling, more popular book.
    4. With high pre-order sales Amazon will forecast inventory levels to meet demand. If you’re printing on demand, Ingram will stock your book. If you supply Amazon directly through their Advantage program, you should receive purchase orders for dozens of books. Tip: It’s important to follow up the strong presales period with strong consistent sales. This involves a well thought-out marketing strategy.
    5. With strong pre-orders your book should show available immediately or available but “May take an extra 1-2 days to ship.” Customers love to buy books that are available and can ship immediately. It if says “not available for 2-4 weeks”, or unavailable, most consumers will not place the order. Tip: There are several things to be aware of during this period. In the event you need to make a change to your cover or interior, it’s best not to do it during this time. Your book will show “unavailable” and cannot be purchased. This will crush your momentum.
    6. Strong pre-orders will lead to immediate reviews. Reviews will lead to more sales. Getting quality reviews on your product page as soon as possible will give your book a jump-start.

During the pre sales period and for a couple of weeks after, authors should have several promotions running at the same time. The more buzz surrounding your book release, the more people will check out your book and become followers. It’s best to hold off on any eBook giveaways or social media advertising until you get at least 10 reviews on your product page. These promotional strategies work best when your book page looks active and your book rank indicates that it’s selling.


Rick Lite of Stress Free Book Marketing, stands at the forefront of the ever-changing book industry. He is a seasoned book marketing professional with over 13 years of experience in the industry. Rick’s expertise comes from tirelessly working on new and innovative ways to market his own books and CDs with his company and parent company, Stress Free Kids. Embracing the core values of integrity, innovation, and growth, Rick works closely with authors to create custom, robust book marketing programs. His easy-going manner provides “stress-free” support and comfort to authors going through the book marketing process for the first time. Rick is quick to share his knowledge and “insider tips” for a successful marketing campaign that will lead to increased exposure, awareness and most importantly, sales.


  1. Theresa says:

    What I can seem to figure out is whether pre-orders through Amazon of a book printed by IngramSparks (as Amazon doesn’t allow pre-orders of paperbacks) count in boosting an author’s Amazon Sales Rank. In other words should I only push pre-orders of ebooks if I’m trying to boost my Amazon Ranking via pre-orders

    • web28mkt says:

      Theresa, From what I understand, Amazon counts pre-orders for all book sales listed on their site. But, they only count them one time. (either pre-sales or post publishing sales) They use to count them both times. Although people will argue that pre-sales are more productive, I still think the most critical time for any book launch is the first 30 days after. Either way, it is essential to have a strong ground game in place at least six months before publishing, so you are ready to reach for the stars at publishing time. Thanks for commenting and best of luck. SFBM

  2. Alma Nilsson says:

    Hi. I have a question. I just released a pre-order and I had 38 book sales and yet my book barely moved in the rankings from when before the pre-order was released. I expected to at least break 100,000 in ebooks but it remains at 300,000. Any information why you think this might have happened? I know it’s not a lot of sales, but it’s not at 300,000 as my other books sell a couple a day with a couple of thousand page reads and rank anywhere from 20,000 to 40,000. I’m puzzled and disappointed. Thanks.

    • web28mkt says:

      Hi Alma, Unfortunately those algorithms change often so it’s challenging to attribute ‘X’ number of units sold with a rank. Also Amazon does not count pre-sales 2 times as they once did, meaning that assuming the pub and available date are the same you will only receive a sales credit on that day. Having mentioned this 38 units sold should make the book move but why it didn’t is difficult to say.

      Hopefully you are also focused on the first 30 days and beyond as an important time and doing everything you can to marketing and promote the book. Let me know if you have any questions or need some suggestions. I hope some of this helped. Stay safe. Rick

  3. H.R. Kemp says:

    This is interesting and gives a good theoretical answer. I struck a problem when Amazon and others priced my book as $57 in Australia. They totally impacted any sales for the release and following weeks and caused me massive stress. They finally lowered the price. I had no control over it (my price had been set to $17.99) and IS and Amazon simply blamed each other. Seems they chose to POD from UK or USA and ship to Australia rather than use the POD option here. As a debut author, it was devastating especially when Covid had also messed up plans. I think they ruined the release and marketing I did in my main market (paperbacks still sell well here).

    • web28mkt says:

      I understand your frustration and lack of accountability. Mistakes happen, but when no one seems able to fix things quickly that becomes a bigger issue. I don’t subscribe to the blame game that Ingram and Amazon play with each other. I hope your issue is sorted out and you sell a ton of books. Best of luck. Rick

  4. Timmy Miller says:

    Great article, thanks for writing.
    I was trying to decide whether to purchase copies direct from IS for family members that have asked, or pre-order via Amazon.
    As it is not a great deal more expensive I think I’ll do the later if pre-orders are important.

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