5 Aug 2013

Pre-Order Facility Comes To Smashwords.com

(credit: Mark Coker Smashwords.com)

The buzz in my office this month is all about the new Pre-Order facility rolled out at Smashwords.com which is fantastic!

How many times have you started a new project, and wished you could upload it and get readers hooked prior to completing your book? 

Now you can upload a book to Smashwords and they will place it in the Pre-Order Catalog, and visitors to the website can browse through your sample and pre-order their copy.

How It Works:

  1. Smashwords distributes a book to Apple, Barnes & Noble and Kobo in advance of the official onsale date.
  2. During the preorder period, customers place advance orders.  
  3. These advance orders accumulate in the days and weeks prior to the official onsale date and then credit all at once on the date of release, which causes the title to spike in the retailer's bestseller lists.
  4. One drawback - make sure you can commit to publishing the final work on the date agreed in your pre-order page. As customers will be waiting for the release date, it does not bode well to fail to deliver the finished work on time.
  5. The book should be complete and either a final or a near-final draft, and not a work in progress.  The file you upload will be used to generate a sample of the start of the book which retailer customers will download and read.

I was overjoyed when this new element was added to Smashwords as the similar Apple ITunes Preview facility works so well. With a Smashwords facility too, there must be some rub off on sales. 

In fact, if you capitalise on this facility correctly you can quickly build a following.