Presales! Secrets Every Author Needs
Here is the question. Do you know what presales will even do fo you? For many authors, the problem is, without the right answers, most will throw up their hands and just give up. Luckily for you, here are the top 7 Presales Secrets every author needs to know so you can find the success you're looking for.
There's no doubt that every author starts out with a whole lot of questions, especially at the beginning of the Presales process. Presales means the "in-between the time that you have uploaded your book and the time when it is actually available to be shipped out to your readership."
Secret #1: Prep Set up!
This secret is important because the setup is your plan to know how to bring in the sales. First, you will need to know your launch date and then work in reverse from there. Here's how you use this secrete. Make sure when you upload to Ingramspark that you give yourself enough time for everything. While you have this wait time, this is when presales should be happening. They should be done well before your launch. It takes time for all the companies to set things up in the right way. You will need to give all the distributors time to get your materials uploaded and prepared. This is up to you so give them the time to get it out there.
Next, you will need to know what you want to price your books. What will your print book, ebook, hardback, and audiobook sale for? What would you like? Do you want to have a “presale” lower cost (see secrete # four) to help encourage buyers? It is a strategy that works and helps boost sales. I mean, after all, that is part of the reason why you wrote your book—for others to buy it so that they can read it.
Secret #2: Presales Help to Collect Data
This Secret is critical to your success because, with the data, you can see how many people are buying your book. You can see the numbers, the reviews, and take a look at your marketing to see how you can increase your sales, impact, and influence. You need the numbers to know what to do and how to make the changes.
Here's how. You take the information, summary of sales and your category to see how many books you will need to sell within that category. These sales must all be within a short amount of time (one hour up to 1 day) to help drive your book to the number one bestseller on that subtopic. When this happens and you are the number one best seller, you have more credibility and power behind you as an author.
Remember, that all presale printed copies add up and count as sales on your release date!
Secret #3: Rush or Results?
It's critical to remember this when it comes to the power of a book launch. Presales are that period of time that gives you opportunities for you as the author to record book podcast interviews, PR campaigns, blog posts and contact local TV stations for interviews which creates great media exposure. This leads to your foundation of success. Typically, presales are for two weeks or up to three months. Two weeks are for those immediate or newsjacking events that your book covers or you feel your audience needs this information right away. You can take up to three months because you will be on podcasts, blogs, and other media outlets to help promote your book.
Now, are you going to rush this period or try for results? I will clarify this: rushing without a marketing campaign or game plan is not a great idea. “Rushing” with a strong marketing campaign so that the topic stays fresh on people’s mind frame is a GREAT plan. Take my friend, fellow Author Academy Elite Published Author, Chellie Phillips for example.
Chellie created and developed a 10-day marketing campaign with videos, all Social Media posts, and guess podcasts. She set up her videos (with phenomenal software called Author Wizards which I love to help you with) and released them during the Presale Campaign.
Here are the words from Chellie Phillips herself.
Promote. Promote. Promote. Do that on all your social feeds and your lists. You can also volunteer to speak on podcasts. I highly recommend using your fan page and launch team to help spread the word. KEY FACTOR: choose your categories smartly.
“I did 10 tips in 10 days video segments leading up to the launch that promised the book and info found inside it. The videos were used on IGTV, YouTube, FB, and LinkedIn. They were too long for Twitter so I just used a link in my post to direct people to one of the places they were located.
I can’t say it enough. It’s up to you to get the word out!” —Chellie Phillips
Another fellow Author Academy Elite Published author who is successful is Jody Almond. He not only had success with using social media, but he built a following. This following led to fantastic results during presales and now continued sales. Jody says,
Using social media as a vehicle for pre-sales was key in my opinion. Building a tribe(following) on social media helped me tremendously. It allowed them the opportunity to go through the experience with me and feel part of the process. I shared secrets each week about the book with my tribe before making it public to the rest of the world, giving them a behind the scenes look at what was happening with the book.
I created “teasers” through “shareable[s]” [pictures with quotes from the book]. This created excitement and interest so when I was ready for pre-sales they were ready to order. If you have an email list do the same with that. Really anywhere you have a group, you must share, share, share.
Secret #4: Sales Copies to Early Reviewers with a Discounted Price
You need to know this secret because if you have discounted prices during the presales, then it helps to drive more sales. Remember it is a numbers game; at the end of the day, you need to numbers to back you to get the best selling ranking. Notice that it doesn’t top best written or top story, but best selling.
Here's what I mean. If your ebook presales for $2.99 during and then it goes back to $9.99 afterward, many people will jump on and invest less than five dollars to get your book. That brings sales up higher and then you are able to get more supporters. More verified sales also allow for early and more reviews. Make sure to share smart ways to leave reviews so that Amazon will count them. (If you want to know what I am talking about, you will have to wait till next week).
Secret #5: Presales give you time to gather the sales for other stories
This secret comes next because like many of my author friends they are now completing their second and even third books. If you are using Amazon, you will need to contact Author Central and connect your books together. Check out this picture.
Which means you can more easily show people your other books, your recommendations, and tag them to go to your blog and other sites. So now you're probably asking, "When do I take action on this?" Well, this kicks in when you upload for presales. It is your responsibility to connect your book with your author central that you have. Through that connection, you will see an increase in your sales.
Secret #6: Presales help Amazon make sure they have enough books
This secret is also important because it helps to guarantee that you will have enough “stock” on your launch day. Presales give the numbers to and signals to Amazon you are driving enough sales for your launch day.
This is particularly important for your readers. If Amazon does not see enough traffic going to your sales, and then suddenly after launch day, tons of people purchase your book, they will be out of stock. Readers will still be able to purchase the book, but they may get that annoying message that says the book won’t ship out for 4-6 weeks. If that happens, then that can kill sales! Not cool!
Secret #7: Presales Help to Promote You as the Author
Don't neglect this last secret because after all, this is how you get the word out. Remember secrete number 3 titled rush or results? Remember Chellie and Jody? Do you want to know how they are doing now? Check this out! In subcategories, they were able to hit the number one release on Amazon. They shared that information with their tribes, email lists, and all over SM. This is a huge result because they implemented the presale strategy so well.
WRAP it ALL UP!
As with any secret, these will change and adapt over time. But, from my direct, day-to-day presales experience, smart Authors—regardless of your current situation—will take heed and apply them immediately. Let’s review:
PREP! That means to set your sale price and to check on your distribution for all the online and brick and mortar stores. Make sure they are ready.
Presales help to drive data—get the numbers!
Rush and Results. Rush is sometimes important, but remember, you want to get the best results that you can, so plan and take action to do that.
Presale to your early readers at the discount price. This drives and supports sales—that’s what you want!
If you are an author with multiple books, presales on your newest book will help to drive sales of your other book (as long as you have them connected to your Author Central Account.
Presales help to prevent shortage on your launch day! WOOT!
Presales are the ultimate promoter. Like Chellie Phillips says, “promote, promote, promote!”
That’s about it in a nutshell. If you really want to sell more books, join the Beacon of Light Writes Services, and leave your comments on the Blog. I hope this helped you to think about why presales are super important.
By the way, my book, Out of Darkness is up for presales right now and will be through June 25! I can’t wait to see y’all support such a great book and spread the word.
Check it out here.