Got a Book Coming? Get 7 Tips to Pre-sell It!

Got a Book Coming? Get 7 Tips to Pre-sell It!

Are you selling your book BEFORE you have a physical copy? Smart authors know that bookselling starts before a book comes out. They learn not to wait until they have a book in hand.

  • Did you know that you can presell with your book before you have a physical copy?
  • Did you know that you can presell the eBook edition?
  • Did you know that if you are planning an audiobook, you can presell it before it’s recorded?

Smart authors make special offers. To existing fans … to bring in new ones. Sound like something you would like to do? If that’s a YES, here are seven tips to move forward.

Start with:

  1. Updating your website to include your new book. Create the ability to shout out about your book and pre-order it. Under your Book or Store tab, add the book to come—even if the cover and title aren’t finalized. You know what your concept and book are about. Write a short paragraph, add a few bullet points to eyeball catches. Orders are taken through your website—yes, you have one or will before your book comes out—a must-have on your Timeline.
  2. Taking orders before it’s printed. Pre-selling allows you to test the market response, and your potential cover, add the price, and a link to preorder.
  3. Creating a flyer that you can distribute wherever you are. When people pre-pay, those funds should be used to offset your production costs. If you think you are going to price your book at $20, offer it to early buyers at $20 and include shipping as a freebie. That’s like getting a 25 to 30 percent discount if the buyer had to pay full retail plus shipping. Print your flyers on colored paper.

All flyers are on a single with a header top third; about/benefits of the book in the middle section; and a lower section. This is what my pre-pub flyer looked like for How to Avoid Book Publishing Blunders which was published in 2022.

Any resistance allows for tweaking—including a change in price. And, if there is no resistance to the $20, consider notching the price up a few bucks the next time you put your flyer out. When I published Money Smarts for Turbulent Times, my pre-flyer had it pegged at $15. Quickly, I saw that I had priced it too low. Over a three-month period, I had two price increases: to $20 then $25, finally settling at $25 when I went to print.

For those who had committed at a lower price, it was honored. My pre-pub flyer was posted on my website and a printed flyer was distributed whenever and wherever I spoke in person. Routinely, I was successful in covering the cost of the first printing run with my pre-sales.

  1. Pre-Selling to groups that know you. If you are a speaker, distribute flyers everywhere you present; if you have an Internet following, tell your fans your news—you’ve got a book coming and because they are your fans or clients, they can order a copy at a special discount and receive it before others.
  2. Reaching out for sponsorships. Your book may tie into a company or a product that would make it an ideal candidate for sponsorship or being used as a premium for a group. Sometimes it falls into your lap, other times, you need to pursue leads.
  3. Carrying mailing labels when you are out, in-person. Why? It’s done—has your buyer fill out the mailing label. All you need to do is attach labels to your book boxes or padded envelopes for shipping when the book is available. And the buyers are self-addressing it at the time of pre-purchase, meaning it’s their handwriting—so they should be correct.
  4. Getting early feedback. Pre-selling your book gives you instant feedback … is the demand there? Do you need to adjust your price? You may discover those who want to preview/review your book. Bonus … always have a clipboard with a sheet that is designed to gather names and emails of all you meet.

Keep this in mind: preordering isn’t exclusive to a printed book, don’t forget your eBook version and if you know an audiobook will be created, take preorders as well. iBook allows preorders up to 12 months prior to publication where Barnes & Noble and Kobo allow up to 9 months. Amazon only allows up to 3 months in advance of your eBook availability. Draft 2 Digital’s Mark Coker has created several guides to rocking eBook preorder strategy that you can find on its site: Do a search for “preorders” and “assetless.”

The question becomes: what is the NEW book for you this coming year? Besides writing … what are you doing to set up its debut?

Dr. Judith Briles is a book publishing expert and coach. Often, she must roll up her writing sleeves and become a Book Doctor, juicing up storylines and author words. She empowers authors and works directly with authors who want to be seriously successful and has been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the ’80s. Judith is the author of 42 books including Author YOU: Creating and Building Your Author and Book PlatformsSnappy Sassy Salty: Success for Authors and Writers, and How to Create a Million Dollar Speech. Her personal memoir When God Says NO-Revealing the YES When Adversity and Loss Are Present is a #1 bestseller on Amazon. Collectively, her books have earned over 45 book awards. Judith speaks throughout the year at publishing conferences. 

Throughout the year, she holds Judith Briles Book Unplugged in-person and online experiences: Publishing, Speaking, Marketing, and Social Media. All are two-day intensives limited to a small group of authors who want to be seriously successful. Join Judith live for the “AuthorU-Your Guide to Book Publishing” podcast on the Toginet Radio Network HERE

Follow @AuthorUYOUBooks and @MyBookShepherd on Twitter and do a “Like” at AuthorYOU, and join the Facebook group Book Publishing with The Book Shepherd. If you want to create a book that has no regrets, contact her.

©2022 Judith Briles – The Book Shepherd™ All Rights Reserved.