Even self published authors can set up preorders. And they are beneficial.
Both Smashwords and KDP allow for them. Setting up preorders mean everywhere will be ready and published on the same day at the same time.
I haven’t found anywhere that does paperback preorders readily. D2D may set that up in the future, but they aren’t fully open to physical copies last I checked. Eventually, they may offer it.
But you can set up the preorder of an ebook in most places.
How does this help?
Preorders get counted on the day it is published for one.
For two, everywhere will appear at once.
Smashwords normally takes upwards of two weeks to get your ebook places. By doing a preorder, it will appear at the same time as on Smashwords as long as you succeeded at the requirements for the site in question. D2D and other such sites are set up the same way. It will take time to reach the entire network if you do not set up a preorder.
How do I do it?
Instead of clicking publish now, set the date a month out. I do not suggest doing so until you have a finished story and cover art. If one of the two aren’t ready, don’t hit schedule.
The preorder should be finished a month in advance. You shouldn’t have to do anything to the book at that point.
That doesn’t mean you sit back and do nothing.
During the month long preorder, promote. Focus in on promoting the one story you’re hitting publish for. You can even set the preorder price lower than the actual price to increase sales.
All sales will count the day you publish. It’s how many people hit best seller lists.
Many authors will suggest a three month preorder time frame. That’s great. Have your book ready to go at three months, but deny adding a cover until you have a cover reveal event. Get your book sent out to ARC readers and set up a blog tour for it.
These are all free promotion options for an author excited to publish.
If you jump and hit publish before ARC readers have the book or a blog tour is set up or you were able to promote it for a month, you will not hit best seller list on the first day. It is unlikely you’ll get reviews the day you hit publish. That’s one of the major benefits of blog tours and ARC readers: reviews on day one. Reviews lead to more book sales.
The biggest ways to increase sales: reviews, amazing cover art, good blurb, and word of mouth. Use them. Talk up the book for a month. Then see the sales on day one.
It’ll be worth it. Preorders are worth it. Promise.
This coming from someone who hasn’t done this step. Seriously, you’ll see a bigger sales on the first day if you market properly. Don’t be like me.