Preorders are one of the best ways to launch your book effectively, but not every marketing tool works with preorders. Since I’ve been hard at work marketing my own preorder, I thought it might be helpful to share a list of preorder marketing steps that have been helpful for me.
I’ve organized these, starting with the MOST helpful tools to actually sell books:
- Announce the preorder to your email list and social media following. If you’ve been working to grow your email list, that first email to your list will jump-start your preorder sales with a spike! If you missed it, I wrote a blog post about the three critical emails to send your list during a book launch.
- Add the preorder alert as the final email in your Welcome Email Sequence. We’ve talked about how important it is to have a series of emails that welcome new subscribers (some call it an Automation Sequence, others call it the Welcome Email Sequence.) These emails are critical in helping new subscribers become your fans eager to buy your new releases. I recommend that the final email in your sequence is a new release alert, so make sure you update that email to reflect your new preorder! This will help provide an ongoing stream of preorder sales as you continue to grow your list. And on release day, make sure you change that last email to say “new release” instead of “preorder.”If you don’t have a series of welcome emails for new subscribers, or if you’re not sure if yours is effective, I’ve created a quick course to help you design an effective Welcome Sequence to turn new subscribers into buying fans. It even has email examples you can use! See all the details here. It’s a great stocking stuffer, so don’t forget to mention it to the Santa in your life. 🙂
- Email Swaps with other authors. Other authors who write in your genre agree to share your book announcements with their email list, and you agree to share their book with your email list. It’s important to make sure you’re swapping with authors and books your readers will love!
- Bookbub Preorder Alert. Bookbub requires at least 1,000 followers on their platform before you’re eligible to send a preorder alert, but I found a good ROI with the alert I sent on my current preorder. This is one more reason to intentionally increase your Bookbub followers.
- Paid Promo Sites. Many sites require a book to be released with a certain number of reviews before the book can be featured, but there are several that will also feature a book on preorder. https://indie.kindlenationdaily.com and http://spiritfilledebooks.com/ are a couple I’m using this time, but there are many others! It’s a good idea to keep an eye out.
- Bookbub Ads. Bookbub ads are one of the few tools that do a great job of reaching non-Amazon readers, and Amazon readers, too! Just make sure you clearly mark on your ad graphic that the book is a preorder, so readers aren’t confused or disappointed. If you plan to run a bigger ad campaign during release week, the preorder period is a great time to test several graphics and audiences to find the best ROI for that book.
- Facebook Ads. Because FB sales ads tend to provide a good ROI with higher priced books, they’re not always a good idea for a preorder if the book is on sale. But if your primary goal is sales, not profit, FB ads can work well! Many of my tips for Bookbub ads apply to Facebook ads. Make sure the ad is clearly marked as a preorder, and use the preorder period to fine-tune graphics, ad text, and audiences.
- Blog Tour. We’ve talked about blog tours before, and how they tend to be more effective as a book announcement and branding tool than to actually sell books. However, many people need to see and hear about the book several times before they decide to purchase, and blog tours can help with that visibility. Just make sure the blogs you choose have strong reach for your target audience.
- Launch Team. Most of the work of the launch team is done during and immediately after the book’s release, but the final weeks of the preorder phase can be a great time for the launch team to start gearing up their efforts on social media. If you don’t have a launch team or want to find ways to grow or energize your team, my Launch Team Lift-Off course might be a helpful tool for you. (Another great item for your Christmas list.)
And that’s if for this list! As I mentioned, the tools above are those that are specifically helpful to sell books, not necessarily for that brand awareness that’s also important.
As you prepare for preorders and book launches in the coming year, I pray this list helps kick-start your planning!
Want real email examples and pro tips to set up your Welcome Email Sequence? Get these and more in my new course!