There are just over two months until THE QUEEN UNDERNEATH hits shelves. Two months until I am officially a "published author." And that means that I have to stop staring off into space in slack-jawed awe and start focusing on publicity. If you follow me on Facebook, and especially on Twitter, I apologize in advance because you're about to be inundated with all TQU, all the time. I'll do my best to liven it up a little with the occasional funny story about the kids or rant or a photo of a particularly delicious meal, but it'll always come back to the book.
Today, I want to talk about pre-orders. A pre-order is any book that is ordered and paid for before the official release date of the book. These can be done through the big stores -- Amazon or Barnes and Noble -- or through your local indie bookstore.
Pre-orders are like the holy grail in publishing, ESPECIALLY for a debut author that no one has ever heard of. Pre-orders tell retailers that someone out there has heard of this book and has interest in it. A successful pre-order campaign can trigger a domino effect -- people pre-order the book, large retailers see the pre-orders rushing in and double down on their previous order of books. Publishers see large retailers doubling down and order an additional printing to cover demand. Because the publisher orders additional printings, they decide to put more money into the marketing the book so that they can recover their investment. This, of course, can lead to more pre-orders and a beautiful cycle of selling books.
In addition to the above reasons, pre-orders all count as first-week sales. That means that a book with a successful pre-order campaign -- even a relatively small book, without much buzz -- has a better shot at landing on a bestseller's list. Therefore, pre-orders and first week sales are both critical, if the goal is to hit list. And any author who says they don't want to hit list is probably lying, because ... well, Holy Grail.
Pre-orders also mean that on release day, you - gentle reader, will have a fresh, crisp copy waiting for you in your mailbox. And nothing is as exciting as getting to read a story before it's been spoiled on the internet. :)
Publicity is the least favorite part of publishing for me, because it feels a little bit like harassing people to pay you money, and I'm really not great at that. It's hard enough for me to put a free copy of my ARC into people's hands and say, "I hope you enjoy it." But if you are so inclined, pre-orders really do matter to the life and longevity of a book, mine or any other authors'. And if there is an author whose work you really love, make the effort (if you can) to pre-order their books. It might seem like a little thing, but I promise you, it really isn't.
So, while I'm not great at selling my work, other people do have some nice things to say about it, so I'll let them do the heavy lifting. And if what they have to say strikes you as interesting, you can pre-order THE QUEEN UNDERNEATH from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or let IndieBound help you find a local bookstore to help you out.
"This is a fast-paced and fun first novel that gives readers an exciting new world to explore. An easy, gripping read for older readers." -- ALA Booklist
"A delicious novel full of wonderfully unexpected twists and turns where you can't help but root for plucky thief Gemma and fish-out-of-water prince Tollan. If you love court intrigues, political backstabbings, romance, and heartbreak, then read this book!" -- Rin Chupeco, Author of The Bone Witch and The Girl in the Well