Preorders are books ordered prior to publication. Readers preorder books because they are fans and don’t want to miss out on the next book
For authors, preorders make the difference between a bestseller list, a new book contract, and your ranking on bookseller websites or places like Goodreads.
Rankings on a bookseller’s website, whether it’s Amazon or an Indie, help determine the promotion that store will give a book. The higher the ranking the more likely the algorithm is to recommend it to future readers.
The more readers see your book in emails or on their home page, the more likely to buy. The more they buy, the better for an author.
First Day Sales
Now those first-week sales numbers are based heavily on preorders. While you might preorder a May book in January, the actual sale doesn’t count until the day the book is released when, ostensibly, the book is set to ship.
That means, thanks to preorders, you have sold all of those books on the first day, which bumps up your rankings and bumps up your potential for a bestseller list that first week on sale.
Making a Difference
Authors wishing to up their preorders need to promote accordingly and of course strategically. That means encouraging readers and fans to preorder without inundating them constantly by telling them to buy.
Fans can do their part too. If you know you’re going to read and buy a book don’t just add it to your wishlist, go ahead and preorder. You can do that through a bookstore directly (which pushes them to order more books) or online. Wherever you prefer to buy preorders are welcome.