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Smashwords Preorder Helps Indie Authors Big Time

Posted on 2014-Feb-24

by BB eBooks Staff

Climbing the Ladder of Success


Although Mark Coker has not announced Smashwords’ latest innovation to boost indie author’s success this month, he brings Preorder back to attention after it had been introduced since last July. In the latest blog dated February 21 this year, after creating a presentation to be publicly viewed on SlideShare, he urged authors to submit links that discussed the preorder program in further details for two reasons: apart from bloggers creating a higher volume for their site traffic, the word of mouth can reach those who have not tried the feature and climbed “the ladder of success.”

What Could Preorder Do


Despite Mark’s claim in his presentation that Smashwords had introduced Preorder in early 2012, a blog written in July 2013 explains what it means for authors to experiment with this “new merchandizing tool.” Preorders are exclusive to Smashwords’ three leading partners: Apple iBooks, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo. Although the tool was only in its beta release, over 70,000 Smashwords users around the globe can instantaneously enjoy the benefit right away. If you doubt what the self-explanatory tool can do to rock your best-selling position, here are several benefits that concern you.

  • Long before its official release, the preorder title sits in the database and can be readily discovered alongside the authors’ existing titles, if she has published several books already. For first-time authors, preorders can still alert fans to check out the title because of its advanced listing that can build curiosity.
  • There are possibilities that you can hit the bestseller lists because of the accumulated sales during the limited promotion period. However, hitting the national lists requires your tremendous marketing skills.
  • Fans do not need to fret where they can get a hold of your book. The book will be released on every listed store for them to buy and read.
  • You have plenty of time to stir reader’s curiosity to become aware of your preorder title. By engaging them in the promotion, they can help you spread the word and discover other titles also written by you.
  • If you have published other titles already, you can tweak your backmatter to add excerpts and buy links for all of your books. This way your potential reader not only can discover your books all at once, they can buy them with a few clicks without having to look up your brand on the internet.
  • This is the time when you want to make sure they will most likely buy your book the minute the book is available. Whatever information needed to call for action, they should be productively informed.
  • The final plus for the feature can allow retailers to put your book in the genre deemed fit for special promotion. Chances are your book can be promoted on the front page of their promotion banner.

Living Testimonials on Breakout Books


Fast forward to Feb ’14, it seems Mark is obligated to discuss the feature further when he can prove how several authors are catapulted into the special offer section. To succeed requires practice, although the preorder cannot guarantee that your new title will be skyrocketed to the covetous spot in the bestsellers list, several Smashwords authors have graced the front page of iBooks’ Breakout Books according to this Smashwords’ blog and another. For those who have not used the preorder to its fullest potential or never have used it, Mark proclaims that he wants to make the feature work for authors’ next book release. In his presentation titled “Hit the eBook Bestseller Lists with Preorders,” Mark refers to the feature as one of the “merchandizing & discovery tools” along with Smashwords’ Coupon Manager, Series Manager, and Interviews, for instance. In one of the slides, a preorder page on B&N, Apple, and Kobo is similarly shown to capture the synergy put forth by the distributor.

The preorder title seems to be much loved by the retailer’s search algorithm as it appears alongside with authors’ existing titles. On iBooks Australia, three of the Smashwords preorder titles are indeed featured right on the iBooks home page. Not only that, Apple has dedicated a Sneak Peek page to showcase “its early excerpts of top preorders.”

Preorder Tips

Smashwords seems to up their game by announcing success stories of authors who have distributed via its self-publishing platform. Recently, we have covered how you can distribute your eBook via Smashwords and how their features can boost your book’s discoverability. Although the preorder is nothing new, sharing testimonials from the retailer’s storefront seems to signal positive enhancement for authors. To make the most of preorder, you need to strategize how to launch the best promotional method for your promotion and jazz up your backmatter to include all the essential information about your other books. If you are unsure what to do, Mark has already shared the preorder tips provided by indie authors at the end of the preorder blog. If you want to share your insightful experience about the preorder, hit the comment button and tell the world what you have accomplished.

Label: Self-Publishing

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