So Amazon made an interesting change in how they handle pre-orders for ebooks sometime in the recent past. Not sure when exactly, but the news bubbled up to me in the last few weeks.
In the past, you could only put up a book for preorder something like ninety days out . That made sense, as it gave folks time to get organized. Now, the limit appears to be up to a year instead.
For me, this makes the organizing process a little more stressful at the front end, but better down the way. I try to write whole series now, instead of publishing something different every month, like I had been doing. Writing fast lets me do that, where I’m still on plan to write twenty novels in 2019. I was going to publish twelve, but things got a little weird, so I will most likely end up publishing fourteen. Not sure what the 2020 schedule looks like, but I want to produce twelve a year going forward, just so I can.
Still, that got me ahead of schedule. I could put out all five of the Star Dragon novels over the summer (three months instead of of four). Longshot Hypothesis and Hard Bargain are out now, and Outermost will be available on October 10. (That means November, January, February to finish this arc.)
What’s fun, is that Fabulous Publisher Babe ™ can now put the other three up for preorder, without having the final versions, as they are coming back from the copy editor slowly. But she has the covers done and I just took my first hack at all three of the remaining blurbs this week.
With the pre-order set on Amazon, she can go back into the book when she does the final formatting, and include the direct link at the back, to buy the next one as soon as you finish.
No more are you trapped, wandering around trying to find it. Just click the next link and let your kindle take you right to the order page, so you can keep reading in the dead of the night, instead of having to go to sleep.
For the writers out there, I might make one suggestion, though. I’ve known a few people who started the whole process too soon. As in, they had finished the book and sent it off for copy-editing and then set the publication date. And this was when you had only a ninety day window, so the copy editor had to turn it back pretty quickly, so that the comments could be folded in and a final version put up.
If you missed your date, Amazon tended to not let you put anything up for preorder again for a year, so you’d have to put it up directly for sale on a certain date, hoping that it got processed fast enough.
You also lost the ability to build up preorders, which cause the book to pop hard on launch day, going up the charts to hopefully be seen by other readers who maybe don’t know who you are.
(As an aside, I’ve also known people who put the cover up as a way to force themselves to actually write the book in question. Don’t do that. If you aren’t enjoying what you do, why are you doing it? Seriously. If writing is a chore, you won’t have fun and that will come through to your readers, who won’t understand why they don’t finish the book. Find your joy and then write.)
So for me, you will start seeing long lines of preorders available, hopefully going out a ways. The remaining three of the Shadow of the Dominion books. The ninth and final Jessica Keller novel, Petron, will go up shortly.
Hopefully, the Star Tribes books after that. (We’d be into March, 2020 to drop WinterStar/#1 and I’m shortly going to start SwiftStar/#4 of 5. Final would be something like July if I can math.)
My purpose is always to write in series. And to return to series as well. Writer-brain let me know what the next Dominion book might be after Princess Rualoh, but I’ve got a stack of things ahead of it first, so we’re just going to simmer and gumbo on it for now. Plus, got other series in some state of done and need to work on them.
By having a whole series (or major story arc) done ahead of time, like I try to do, we can do these preorders and all will be good.
Thanks for listening to me ramble. For the writers out there, you shouldreview how you publish on Amazon, which might lead to changing everything else. For the readers, you can just order the whole, damned series more or less at once, and then new cookies will show up on your nightstand like magic.