Why preorder a book?

Preordering matters to authors/illustrators.

Have you ever heard authors ask you, nay beg you, online to preorder your books? Or have you ever walked into an indie bookstore and seen preorder forms for upcoming books? Preordering books is super helpful to authors and illustrators alike. It can seem silly to purchase a book so far in advance, but really it’s a helpful took for authors, illustrators, publishers, and indie booksellers.

What is preordering?

Preordering is ordering a book before the publishing date. Most preorders don’t collect the money until the book ships (online order) or is in your hand (indie bookstore).

Where should I preorder from?

This can be done many ways from going into your local independent bookstore and asking for them to order you a copy, to ordering a copy from a chain retailer online that will arrive at your doorstep on publishing day. As a former indie bookseller, I recommend ordering it from your local bookstore.

Can you keep a secret…? Sometimes indie bookstores get the books early, then call you to pick up the book early.

Why should I preorder?

  1. Authors and illustrators rely on book sales to continue to make books. Preorder sales are crucial early book sales. Early book sales can determine the success of a book for years to come (not always, but often).
  2. Preorders create book buzz. From early sales numbers boosts, to bookstores pushing the book on opening day, to people marking the book as “to read” on their book logging platform of choice (Storygraph, Goodreads, etc). Early book buzz is important ahead of the publishing date.
  3. Early orders of books at indie bookstores help indie bookstores have guaranteed stock turnover. This helps keep the lights on for indie bookstores and indie bookstore events are crucial for local author and illustrator populations.
  4. Early sales numbers help publishers see that the author and illustrator are a solid bet. When authors and illustrators get an advance, the publishing house is choosing to place a bet on their book with the incentive that the books will sell and they will make money. Those early sales help the publishers see that the risk they took on this book was worth it. If the publisher also notices that there’s more preorders than they have anticipated, they will print more books which guarantees more readers and even more buzz. It’s a chain event that always helps authors and illustrators.
  5. Aids in getting the book on bestseller lists. Preorder numbers are crucial to a book getting on a bestseller list. This is one of the best things that can happen to a book and is most likely to happen to a book during its launch week.
  6. Think about a book you were incredibly excited to read before it even came out… that’s due to preorder book sales and preorder book buzz. Consider how you could be part of helping an author and illustrator by adding to this early promotion!

How can I help a book succeed?

  1. Preorder! Especially from a local indie bookstore.
  2. Ask your library to stock the book. Not everyone can afford to buy a book, and that’s understood by most authors and illustrators. If you can’t buy the book, take the time to contact your local library and ask them to pick up a copy for their catalogue. This is another way to get the book in the hands of readers and potential reviewers.
  3. Review the book online. Reviews help create buzz and gets more eyes on your book. This is an awesome option for all readers from book purchasers to book borrowers. Take the time to leave any length of review on Storygraph, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and more.

Please consider preordering my upcoming middle-grade graphic novel, Look On The Bright Side. Look On The Bright Side is the sequel to the Eisner-Nominated, LA Times Book Prize Finalist book Go With The Flow. If you can’t preorder at this time, please add it as “to read” on Goodreads.

Thank you for reading! Continue to support authors and illustrators you care about.

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