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To pre-order or not to pre-order…?


Now I’m republishing my books I find I’m trying to get into the minds of my new readers to work out what will receive the best response in terms of the widest readership.  For ‘Closer to Home’ I decided on a release date and just went for it.  It wasn’t a hugely successful strategy, but I did get some sales and page reads, bolstered by some paid advertising.

I debated setting up a pre-order for ‘Merciless’ to see if the anticipation of a new book in a series would persuade people to click.  My partner wasn’t convinced, suggesting pre-orders were probably for more established authors, but I decided to give it a try.  Then I had to decide how long before the release date to upload the book information to Amazon.  Was a week long enough?  Too long? In the end I opted for twelve days and garnered quite a few pre-orders.

So, what to do with the next one…?

This time I’ve gone for a longer pre-order period of around twenty days.  The result? Not many orders so far with twelve days to go.

Is it too long?  Have readers lost interest in the series? I have no idea.

Just when I think there’s a pattern or a trend emerging (more orders/reads at weekends) a bank holiday weekend comes along and scuppers that theory.  Well, what about Wednesdays?  There’s usually a drop off mid-week – but not last week.

What conclusions can I draw from all this data?  None at all.  Readers don’t follow patterns or expectations and, if I’m honest, why should they?  I don’t buy books on a particular day of the week, nor do I read more at weekends or when it’s raining.

Anyway, ‘Bad Seed’ is available for pre-order.  Order it now or buy it when it’s released on June 3.  Read it on a Tuesday or on a sunny Saturday. Keep it in your ‘to be read’ list until next Easter.  I can’t begin to understand or predict the habits of my readers, but I must add that every sale and every page read is very much appreciated.  You contrary lot!




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