Thoughts of my own for authors and their publishers on boosting sales of your upcoming book with pre-orders.

Spoiler alert: my answer involves indie bookstores.
And yes, I work with a lot of great ones, so I’m biased. But I think this is still valid advice. /1
So, you’ve got a book coming out. And you’re thinking, I should get my many followers and potential readers excited about this new book that’s about to come out. /2
You’re thinking, I should tweet about my book so my readers can pre-order it. Maybe I’ll give them a single, simple place to go! And you’re probably thinking that Amazon is the answer. But I’m telling you, that’s not the case. /3
Here’s the thing. You don’t need to help drive sales to AMZN one little bit. AMZN is a soulless robot store that doesn’t care about you or your book. To the robots, your book is just a listing in a massive everything catalog. /4
Trust that your publisher will do everything they can with the soulless robot minders at AMZN to get your book the best possible positioning they can afford. You tweeting that link will not make the robots like you more. Or give your book a better position. /5
You don’t NEED to do anything to help your AMZN sales. A link to buy your book there is probably already among the top 5 search results for your book and your name. See? Look how you’re crushing it already! /6
Another thing to keep in mind: your sales rank there is recalculated hourly. “Boosting” your sales is a short-lived thing. And the competition is fierce. After all, you’re up against all the other books in the world. /7
Tracking your sales rank obsessively is unhealthy! Trying to affect your book’s sales rank is a game best played by people who are already best-selling authors, or who are on TV or movies or radio or major podcasts. /8
If you’re not already objectively sorta famous, let’s focus on more organic ways to improve your book’s chances in the world. After all, there are lots of other places to buy books that are not run by soulless robots. /9
Start with this: Is there an indie bookstore near you?
1. Think of your local indie bookstore as the home base for your book, and for your writing career. Befriend those booksellers. And you should definitely link to them. Talk about them, and the books you’ve found there! /10
You should involve them in your posts about the book, and its impending release. Most indie stores have online storefronts, too, and can easily handle pre-orders. /11
2. You should also talk to your local indie bookstore’s owner about your book that is coming out soon, and ask if you can send your fans to the store to order signed copies from them. (Send them both virtually and in person!) /12
They can accumulate pre-orders, or customer orders after publication date, and you can come in and sign them. That’s a cool thing for your readers, and it helps drive sales to your local store! /13
Some authors do this incredibly well, and you can too. I’m amazed that more authors don’t already do this. But definitely talk to them IN ADVANCE about how this would work, and what you can do to help keep it easy. /14
3. You should also get to know the booksellers who work in that store, and if they’re on social media, get to know them. Some of my favorite twitter threads are between authors and their bookselling friends. /15
4. Create a landing page on your Web site offering links to all the places that your readers can find out about and pre-order your book. /16
You can include your favorite nearby indie bookstore, other indie stores you love around the country, your book’s page at IndieBound, your book’s page at B&N, and sure, even AMZN too. That’s fair. /17
You can also include good international options, if your book is being published in other countries. You might want to investigate indie stores in those other countries, too. /18
If you’ve set up a relationship with your local indie store to have them collect orders from your fans to be signed, you should call this out on your web page. /19
Q. What if you don’t live near an indie bookstore?
A. Are you sure? New ones are opening all around the country these days.
If you do live in an indie store desert, you can send readers who want to pre-order to any indie bookstore around the country. Or many indie stores! /20
More thoughts:
You should definitely not have the AMZN link as your twitter bio link. Your publisher may want you to do readings or signings in stores, and those stores don’t love seeing you driving sales to the soulless robot store. It’s counterproductive. /21
If you see other author friends obsessively worrying about their AMZN sales rank, or sending pre-orders there, be a good friend to both your friend and indie bookstores. Help spread the word. /22
Help spread the word! Indie stores WANT to be your friends! They are not soulless robot stores! And they really do want your book to succeed. Unlike the soulless robot store, who does not care about you. /23 (the end, barring follow-up)
(Editing the thread here to add: Trust but verify, of course. Talk with your marketing and publicity and sales team, but let them handle the robots. You go grassroots and use your interpersonal skills with stores that will respond in normal human ways.)
And a note at the end here, to say, this is more oriented towards traditionally published authors, if you didn’t intuit that. If you’ve gone with AMZN’s CreateSpace, you need to be very gentle in your conversations with your local booksellers.
Good ideas for how self-published authors can best approach and partner with indie stores here, from @holtzymook.

A co-sign from indie bookseller @dear_internets:
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to 𝕁𝕠𝕙𝕟 𝕄𝕖𝕤𝕛𝕒𝕜
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member and get exclusive features!

Premium member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year)

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!