Do Kindle DP pre-orders help or hinder sales?

As of summer 2014, indie authors can take pre-orders for their ebooks published on Kindle DP. But do pre-orders make good marketing sense?

That depends where you’re at as an author.

The pre-order will help a couple of different indie authors. First, it will be useful for authors who do a lot of promotional activities via mailing lists and social media, as it extends the publicity period for the book. They now can list the book on and Goodreads to promote pre-orders, then on the book’s launch date can change up the publicity campaign to “Book has been released!” Should pre-orders put them on’s Top 100 bestseller list for the ebook’s category, that adds a third layer of publicity. Secondly, pre-orders will be useful for writers of series novels. By taking pre-orders, those authors can decrease the amount of time between book releases, taking advantage of fan and reader interest to land sales.

For those authors whose pre-orders will take a chunk out of sizable sales on their book’s release day, though, it’s a bad strategy. Pre-order sales don’t help a book’s release date ranking. Suppose for example that sales of a 1000 books likely will get an author into the Top 100 bestsellers list for that ebook’s category and about that many sales are anticipated. If pre-orders amount to 700 sales, leaving the author with only 300 sales on launch date, then pre-orders have knocked the book off the bestseller list simply because it was released.


My name is Rob Bignell. I’m an affordable, professional editor who runs Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the manuscript needs of writers both new and published. I also offer a variety of self-publishing services. During the past decade, I’ve helped more than 300 novelists and nonfiction authors obtain their publishing dreams at reasonable prices. I’m also the author of the 7 Minutes a Day… writing guidebooks, four nonfiction hiking guidebook series, and the literary novel Windmill. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published.