When a commercial publisher issues a print edition of a new book, the process includes a long buildup. Advertising and press releases go out ahead of a release date, followed by the mailing of advance reader copies for reviewers, retailers, and involved parties to examine. The author might even be signed up and prepped for a book tour of public readings and interviews.
It hasn’t been quite that orderly for ebooks, though things are shifting.
A pre-release period is one alternative strategy. It gives booklovers an introduction to a coming attraction and an opportunity to be among the first line up for a new work, often at an attractively discounted price.
In effect, this creates two release dates – an advance ordering period followed by a second big occasion when the book itself is finally “published” and available to all. It’s one way for authors to build up a stronger initial sales tally on opening day, tweaking the important algorithms that determine the placement of the work in the digital lineup where it can be more easily seen.
Even a few buyers can make a huge difference, and this approach avoids the uneventful situation of simply dropping the book, ragtag, into the marketplace.
In my case, the big release date is set for September 8 at Smashwords and its affiliated digital bookstores, including the Apple Store, Barnes & Noble’s Nook, Scribd, and Sony’s Kobo. And until then, it’s being offered at half price.
This option also allows me time to tweak the text, if necessary, and invites you to share in building a buzz. Nothing beats word of mouth, for sure.
Quaking Dover is one work where people have told me they want to read the book when it comes out, and here’s their chance to confirm that.
So buy early and save. Pretty please?