Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Pre-Orders

Have you ever wondered what pre-orders mean to an author. I did, so I asked. The print run is decided by the preorders from the major bookchains and Amazon. Once the pre orders come in to the publisher, that’s how they determine how many to print, which is the print run. The higher the print run, the better the author is doing, and the better an author is doing, the better the publisher treats them, etc. Some authors, those on the highest tier of the writerstratasphere, automatically get high-print runs. They include Nora Roberts, Jayne Ann Krentz, Debbie Macomber, etc. But most authors are in that middle section, that gray area where it also depends upon how much the editor/publisher likes them that determines the print run. Of course, the higher the print run, the more books the author is likely to sell. Have you ever gone to the bookstore to buy your auto-buy and notice that that particular author only has about 2 or 3 books on the shelf? That doesn’t always mean that the others sold out, it could also mean that only 2-3 books were ordered based upon the lack of pre-sales. Sort of like how well a movie does in the theaters may determine how many copies of a movie Blockbuster buys to put on their shelves. A movie that tanked doesn’t lend itself to the likelihood of a lot of rentals. Same with books; a book that doesn’t garner a lot of pre-orders/publicity isn’t likely to engender a lot of confidence in the bookstore as to whether it will sell or not, hence low orders from the publisher for their shelves. Why am I telling you all of this? Because we as readers need to support those authors who sit in that middle and lower section of writer hierarchy. If you have an author that you like who isn’t in that upper rung, who doesn’t seem to have a lot of books at the stores – then start pre-ordering their books. This is also especially true for those just starting out. That’s why I always try to pre-order books. I like to support “my” authors.

14 comments:

Brandy said...

Thanks for explaining all that. I just thought pre-ordered meant to order before it was released and to hold that copy for you. I'll be sure to try and pre-order more of my favorite authors books from now on.
Hope you're feeling well today!

Lis said...

Wow, that's so interesting. I never knew any of that. Like Brandy, I figured pre-order meant you'd get it as soon as it arrived in stock. Good to know!

Deana said...

Yes being married to an author I've learned many in ands outs of the writer business that I never knew. If their last book did well then they are offered more for the second and have more copies printed. The thing is that it is a very fickle business just like Hollywood. I am amazed at how many writers I really like and have had movies even still get dropped by their editors. It is a money game and with less Americans having money to spare for hardbacks the game gets even tighter for the authors. I think only people like Clancy, King, and Grisham never have to worry about it.

Shirley said...

That's a timely reminder, Bailey. I really must pre-order more. We writers need all the help we can get.

susie said...

This is good info. Thank you

Melissa said...

I had no idea about the preorders. Thanks. That was really interesting. Writing category for Harlequin is a different sort of beast, but it's great to know how it works elsewhere.

Susan said...

Once again you are informing me of things I wouldn't have known! Thank you so much for the explanation.

Toni Anderson said...

LOL--When my book *eventually* comes out in print I'm going to be going nuts to encourage pre-orders. LOL.

Does begging work do you think?

Meretta said...

You don't have to beg us, Toni! We'll glady buy your book, but you must sign it so it's worth gazillions when you are a FBA. :)

I've pre-ordered before so I feel good about helping out an author. Obviously it would be good to do it more often.

Thanks for sharing, Bailey!

Stacy Dawn said...

You're the best Bailey!

Dru said...

I recently had to do a report on the benefits of pre-orders in publishing, which is why I always pre-order as well.

Lexi said...

Thanks for the lesson!

Ruby55 said...

I never thought of that either though it does make sense. However, if I pre-order somewhere where I have to pay full price, I miss all the 25% off bargains I can get here. In addition, I'd have to pay shipping and I'm not even sure that pre-ordering in Canada counts.

Or can you rescind your pre-order after you know the book has been printed. After all, I still want that book.

Does it also count toward the NYT and other lists? Thanks, Bailey

spyscribbler said...

I wish I could do that. Gosh, I wish I could do that. When my book-buying budget catches up with my fancies, I definitely will!

So many books ... I need to win the lottery just to support all the authors I want to read!