Wednesday, March 07, 2007
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.