I'm eagerly awaiting the release of what I consider my very best work as an anthology editor, Best Women's Erotica of the Year, Volume 1, and am setting aside most of January to promote it far and wide. Yes, for the next few weeks, I'm thinking of my primary job as "marketer" rather than writer or even editor. It's been fascinating so far to get to learn about things like feminist bookstores (I can now tell you what towns those 13 remaining ones in North America are located!) and sex toy stores and hear from stores that are excited to stock the book, such as Good Vibrations, Come As You Are and Good for Her (I hope to add to that list soon). It's been fun to get postcards made and to hear from early reviewers who are eager to read it. So as part of my marketing campaign, I wanted to share one major way you can support the book.
Taking over a long-running series means the stakes are high, and I want to do well by my publisher, my authors, and myself. So I wanted to share 3 reasons to consider pre-ordering the book, so it's either at your door by January 12th (and, if history has proven correct, earlier, if you pre-order from Amazon) or on your e-reader on that day. Without further ado:
1. Lock in a great price
While the price on a book's paper cover doesn't change, how much stores actually charge for it may, especially online. Right now, BWE of the Year 1 (my shorthand) is only $12.88 in paperback on Amazon. That's a savings of $4.07!
2. Enter to win a $25 Amazon.com gift certificate (if you order on Amazon by January 11)
I'm giving away 5 $25 Amazon gift cards to anyone who pre-orders the print or Kindle edition on Amazon.com (U.S.). If that isn't incentive to pre-order, I don't know what is! Here's the instructions:
1. Pre-order the paperback or Kindle edition of Best Women's Erotica of the Year, Volume 1 from Amazon.com (US) by January 11, 2016.
2. Forward receipt to email@example.com by January 11, 2016 at 11:59 pm EST.
3. You'll recieve a reply within 72 hours confirming that you're entered!
4. Winners will be selected and notified on January 12, 2016.
3. Support me and the series
Pre-orders signal to retailers that there is customer interest in a book, which usually prompts them to cater to those customers accordingly and order more books. More books in stores means more opportunities for the book to come across a customer's radar.
Now, I'm a very small fish in a gigantic, author-filled pond. For other authors, pre-orders may help them get on bestseller lists. For me, it can mean the difference between a book selling hundreds vs. thousands of copies in its first quarter, which translates into my paycheck. If this book does well, it's likely to mean more resources available to me to do more readings and events and book giveaways. If it does very very well, then if I get to edit more volumes, I'll be able to pay authors more. Ultimately, the better this book does, the greater a percentage of my time I will be able to devote to anthology editing.
If it does well, it will hopefully mean I get to editor more books in the series (I already have a contract for the second volume, and will post the call for submissions on January 1 at bweoftheyear.com. Now, my book won't succeed or fail based on pre-orders alone, but if you are planning to read it, ordering it from your favorite independent bookstore or an online store goes a long way for the same price.
Here's what February Media says about pre-orders:
When a customer pre-orders a book, the sale of that book counts towards the first week’s sales. For instance, if you sell 300 books 3 months before the book goes on sale, those 300 sales are added to whatever books are sold in stores on the on sale date.Josh Cook explains it thusly:
First pre-orders represent an early return on investment. One of the biggest challenges publishers face (that bookstores don't quite so much) is the sheer distance between the investment and the return. Typically, the time between the initial expense of an author advance (I'm not even counting the cost of an acquisitions editor) and actual sales of the book is a year at minimum, a year in which the publisher pretty much spends money constantly on the book. And even once sales begin, publishers really don't know what they've made back from their investment until months after the book has been released. It is a lot of time to keep the lights on. Pre-orders inject early cash into the economic equation of bookselling. (Via money to bookstores who then pay publishers.)In other words, pre-orders will help Cleis Press know their faith in me has not been misplaced. It will help show them I'm not just good with words, but with sales, which is, of course, what ultimately drives the business of books, like any other business. Pre-orders are powerful, and basically multiply your consumer spending in a way that can have a ripple effect for authors, all the more so when we are talking about small businesses.
For instance, most of the bookstore lists I've been privy to related to my books have shown that small independent bookstores typically order 1 or 2 copies of a new book of mine (remember: small fish, gigantic pond). Now imagine if you're a store that's ordered 1 copy to put on your shelves on January 12th, the release date, and you get a pre-order. And then another. And then maybe another. You know that your one lone copy won't be enough. You'll need more for those pre-orders and are therefore logically more likely to take an extra copy to stock on your shelves. To my mind, it's pretty much basic supply and demand.
Ready to pre-order? Here are handy links:
Barnes & Noble (print)
IndieBound (find your nearest local bookstore)
Amazon UK (print)
Amazon UK Kindle
Amazon Canada (print)
Amazon Canada Kindle