Has KDP Pre-order helped level the playing field for authors?

The ability to put a book up for pre-order has long separated the “haves” (traditional publishers) vs the “have nots” (indie presses and self-published authors).  While many authors may not care, for those with an interest in long lead publicity and pre-pub campaigns, the KDP pre-order function is a huge step in leveling the playing field.

KDP Pre-Order

Publishers have long used the pre-order function for print and eBooks. Why not? It increases sales time, helps capture early sales and allows publishers to build momentum towards a book launch. Unfortunately, that’s a feature that has been unavailable to self-published authors and indie presses until now. True, it’s only available at KDP and for eBooks but it still opens big doors.

Here are 5 simple takeaways from a KDP Pre-order campaign:

  1. No matter how many times an author or small press can announce a pub date, media and reviewers still frequently want to see it “for real”. Having a live pre-order page on Amazon puts some muscle behind an announced pub date.

  3. Authors can build out and optimize their KDP page pre-publication. This includes setting up and fleshing out their Author Central page, working on key words and categories and updating their Editorial Reviews section with any early reviews.

  5. The book does not have to be final to be eligible for pre-order. Authors just have to have a draft manuscript to provide to KDP. The final manuscript must be available 10 days prior to publication date. Many pre-pub campaigns are launched off of ARCs and unedited proofs. Now indie authors can take advantage using KDP’s pre-order function.

  7. Books can have up to 90 days of pre-pub time. This is perfect for those publications who want 3-4 months lead time. Publishers can send out ARCs and launch a campaign and have their pre-order page in place.

  9. Many authors use the months leading up to publication developing and expanding their social and professional networks and building momentum for a book’s launch. Having the book available for pre-order can help capture early sales from people who click through and make a purchase rather than make a mental note to remember the pub date.


Being able to pre-order a book helps capture the “instant gratification” of early book marketing and PR. You hear about a book, you want it, and you buy it. In the past, while indie publishers have been able to execute pre-pub and long lead publicity campaigns, they’ve missed out on any sales that could have occurred while hundreds of ARCS have passed through the hands of reviewers, editors, producers and bloggers.


While KDP Pre-order is not the perfect solution (we’d love to see it for print books too!) this is a huge step toward leveling the playing field.


Remember, just putting a book up for pre-order won’t guarantee book sales! This should be just one piece of your overall pre-pub plan. More on that in a later post!


Return from KDP Pre-order to The Cadence Group Home


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