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How to Use Preorders to Fund Your Book Projects as an Indie Author

indie author preorders

As an indie author, leveraging preorders can be a powerful strategy to fund your book projects. Unlike crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter, using preorders allows you to engage directly with your audience and generate early sales. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to effectively use preorders without Kickstarter.

1. Build Your Author Platform

  • Website: Create a professional author website where you can showcase your books, share your blog, and provide preorder information.

  • Email List: Develop and nurture an email list of interested readers. Use platforms like Mailchimp or ConvertKit to manage your list and send updates.

  • Social Media: Engage with your audience on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. Consistent engagement helps build anticipation for your book.

2. Offer Preorder Incentives

  • Exclusive Content: Offer exclusive content or early access to chapters for those who preorder. This adds extra value and entices readers to commit early.

  • Discounts: Provide special pricing for preorders. A lower price can encourage more readers to take the plunge.

  • Signed Copies or Merch: For physical books, offer signed copies or exclusive merchandise. Personal touches can make a big difference.

3. Market and Promote Your Preorder Campaign

  • Countdown Campaigns: Use your email list and social media to run countdown campaigns leading up to the release. Build excitement and anticipation.

  • Collaborations and Giveaways: Partner with other authors or influencers to run giveaways and cross-promote. This can expand your reach significantly.

  • Media Outreach: Send press releases to relevant media outlets, bloggers, and book reviewers. Early media coverage can boost your visibility.

4. Utilize Direct Sales Platforms

  • Shopify or WooCommerce: Create a dedicated store on your website where readers can preorder directly. This can give you more control over sales and customer data.

  • Payhip or Gumroad: These platforms allow you to sell digital products directly to your audience, offering preorders with ease.

5. Engage with Your Community

  • Beta Readers and ARC Teams: Involve beta readers or Advance Reader Copy (ARC) teams to generate early reviews and buzz. Positive early reviews can be a powerful marketing tool.

  • Author Q&A and Live Sessions: Host live Q&A sessions or webinars to engage with your audience and build excitement for the book. Interaction can drive more preorders.

6. Track and Adjust Your Strategy

  • Analytics: Use analytics tools to track the performance of your preorder campaigns. Monitor what’s working and what’s not.

  • Feedback: Collect and respond to feedback from your audience to improve your strategies for future releases. Adaptability is key.

What Price Do People Expect to Pay for Preorders?

The price people expect to pay for preorders can vary based on several factors, including the genre, format, the author's popularity, and the perceived value of any preorder incentives. Here are some general guidelines:


  • Standard eBooks: Typically, readers expect to pay between $2.99 and $9.99 for preordered eBooks.

  • Discounted Preorders: Offering a preorder discount (e.g., $0.99 to $2.99) can attract more buyers. After the release, you can raise the price to its standard rate.

  • Genre-Specific Pricing: Certain genres, such as romance or mystery, often have competitive pricing, usually on the lower end of the spectrum.


  • Standard Paperbacks: The price for paperback preorders usually ranges from $9.99 to $19.99, depending on the book's length, production quality, and market norms.

  • Special Editions: If you're offering special editions or signed copies, you might price them higher, around $15.99 to $25.99 or more.


  • Standard Hardcovers: Hardcover preorders are generally priced between $19.99 and $29.99. This format is less common for indie authors but can be an option for special releases or limited editions.

Incentives and Bundles:

  • Exclusive Content: If you include exclusive content, early access, or bonus materials, you can justify a higher price point.

  • Bundles: Offering bundles (e.g., eBook + paperback) at a slightly discounted rate compared to purchasing separately can attract more preorders.

Factors to Consider When Pricing Preorders

  • Author Popularity: Established authors or those with a significant following might price their preorders higher due to perceived value and demand.

  • Production Costs: Ensure your preorder price covers your production costs, including editing, cover design, and marketing expenses.

  • Market Research: Look at similar books in your genre and format to gauge the standard pricing and adjust accordingly.

Tips for Pricing Preorders

  1. Competitive Analysis: Research similar books in your genre to see what they are priced at during the preorder phase.

  2. Value Proposition: Highlight the value readers will receive by preordering, such as exclusive content, discounts, or special editions.

  3. Experimentation: Test different price points for your preorders with smaller audiences to see what works best.

By implementing these steps and considering these pricing strategies, you can effectively use preorders to fund your book projects, engage your audience, and ensure a successful book launch. Happy writing!


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