Status Report: Preorder Live

I set up the preorder for Ten Thousand Hours with Amazon for November 1.

There’s no Look Inside (thank god — the draft they have as a placeholder isn’t fit for human consumption) and only 10 pages so far are sort of ready to post here as an excerpt (not worth bothering until I get to a chapter break, at least). Of course I don’t expect anyone to order something they can’t even peek at.

So why set up preorder, particularly when I said I’d never do it again?

  1. Ease of visibility. Site traffic patterns suggest the vast majority of viewers are interested only in the next book. Now, they don’t have to leave Amazon to find out the drop date.
  2. Appearances. It looks more professional to have more than one book on my author page and search results.
  3. Accountability. I’m one of those people who will spend ten times as long to make something 1% better in a way absolutely no one will ever notice. I would never finish anything if left to my own devices. With preorder set up, I have to deliver the final product no later than October 21 or face dire consequences from the overlords in addition to the shame that will last forever.
  4. Confidence. I go through phases of intense insecurity that usually coincide with other eyes looking at my work. It’s a twisted protective mechanism left over from my childhood — you can’t hurt me as well as I can, neener neener. It’s not resolved by reassurance from my editors that the book isn’t that bad (they’re obviously lying because they want that final payment). It’s resolved by doing the work to make the book better, seeing it’s not that hard to make improvements, and watching these revision pages whiz by. The book will be fit for human consumption after this revision, and it will be ready to submit no later than October 21. Not because of wishful thinking but because I’ve seen the job and it’s doable.
  5. Wishful thinking. If anyone is daring enough to preorder, I’ll get a sales rank bump that improves my placement sitewide, which is enormously helpful in terms of being found by new readers, especially during the new-release window.

ETA August 20: Thanks so much to the people who preordered already without even seeing a sample. In only four days, the book went from page 86 in Coming Soon under contemporary romance to page 15, and out of 4,719,821 Kindle books, 10KH has ranked as high as 89,519 (within the top 2%) before it even technically exists, so the wishful thinking is going well so far!

What will I do with myself during the 10 days of thumb twiddling between the due date and release day, which was my main problem with preorder last time? Unlike last time, I won’t be juggling multiple vendors, so once I deliver that one upload, I’m done. No more scrambling necessary. Ten days is enough time to format the content and cover of the print book, order a proof copy, get it in the mail, and approve it. Other than that, I can move on to the next project.

What’s the next project? I’m not sure yet. I’m trying not to think too much about it because it is hellaciously easy to get derailed by a new shiny. There’s an old project calling to me as if it believes I’m ready to do it justice now. Something came up a couple months ago that appeals because it will be shorter, and coming off a year with 10KH, a mere six-month commitment sounds blissful. Depends how I feel at the end of October.

At any rate, there will be an excerpt soon to make the preorder option less of a leap of faith. (And here it is.)

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