Preorders are a big deal in the writing world! When I started my self-publishing journey, I did as much research as I could on how to launch them on different platforms. Unfortunately, while I found a huge berth of information on KDP preorders, the actual step-by-step process for preorders on Ingramspark was a wasteland, to say the least.
Having gone through this process twice now–opening preorders for DARKWIND and THE CHAOS CIRCUS – I want to fill in that gap by giving you simple, clear instructions for how to open preorders on your Ingramspark project!
Create Your Title
This is pretty self-explanatory. On the Ingramspark homepage, you’ll see this:
Top of the page!
When you click “Add a New Title”, Ingramspark will walk you through a 5-page process of titling, categorizing, and pricing your book.
Now at one phase of this, you will see a place where you can select your ON SALE DATE and your PUBLICATION DATE.
2. Set your On Sale/Publication Dates
When I first did Ingramspark for TCC, I thought the PUBLICATION DATE was the release date (March 12th) and the ON SALE DATE should be the PREORDER date (early December). Makes sense, right?
NOPE. Your ON SALE DATE and PUBLICATION DATE should be the SAME. DATE! I wrestled with this for a while before I finally got it:
In the case of TCC, I set both for March 12th, 2019. This is because the ON SALE DATE is not for the readers purchasing your book, it is for the distributors sending your book out. Therefore, if you have differing dates, your book may be sent out early. Even way early. So set both the on sale and publication dates to your publication date!
3. Approving Proofs
Once you have your book set up, usually within 24-72 hours, you will get an eProof to approve. Don’t worry if you need to upload files multiple times and approve multiple eProofs while you correct changes, it’s all part of the process. But one thing you absolutely want to make sure you do is approve the title only for yourself to view and purchase. To do this, when you go to view your eProof, check your options. You will be given four. One of them is along the lines of “Author approves proof but not for distribution channels” or something to that effect, and that is the one you want. This will enable you to order printed proofs to check formatting WITHOUT the book going into sales.
4. Enabling Distribution
Once your title is created and you have approved it for your own viewing, you can click into it and see a page that looks like this:
Scrolling down further, you will see a part that looks like this:
Now, notice the part that says “Enabled For Distribution”? This screenshot is for DARKWIND, which is open for preorder. You will notice that the “Enabled For Distribution” has a big green check next to it.
Now, this is the same page, but for DARKWIND’S sequel:
Distribution is NOT enabled because this book is not yet available for preorder. And that’s how you do it! Once you know your preorder date, you can hit that “Enable” button on your title’s front page, and it will begin the process of preoder availability.
Timing is tricky for preorders.
While DARKWIND showed up on Amazon and Barnes & Noble within 24 hours of me clicking “Enable”, for TCC it took closer to a week – meaning my preorders were NOT available when I said they’d be. My advice to authors is to enable preorders about a week before you need them, then keep them on the down-low until you announce them on a specific date. So if you plan to open preorders on December 1, hit “Enable” on November 22 or 23.
I hope this is helpful, guys!! Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any further questions about INGRAMSPARK processes and I will do my best to help answer them or point you toward resources that can!