KDPHmm. This is an interesting development, which I just noticed via Passive Voice. Amazon just opened up pre-orders to self-published authors through Kindle Direct Publishing.

I say interesting because one of the complaints in the Hachette/Amazon conflict has been the removal of pre-order buttons from Hachette books. I’ve seen many indie authors who say one of the reasons they have little sympathy for Hachette is that Amazon is removing something indies have rarely had access to. No more.

You can make your new books available for pre-order in Kindle Stores worldwide. Setting a pre-order allows customers to order your book as early as 90 days before your book’s release date.  When you make your book available for pre-order, customers can order the book anytime leading up to the release date you set and it will be delivered to them on that date.

One advantage of pre-order is that you can start promoting your book before launch to help raise awareness. You can promote your book’s pre-order page on Author Central, Goodreads, your own site, and elsewhere. Also, pre-orders will contribute toward sales rank and other Kindle Store merchandising even before your book is released, which can help more readers discover your book.

Amazon is requiring the upload of either a final version or a draft at least 10 days before sale day so they can verify it doesn’t violate any of their Program Policies.

As you can imagine, there’s a lively debate going on KBoards where some authors are thrilled and others less so. Why? Because one author who has previously had access to pre-orders says it affects first day rankings because pre-orders aren’t counted.

While I don’t doubt that Amazon has been planning this for a while, I do think the timing of the new feature is at least in part based on the conflict.Whatever the reason for the timing, I do see this as a good option for Amazon published authors. Allow me to add my voice to those who say, “Now open up Unlimited to not require exclusivity!”


  1. When I saw the notice in my inbox, I thought, perhaps belatedly, “Amazon is trying to put publishers out of business and build up the power of individual authors to replace them.”

    Now, this was strictly stream of consciousness, but is that possible? I’m not even sure what the implications would be. Feudalism?

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