Can I confess something to you? After writing over 300 nonfiction children’s books to deadline, I kinda don’t really like deadlines anymore. Don’t get me wrong—I see their usefulness and even their necessity. But that doesn’t mean I have to like them.
In fact, since I’ve stopped writing nonfiction and started indie publishing my fiction, I admit that I haven’t really set deadlines for myself. Sure, I have goals and target dates—but I rarely set myself a hard and fast deadline. It’s not because I can’t meet deadlines—if anything, it’s probably more because I become a deadline machine, committed to doing whatever it takes to meet them! And also because I don’t want to be confined or restricted by a deadline. Sometimes my fiction writing does not go as I had planned, leading me to rewrite entire sections of books, which takes time (and can result in a completely changed book blurb to boot!). Or life happens (case in point, our recent cross-country move). Or I just don’t want the pressure of a deadline hanging over my head like a cartoon anvil ready to drop (though cartoon characters always survive them, I’m not so sure I would!).
At any rate, I think my aversion for deadlines is part of the reason I don’t usually set a preorder for my books (though there are other reasons too). But that’s not to say I can’t change! In fact, that’s one of the things I love about being an indie author—I can test new things, try new ways of running my business. To that end, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to preorders lately, and I can clearly see both the pros and the cons of preorders from the author side. But what I really want to know is what you see as the pros and cons of preorders from the reader’s side (because ultimately that’s why we write our books…for our readers).
I’d be so grateful if you’d help me out by answering a few questions with your thoughts on preorders:
Thanks so much for helping me give serious thought to whether or not to set up preorders for future books. And please feel free to expand on your answers in the comments—I want to know your thoughts on all things preorder, including any reader-side considerations I may have missed!