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#IWSG I did something scary!


I did something recently that’s both exciting and scary! My next book, Understanding Cemetery Symbols: A Field Guide for Exploring Historic Graveyards is now available for preorder on Amazon.  Both the paperback and the ebook are available now at deep discounts!


Hanging out with Yoda at the Weatherford, TX Comic Con (photo by Larry Snider)
Hanging out with Yoda at the Weatherford, TX Comic Con (photo by Larry Snider)

Why is that scary?

Because: DEADLINES! I am not a fan of deadlines, but the preorder process forced me to pick a hard and fast one for this book; August 19th! *gulp* So the scary part is that my book is not 100% done. The text needs smoothing, I’ve not sent it to the editor, and I’m still fussing around with the arrangement of topics.

KDP is Haunted…

What’s really got me quaking in my boots is adding all the photos. I want to add a bunch! But I find this tricky, especially when creating the ebook version. For some reason, a manuscript will look just fine and dandy, but  after uploading to Amazon Kindle, photos get nudges this way and that, sometimes even right off the page. I swear Amazon KDP is haunted!

And my preorders were not showing up = panic!

Getting my paperback book set up for preorder on Amazon was a little confusing. They don’t make it as easy as they do for ebooks. One thing you’re supposed to do with paperback preorders is to check your account once a day and accept each purchase order.

After several days, however, there were no preorders in my account.  I know of at least six people who preordered the book, though. I even preordered one from my hubby’s account as a test. Even then, my account still showed nothing.

Which led to a  phone call from… India?!?

Naturally, this made me worried! So I wrote an email to Amazon. A few minutes later, I got a phone call from Bengaluru, Karnataka, India. I did not pick up because I get sooooo many spammy phone calls. As it turns out, however, that phone call was Amazon’s customer service. So keep that in mind if you ever deal with Amazon!

All sorted out…

As it turns out, I don’t have to start checking my account until a month before the book release. My account won’t show any preorders until then. Crazy, eh? But at least I know my preorders have not gone the way of all the missing socks my dryer has eaten..

Want to set up preorders for the paperback version of your book?

By the way, if you want to learn how to make your paperback book available for preorder on Amazon, check out this extremely thorough tutorial by Eric Van Der Hope: How to Set-up Pre-Orders on Amazon (for Print Books).  The infamous “Big Six” publishers already know how to do this, but there’s surprisingly little info out there on this topic for us indie peeps. (Eric’s a really nice guy, as well! After I friended him on Facebook, he messaged me and asked if I needed any help.)

So there’s my IWSG post for this month. Time to get back to work! I look forward to making the rounds and seeing how everything’s going for you! :)

What is IWSG?

IWSG stands for “Insecure Writers Support Group.” It’s a monthly check-in for writers of all stripes. Its creator, Alex J. Cavanaugh, describes ISWG like this:

“Purpose of IWSG: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!” – Alex J. Cavanaugh

1-Insecure Writers Support Group Badge

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No matter where you live in the galaxy, Tui's books can take you on a FUN adventure!
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  1. Jen Jen

    Whew! That does sound scary but at least you got to hang with Yoda! How cool is that? And I’m very glad everything worked out with the Amazon calls and the preorders. The deeper I go into writing/publishing, the more I realize there is out there that can bite. But that’s can’t keep us from jumping in the water. We just need bigger boats :D


  2. Hi Tui –

    I liked your article & I was happy to be of help.

    There are a few things I’d like to help clarify for you which can also help others.

    You wrote: “As it turns out, I don’t have to start checking my account until a month before the book release. My account won’t show any preorders until then.”

    I assume you got that info from an Amazon Rep. 50% of the time they are right, and the other 50% of the time they are wrong. They are correct on the fact that you don’t have to check your account until about a month before, but that is only because you’ll need to confirm any Purchase Orders that come in.

    To clarify, the only reason is that it’s necessary to confirm the Purchase Orders (which are NOT a direct result of any pre-orders you get. These are 2 totally different things. I’ve gone into more detail about that in my article, which you shared).

    The part that the Amazon Rep was not accurate about is that the actual Customer Orders (the pre-orders) WILL actually start showing up within 24-48 hours after someone purchases the book. They don’t accumulate and show up at the end, it doesn’t work that way.

    Unfortunately, in many instances when people say they’ve purchased your book there are any number of reasons that is not actually true. They may just say they did to make you feel better, or they thought they purchased it (they purchased some other book), or they say they did but will do so later, then they forget, etc. etc. There are many, many reasons … I’ve been doing this a while and I’ve not seen all the reasons yet! ;-)

    The other is that there is a technical issue from Amazon’s side of things and usually gets cleared up after you bring it to someone’s attention.

    From the time I’ve been doing this and teaching it to students and clients (since 2008), all pre-orders “show up” almost real-time (taking into account Amazon’s database updates once every 24 hours, so you will not see it show up until 24-48 hours later).

    The other thing to consider is where to find these “missing” orders. Since the Purchase Orders are NOT the actual Customer Orders, you will NOT find the orders where you think they would be by looking at the Purchase Order results. So when you indicated that the orders were missing, they were probably not because you may have looked in the wrong place. The actual Customer orders are found by accessing a different part of the AA account (if you don’t know where that is, let me know and I’ll post for you).

    Hope this helps clarify things. :-)

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