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Do Pre-Order Book Campaigns Really Work?

The struggle of achieving the ‘buzzy bestseller.’

Image considering whether pre-order book campaigns work or not.
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Wondering whether or not to execute a pre-order book campaign to your schedule? A good place to start: It’s not often that a tweet will have staying power after it disappears from your feed, but this 2021 viral tweet by YA author Jenny Elder Moke still resonates with me: “I know this is very against popular discussion, but the idea of pre-orders being so important to a book’s success is just exhausting. People just…don’t shop that way. Books are a tactile thing, and they’re often a browsing experience. People want to peruse at a bookstore.”

How Do People Buy Books?

As the president of Books Forward, a literary publicity firm, I find the question of “how do people buy books?” is always on my mind because the answers fuel our book marketing efforts. And here was an intriguing offshoot of that essential book-buying question: “Do pre-order book campaigns ‘work?’”

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