How to Set-up Pre-Orders on Amazon (for Print Books)

Technique using Amazon Advantage & Createspace

Back in January 2012, a Createspace forum member asked how to set up Pre-Orders on Amazon. I replied with an answer. Since then, that thread has grown to over 24 pages long, got approx. 188,026 Views & received 385 Replies! That 1 Createspace thread was (by far) the only place on the internet with the most information on how to set up Pre-Orders on Amazon (for print books). Now … this is the most in-depth article that can be found on the web that explains this process. This method has worked for hundreds if not thousands of folks. I’m proud to admit that my students and clients experienced a 100% success rate using my process. As a matter of fact, a friend of mine (Eric Vogel) pointed out to me that Pat Flynn used the same process during the pre-launch of his latest book: “Will It Fly“! Pat explained in his blog post how he followed my advise from the Createspace thread. I was honored to have helped Pat in an indirect way with his launch strategy! My goal with this article was to condense all the information from that 24 page long Createspace thread, and update the step-by-step process so that it’s current and easier to follow. Enjoy!

For years, as long as Amazon has existed or at least as far back as I can remember (which was around the time I published my first book in 2008), listing an unpublished book with a future publish date (for pre-order) was actually nothing new for a ‘select’ few on Amazon. It was a little ‘secret’ that Mainstream/Traditional (‘The Big 6’) Publishers, including some mid-size publishers and well-known in demand authors were using this technique.

(c) Gustavo Frazao – Fotolia.com

However, Amazon still remains indifferent to officially introducing a straight forward pre-order process for print books and as a result there has been limited information on any specific strategy that could work. Prior to discovering a way to set up print books for pre-orders on Amazon, I was frustrated that the process was clearly not available for indie publishers. After noticing other folks in the indie book publishing community expressing their frustration as well, I decided to look into the process a bit more thoroughly.

After figuring out what these Mainstream Publishers were doing I tested out the process with my 2nd book in 2010 – and IT WORKED!!

I came up with an unorthodox way of setting up pre-orders for print books on Amazon. The process is somewhat convoluted (but in no way is it ‘risky’). So, if you are determined to create an Official Amazon Listing that’ll take pre-orders for your print book, then you should find the information within this article very beneficial.

I’m assuming you understand the benefits to creating buzz, momentum and extra visibility for your book before it’s officially launched, that’s why setting up an Official Amazon Listing in order to take pre-orders can be an effective strategy if used properly.

It’s important to note: that Amazon Kindle does offer the ability to set up Pre-Orders (but this wasn’t always the case). This changed sometime mid-2014. So, there is plenty of information about that process in many places on the internet, including Amazon’s own KDP Publishing website.

To set up pre-orders on Amazon, there are a few requirements:

  1. Access to Amazon Advantage.
  2. You need to have decided on using Createspace as your ‘printer’.
  3. You’ll need an ISBN.
  4. Images of your book cover (Front & Back, use your first draft if necessary).
  5. Salescopy for your Amazon Book Listing.

If you also want to set up your book for pre-orders on http://Amazon.co.uk, the process is basically the same. However, there are 1 or 2 different aspects that differ slightly (which I’ll address later on in this article).

Let’s say you are not using Createspace, but LightningSource or Ingram Spark instead. You can still set up pre-orders for your book on Amazon, but you will NOT have to follow the process I’m sharing in this article because these companies will set up this process inhouse. The disadvantage of setting up pre-orders via LightningSource and Ingram Spark is that whatever sales are made during the pre-order stage, that info will not be as current as the data you see if you set up an Amazon Advantage account directly. Setting up a Amazon Advantage account will give you the advantage of almost real-time data (updates once every 24 hours). If you have an interest on how effective your marketing techniques are during your launch campaign, setting up directly with Amazon Advantage could be more beneficial.

Before going into a step-by-step explanation, I think it will be helpful to provide a summary overview of the pre-ordering process.

It’s important to note, that this process only works if you’ve not yet published your book (thus the reason for using the term: ‘pre-ordering’ in the title of this article). So for example, if you are using Createspace as your printer and have already ‘approved’ your book, then this process will not work.

Pre-Ordering Process Overview:

If you decide to use Createspace, make sure to follow this process BEFORE you approve the book.

  • Create an Amazon Listing (by opening a ‘temporary’ account with Amazon Advantage) in advance of your ‘Official’ publish date.
  • Add your book ISBN.
  • Add book cover images (Front & Back cover recommended).
  • Add Salescopy (Book description, editorials, etc.).
  • Customers purchase book in advance of ‘official’ publish date using Amazon’s pre-order button.
  • Confirm Purchase Orders in Amazon Advantage account as they come in.
  • Monitor Customer Orders as they appear in your Amazon Advantage account – updates occur once every 24 hours.
  • Approx 4 (four) hours before your ‘Official’ publish day, approve your print/proof-ready book on Createspace.
  • Re-confirm all Purchase Orders with “0” units.
  • Close/cancel the title (your book) from Amazon Advantage and transfer all pre-orders (use exact wording in steps below) to Createspace for fulfillment.
  • During the night transition occurs, book status will change as it updates.
  • The ‘Pre-order: Add to Cart’ button will transition to ‘Add to Cart’ button.
  • Customer Orders from Amazon Advantage transfer over to Createspace (usually happens on the 1st day).
  • Close your Amazon Advantage account approx. 1 month after ‘official’ publish date if you have no plans to publish again.
  • Repeat the process for future books.

Having shared with you the overview, I’m sure you’re now ready for a more in-depth step by step process on how to set up pre-orders (for print books) on Amazon. Here you go:

(Note: If you’ve got any questions or would like to share any comments about this article, feel free to use the “Comments” section below this article.)

Setting up the book on Amazon is straightforward, it’s the monitoring and transition that requires a bit more effort. Just follow the process 1 step at a time. What you think may be overwhelming, will end up working out just fine.

Step 1: Set up an Amazon Advantage (AA) account

Remember, you must NOT have approved your proof for publication on Createspace yet for this process to work.

You will however need a print/proof-ready file “ready to go” on Createspace before the final step.

If you want your book available on Amazon.com, then sign up using the following link:

https://advantage.amazon.com/gp/vendor/setup-sign-in/create-account/181-4161027-7559324?ie=UTF8&successUrl=/gp/vendor/registration/ref=mm_soa_adv_signup (This is NOT an affiliate link)

If you want your book available on Amazon.co.uk, then sign up using the following link:

https://advantage.amazon.co.uk/gp/vendor/setup-sign-in/create-account/181-4161027-7559324?ie=UTF8&successUrl=/gp/vendor/registration/ref=mm_soa_adv_signup (This is NOT an affiliate link)

Complete Amazon’s application process, you’ll end up having to accept a few T&C’s and provide contact information. Use up-to-date email address and contact name. You’ll also be asked to choose a payment method. Even though you are providing this info, you will not be depending on Amazon Advantage for payments, etc. All this will be handled by Createspace after the transition.

The annual fee for maintaining an Amazon Advantage account is now $99.00 (it recently changed from $29.95) and it’s not an upfront fee.

Amazon-Advantage-Setup-1

This is what your Amazon Advantage Interface looks like while setting up.

If all information has been filled out correctly, Amazon usually approves the account instantly. If you notice a slightly different Amazon Advantage interface, you’ve been approved as a new Amazon Vendor.

Amazon-Advantage-Setup-2

This is what your Amazon Advantage Interface will look like once you’ve been approved as a vendor.

Step 2: Add Your Book to Amazon’s Database

  • At top of page, click on the ‘Items’ tab and a drop-down menu will appear.
  • Click on ‘Add an Item to Your Account’.
  • You’ll be asked to enter your product (choose book).
  • Enter your ISBN (without spaces and hyphens).
  • Click on the yellow/orange ‘Next’ button to continue.
  • Fill in the necessary book details including the book title, author name, price, future publish date, etc.
  • After you’ve completed filling in this information, click on the yellow/orange ‘Preview results’ button.
  • If you need to make some corrections, click on the yellow/orange ‘Edit’ button, if not click on the yellow/orange ‘Submit’ button.
Amazon-Advantage-Setup-3

This is what your Amazon Advantage Interface will look like while adding your book.

Congrats … you’ve successfully added the book to your account!

After you’ve completed this part of the process, you’ll be able to upload images of your book immediately.

Step 3: Add the Book Cover Image to Your Amazon Listing

  • At top of page, click on the ‘Items’ tab and a drop-down menu will appear.
  • Click on ‘Upload Images’.
  • Before uploading your image, read the guidelines about the format and naming conventions, then click on the ‘choose’ your image link. Browse for the image, then click submit.
  • Once Amazon verifies the image/s, your pre-order page will be updated once it goes ‘LIVE‘.
Amazon-Advantage-Setup-4

This is what your Amazon Advantage Interface will look like while adding a book cover image for your book.

It’s ‘normal’ for an Amazon Book Listing to appear (go ‘LIVE‘) within a 24-48 hour period. However, I’ve noticed that books I’ve setup in the past sometimes go ‘LIVE‘ within 3 hours!

That’s it, you’ve set up your book so that Amazon can add it to their database. Now they will move forward on creating your Amazon Book Listing.

So how will you know when your book is ‘LIVE‘? Does Amazon contact you to let you know?

Nope …!

Fortunately, there is an easy way to find out. 🙂

It’s what I describe as: your Authentic Amazon Book url.

Use the following format:

http://amazon.com/dp/xxxxxxxxxx (Replace the x’s with your 10-digit ISBN, do not use spaces or hyphens).

Currently, Amazon uses only the 10-digit ISBN in the url (not the 13-digit ISBN). So if you do not have your 10-digit ISBN, you can convert it.

To convert, simply browse to the following url, then cut and paste your 13-digit ISBN into the space provided and click on the ‘Convert’ button.

http://www.isbn.org/ISBN_converter

If after you’ve used your Authentic Amazon Book url and you notice getting an ‘error’ page or something else that doesn’t look like a typical Amazon Listing, that means the book simply hasn’t been created yet. Once submitted, an Amazon Book Listing (your Book Detail Page), will go ‘LIVE’ as soon as a couple hours or as late as 3 days later.

Just keep using your Authentic Amazon Book url to check if your book is ‘LIVE‘.

Step 4: How to Confirm Purchase Orders (POs)

Before I share with you how, I’d like to clarify that Purchase Orders should NOT be cancelled. As Purchase Orders (POs) come in, they actually need to be confirmed (not cancelled). It’ll be more clear as I take you step-by-step.

I’ve noticed in working with my students and clients (authors and publishers alike) they sometimes get confused with the differences between Purchase Orders (POs) and actual Customer Orders (COs).

Purchase Orders ARE NOT actual Customer Orders.

Having said that, it’s also important to note that Purchase Orders are really NOT an accurate representation of pre-orders coming in. Amazon automatically generates these “orders” (POs) based on the current and anticipated customer demand. IF you were planning on using Amazon Advantage as it was intended, then you would actually confirm and SEND those units (indicated in the POs) to Amazon’s wharehouse so they in turn can fulfill orders for it’s customers when your book is published. So for all intents and purposes I refer to these POs as “virtual” orders. In the end, these orders will not have to be fulfilled. The ‘real’ orders that you need to be mindful of are the actual Customer Orders (which are created by customers purchasing your book via the Pre-order button). These orders are what will be transferred over to Createspace for printing and fulfillment after the transition occurs.

  • At the top of the page, hover your mouse over the ‘Orders’ tab and a drop-down menu will appear.
  • Click on ‘Purchase Orders’.
  • Below the sub-heading ‘Action Items’, click on the ‘Confirm new POs’ link.
  • Check mark the POs, then click on the yellow/orange ‘Update Selected Items’ button.
  • Choose the ‘Backordered’ option in the drop-down menu in the ‘Availability’ column. **
  • Choose your ‘official’ publish date in the ‘Expected Delivery’ column.
  • Click on the yellow/orange ‘Submit’ button.

** Cancelled: Not yet available (use this option if you are using Amazon Advantage UK. This option hasn’t changed for years & AA UK has not indicated that they will transition to the new process, the Backordered option, so continue to use “Cancelled: Not Yet Available”, it will work in the same way as the new option).

Amazon-Advantage-Setup-5

This is what your Amazon Advantage Interface will look like while choosing ‘Backordered’ for your book.

Since you ARE NOT going to use Amazon Advantage to ship books to/from (you are using AA to pre-promote/market your book), selecting “Backordered” and choosing the date the book will be available (your ‘official’ publish date) will be the most appropriate action.

Amazon-Advantage-Setup-6

This is what your Amazon Advantage Interface will look like while choosing the ‘official’ publish date for your book.

The Purchase Orders may or may not come in everyday, but monitoring your account daily is important.

Continue this process until the day you request to transfer your pre-orders to Createspace.

Step 5: Approve (“publish”) Your Book Via Createspace

Shortly after you you publish (via Createspace), your Amazon Listing may go through a series of status updates such as: “Not Available”, “Unavailable at this time” and/or “In Stock” including the transition of the order button from ‘Pre-order: Add to Cart’ button to the normal ‘Add to Cart’ button.

Approx. 4 (four) hours before midnight (of your ‘Official’ publish day) local time (your time), you’ll want to approve (publish) your proof ready book.

Once you approve (publish) your book, you will be notified by Createspace that it usually takes 3 to 5 days before your book appears on Amazon once you approve your proof. But you know your book is already ‘LIVE‘, so there is no waiting for your Amazon Listing to appear.

Do the following & observe:

  • Approve your print/proof-ready book on Createspace approx. 4 hours before midnight (of your ‘official’ publish day).
  • During the next couple hours (or sooner), the Amazon Listing transition will occur.
  • Your book status will change as it updates (example: Out of Stock, Unavailable at this time, In Stock).
  • The ‘Pre-order: Add to Cart’ button will transition to ‘Add to Cart’ button.

The order button transition usually occurs rather quickly, normally no more than 1 or 2 hours (but could take as much as several hours) after you’ve ‘approved’ your book.

6. Re-confirm All Purchase Orders With “0” Units

Immediately after you ‘approve’ (publish) your book on Createspace, you need to “zero out” the units in your Purchase Orders within your Amazon Advantage account by re-confirming these orders with “0” units instead of the original number of units that were confirmed earlier on in the process.

[**NOTE: If you’ve set up your Amazon listing for pre-orders via Amazon Advantage UK, there is no need to “zero out” the orders because when you used the following method: “Cancelled: Not Yet Available”, it automatically “zero’s out” the PO then.**]. But still check and see if you have unconfirmed Purchase Orders and confirm if necessary & then continue with Step 7.

Do the following:

  • At the top of the page, hover your mouse over the ‘Orders’ tab and a drop down menu will appear.
  • Click on ‘Purchase Orders’.
  • Below the sub-heading ‘Confirmed Purchase Orders’ (if you do indeed have confirmed Purchase Orders), check mark the POs, then click on the yellow/orange ‘Open selected POs’ button.
  • Check mark the POs, then click on the yellow/orange ‘Update selected items’ button.
  • Enter a “0” in the ‘Accepted Quantity’ column.
  • Click on the yellow/orange ‘Submit’ button.

Step 7: Close/Cancel the Title (your book) From Amazon Advantage & Transfer Pre-Orders

Now that you’ve re-confirmed these Purchase Orders with “0” units, you’ll want to immediately open a support ticket to request that Amazon Advantage close/cancel the title (book) from your account including transferring whatever pre-orders may have accumulated during the pre-order process to Createspace for fulfillment.

Do the following:

  • Click on the ‘Contact Us’ link to open a Support Case ticket.
  • Below the sub-heading ‘How can we support you?’, choose the following support topic: ‘Manage My Catalog’ in the drop-down menu.
  • For the Specific Issue, choose ‘Change status of one or more items’ in the drop-down menu.
  • Click on the yellow/orange ‘Continue’ button.
  • Describe your case by requesting to close/cancel the book title and transfer pre-orders to Createspace (use suggested wording provided as example in image below).
Amazon-Advantage-Setup-7

This is what your Amazon Advantage Support Ticket will look like (use my suggested wording) before you send it.

Once the request is made, Customer Orders from Amazon Advantage will transfer over to Createpace (usually happens within a couple hours of your request but most if not all of the pre-orders will appear in your Createspace account the next day, your ‘official’ publish day).

In most cases, books will be shipped out immediately. I know of customers receiving their books within 2 days! However, it’s more common to have books shipped and received within 3 to 7 business days.

Normally, you’ll get paid for the books when they are shipped (this is when they’ll appear in your Createspace account).

Step 8: Repeat Steps 2 through 7 for Future Books

Step 9: Close Your Amazon Advantage Account

If you choose to close your Amazon Advantage account (if you have no plans on using this process again), then wait approx. 30 days.

Then send in a request to terminate your account via the Support Ticket system, confirm for them that there should be no inventory on hand (because you never did send Amazon any units).

Amazon’s comments:

Once an Advantage account has been closed, it cannot be reactivated. If you wish to participate in the Advantage program after closing your account, you will need to create a new account by submitting a new application form. You will not be able to use the same organization (payee) name or login name as you used for your previous account.

You are done!

If all this is overwhelming, I can understand. I’m currently working on a educational course that’ll explain everything step-by-step via video tutorials. It’ll be like you watching me over my shoulder.

In the meantime, I have a short video summary of this entire process here:

https://ericvanderhope.com/pre-order-on-amazon/

Would you mind doing two things …?

Thing #1: If you’d like to add to the discussion, feel free to comment below.

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Eric is a #1 International Bestselling Author, Ghost Publisher & Book Marketing Coach. He helps struggling content creators navigate the often-confusing publishing and book marketing process and shortens the time it takes to become a published author. More specifically, Eric helps writers, bloggers & authors find their tribe, build their platform, share their message & make a difference by transforming their message into a bestselling book. Hundreds of authors have benefited from his advice by publishing their own books successfully.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • PURE….amazing! Thanks Eric….awesome!

  • Kelvin Genius

    thanks for all the help! Trying this right now!

    • Kelvin Genius

      I’m guessing I can’t do this seeing as I don’t have a business? Or is this fine seeing as I’ll be removing the books after publication date?

      • Hey Kelvin, if you do not have an ‘official’ business, simply choose a business name for yourself, you should be fine.

    • Hey Kelvin, great. Let me know if you have any questions.

  • Marsha Malcolm

    I tried this and my upcoming release is now available for pre-order as a CS paperback! Thanks, Eric! Is there any way to link the CS version to the Kindle version? Not sure if I missed something or if it’s not possible.

    • You are welcome Marsha … I’m happy to see this process work for you. Yes (if by CS version you are referring to the Amazon Listing), there is a way to link the Amazon Listing (for your paperback) to the Amazon Kindle edition. If both editions have the exact title and subtitle they will eventually link. However, if you don’t want to wait, you can simply login to your Author Central (http://authorcentral.com) account and request that you’d like your Amazon Listing (for your paperback) and Amazon Kindle Listing to link together. Follow the steps: 1 – Login into your Author Central Account, 2 – Click on the Help link (top right hand corner of webpage), 3 – Click on the ‘yellow/orange ‘Contact Us’ button (should be on left side of webpage), 4 – Select an Issue = my Books, Select details = Update information about a book, Update something else, I want to link one edition of my book to another edition, 5 – Check the eMail option to contact Amazon (your name and email address should autofill, if not, fill that info in), 6 – Type the following into the question/feedback form: “I’d like to request that Amazon link the 2 editions (the paperback and Kindle) of the same book: [Insert the title of your book, the name of author & ISBN here], so that they appear together on the same Amazon Listing Page. The current Amazon Listings for these two editions are the following: Print Book: ISBN: “xxxxxxxxxx” (listed at: http://amazon.com/dp/xxxxxxxxxx) [[[ Insert your 10-digit ISBN in place of the x’s.]]] & Kindle Book: ASIN: xxxxxxxxxx (listed at: http://www.amazon.com/dp/xxxxxxxxxx) [[[Insert your 10-digit ASIN in place of the x’s.]]]. Then click on the yellow/orange ‘Send eMail’ button to submit your request. Wait a couple days and you should be good to go. Sometimes it gets updated faster. Do that and it’ll work. Let me know if you have further questions and I’ll be happy to help. 🙂

      • Marsha Malcolm

        I’ll definitely try that ASAP, Eric. Thanks for your help. You’re a veritable fountain of information.

        • You are welcome Marsha … & thank YOU. I really appreciate your kind comments, that means so much! 🙂

          • Marsha Malcolm

            It worked! Thank you so much for sharing, Eric!

          • Perfect … so happy to know this has been beneficial for you! 🙂

  • Michael Sey

    I tried to set the PO to Backordered and the option wasn’t there, so I chose ‘Cancelled: Not yet Available’.

    I came back to the item just to check, and the option for ‘Backordered: External Confirmation’ had arrived! But as I pressed it, I was told it was invalid?

    • Hi Michael, seems kind of odd that the ‘Backordered’ option wasn’t there. However, you did choose ‘Cancelled: Not Yet Available’, so you should be fine (since this was part of the “older” process). Even though you saw an indication of a different option appearing later, this shouldn’t change anything. 🙂

  • Stephen Bentley

    Hi Eric, the confusion between pre-orders (POs) and customer orders (COs) has caused me sleepless nights the last 2 nights. But having re-read your article, it is all clear. You would think that CS Customer Support would have understood the confusion. This is a copy of an email response I received from CS:
    Hello Stephen,

    Thank you for contacting CreateSpace Member Support!

    Since we don’t support pre-orders, we’re unable to move Amazon Advantage pre-orders to CreateSpace. If you need to fulfill the orders for Amazon Advantage, you will have to close the Amazon Advantage account first. A senior support specialist in my department advised that you contact Author Central to speak with them about how to handle these situations.

    Thank you for choosing CreateSpace and allowing us to help you realize your creative vision!

    • Hi Stephen, unfortunately Createspace does not have enough trained specialists that know about setting up pre-orders via Amazon Advantage. As a matter of fact, many Amazon representatives do not have enough training on this topic. There is no official method, system or process that Amazon supports, so it kind of makes sense that many Amazon specialists cannot explain it properly.

      Happy to know my article helped clarify things for you. 🙂

      Oh … something I noticed in your post, you said: “pre-orders (POs) and customer orders (COs)”. Just to clarify, the POs are in reference to Purchase Orders (it’s not a reference to pre-orders). I think you are probably aware of that, but just wanted to clarify for anyone else reading this post/article. 🙂

      • Stephen Bentley

        Good point, well made 🙂 It’s the terminology that led to my sleepless nights. You may be interested to learn that in an email I received today from CreateSpace, it stated they were looking into and hoping to implement a formalized system of pre-orders for their paperback customers. Long overdue!

        • Ahhaaa … I understand! 🙂 When Amazon/Createspace actually decides to move forward with introducing a pre-order method for paperback books, many will be grateful. It has been talked about for years and is indeed long overdue! I’m not holding my breathe though for anything to happen short-term! lol 🙂 Let me know if there is anything else I can assist you with!

          • Stephen Bentley

            Hi Eric. I just sent you a DM on Twitter. My publication date is now close and I am confused by “local time” that you mention in your excellent article. If you have a moment could you please read my DM and get back to me.
            Thank you!
            Stephen

          • I rarely monitor my twitter DMs as much of those DMs are autobot replies … sorry. However, since you mentioned it, I did notice them. 🙂

            Local Time is YOUR time, not CS time.

            However, you referred to UK time, but you are in the Philippines. So you’d go off your local time (in the Philippines).

            The midnight suggestion is just that, a suggestion. So it doesn’t have to be 1 minute past midnight, it can actually be before if you really want to.

            Basically, when you are ready to approve, just approve it, the time doesn’t necessarily have much bearing. After you approve your book, immediately go into your AA account and cancel/close the title and request the transfer of pre-orders to Createspace. That’s pretty much it. 🙂

          • Stephen Bentley

            Thanks Eric, I’m pleased you saw the DM 🙂 In future I will post here.
            That’s fine and I understand. I am following your steps completely. Great help!
            Thanks once more.
            Stephen

          • Fabulous …! I’m happy you’ve found it to be helpful! 🙂

  • John W.

    Hi Eric,

    What would happen to my previous Purchase Orders if I was to move the release date a few days forward? I’m currently not able to edit my previous orders, so I was just wondering how this would affect my current pre-orders for the book.

    e.g Release Date is 20th and would like to change it to 22nd as I have just written up a new chapter that improves the book drastically.

    • Hi John, changing the publish date will not affect your Purchase Orders. As long as you request the date change far enough ahead of time everything will be fine. For example, if your publish date is the 20th & you want to move it up to the 22nd, you’ll want to give Amazon enough time to make that change … I’d say request no later than 5 business days, just to be safe. You can make your request by opening a support ticket (via AA) or you can literally change the date when you update the content of your book. I always like to open support tickets as it leaves a “digital” trail. 🙂

      • John W.

        Makes perfect sense! Thank you Eric! Our pre-order saviour!

        • You are welcome John … & thank you for your kind words. It’s my pleasure to help where I can. Please feel free to recommend this post/blog to any of your author/indie publisher friends! 😉

  • DvoraH

    Hi Eric, I am the Deborah who had questions from AAE with Kary on Monday. (I couldn’t be there as I am in Israel). I have a question for you. I’ve set everything up, and my book is suddenly ranking, I think well, on Amazon, but on Amazon advantage there is no option on the Reports tab, nor do I see any POs. Yet several people have written to tell me they have pre-ordered. I’ve called Amazon Advantage several times, but the only answer I get is that when there are enough orders I’ll see something. Which doesn’t seem to match what you told us. Can you advise? Should I follow-up with them later on, is it just a matter of time? Thanks!

    • Hi Deborah, it’s a pleasure to ‘meet’ you. Unfortunately, most of the time you aren’t going to get straight answers from an AA rep since many of them may not be trained fully. Correct, if you see your Amazon Ranking change, that could mean you definitely have sales. The Reports tab section of the AA updates once every 24 hours. So if you do not see anything the first 24 hours, you’ll usually see it on the 2nd 24-hour period. If you just set up your book, Purchase Orders will not start showing up until approx. 7 to 10 days later. Purchase Orders and actual Customer Orders are totally two different things. Even though you may see some sales come through your AA dashboard, it doesn’t mean you will see the Purchase Orders yet. The Purchase Orders are calculated by Amazon depending on demand for the type of book it is. So the total amount of units in each of those Purchase Orders doesn’t necessary reflect the amount of Customer Orders you will get. I may have explained this a bit in the post above. Also, make sure you are in the right place and choosing the correct time frame when looking for your Customer Orders. To find sales data, do the following: 1 – Scroll over the ‘Reports’ tab, 2 – click on ‘Amazon Retail Analytics Basic’, 3 – choose ‘Sales and Inventory Product Details, 4 – then choose a time frame: “Week-to-date”, “Last reported day”, “Last reported week”, etc. Obviously, if your book has only been ‘live’ for a couple days, you will not get any data the further you go back. Hope this is helpful. 🙂 I’m in Los Angeles, so if you reply back right away to my comment, I will have gone to bed! LOL … it’s after 12am here. Goodnight!

      • DvoraH

        Hi Eric, thanks for the quick reply! It was most timely because here I am on DAY 2 and I’ve already received a purchase order, so I was able to understand what I’m looking at.

        With reference to your video, there is no “Unit Sales and Inventory” item on the Reports menu.

        I followed your instructions here, which slightly differ, and don’t see any orders yet. So I guess the individual orders will come through later, correct?

        SHOULD there be a “Unit Sales and Inventory” item? Or is this the change that you are talking about in the note on your YouTube video?

        Thank you again for your kind advice and for taking the time to share with us on the AAE call with Kary this week. I really appreciate it, and I know others did as well.

        Deborah

        • DvoraH

          By the way, I tried to subscribe to your blog but I didn’t get a confirmation email.

          • Thank you for subscribing. If you did not get your confirmation email, check your spam or ‘other’ folder.

        • I think the video is 10 months to a year old. So what you see in that video could be pre-beta version. The menu may have changed since I did the video, so follow my steps I just outlined above, that is very accurate.

          • DvoraH

            Thanks! I did check my spam. Nothing there. I guess the confirm is somewhere wandering the net… Have a great day! Now my turn for some shut-eye!

          • That’s odd … and I looked into my eMail service provider and I didn’t “see” you there either, so I went ahead and manually added your name and email to my database. Aha …. your turn to get some shut-eye! 😉

          • DvoraH

            Thank you and thank you again for all of your kind help! I look forward to learning more from Kary and now you! 🙂

          • Hey Deborah – you are welcome & thank YOU … I’m honored. 🙂

        • Correct, if you do not see the orders yet, then the Amazon Account hasn’t yet updated the sales data. And Yes, you should see ‘Amazon Retail Analytics Basic’, ‘Sales and Inventory Product Details’ options, that’s what is in the AA menu currently. It will normally take up to 24 to 48 hours for sales data to appear. Just give it some time, be patient. 😉 Also, it’s important to note that SOMETIMES when people say they purchased your book, they actually DID NOT purchase your book. It happens ALL the time. If you’d like to know for sure if they purchased your book, simply ask them for their Amazon receipt and tell them you are doing a system check and balance or something. 😉

  • Wade Pfau

    Eric, thank you, I’ve come across your very informative posts this evening here and also at the CreateSpace discussion forums. Before finding your explanations to do this, I had been trying to follow explanations elsewhere and I’ve basically followed this procedure except that I made one mistake…

    I already approved my proof at CreateSpace. I thought the important distinction was that I would wait until closer to the publication date to turn on the Amazon.com sales channel through CreateSpace. I didn’t realize that not approving the proof was a critical step. I had wanted to approve the proof so that I could get some of those extended sales channels started that take 6-8 weeks to get going.

    Having approved the proof early has been an interesting experience thus far. For a few days, my Amazon page did show with the pre-order but like I wanted. But then a couple of days ago it switched to “In stock but may require an extra 1-2 days to process.”

    I haven’t started promoting the book yet, but one friend did a pre-order when that option was still available. By seeing my sales ranking go up and then gradually come back down again, I do think this was the only pre-order so far. Though I still haven’t seen any evidence of a book order in my AA account or at CreateSpace.

    Oddly, he emailed me today that he received the book in the mail. I don’t know how he received it as I didn’t turn on the Amazon.com sales channel in CreateSpace yet. But he has it.

    At this point, my question is about what is the best thing to do. I’m thinking that I just forget about the idea of pre-orders for this book, and that I should go ahead and open the Amazon.com sales channel to reduce confusion. It will be a slow launch instead, and some orders might possibly come in without promotion, but the big promotion should still focus a bunch of sales in a relatively short period around what was the intended release date.

    Thanks again for all your explanations, and I would appreciate any thoughts you have about my scenario.

    • Hi Wade, hum … yes, I know of many authors who make this mistake, it’s actually quite common. Unfortunately, your book is now “published” and can no longer be in pre-order status as you see from your Amazon Detail Page. My recommendation would be to simply enable all your sales channels so that there is no delay for your book to get printed and shipped. You’ve now soft launched (approval date), now start ramping up for your “Official Launch” where you’ll want to start your big promotion. Take this as a lesson learned for next time. 🙂 Thanks for sharing, hopefully others will read and learn. 🙂

      • Wade Pfau

        Great, thanks so much for your advice.

        • I’m happy to be of service! 🙂

          • Wade Pfau

            Eric,

            Since yesterday I heard from AA customer service and they manually changed my book back to pre-order again. Not sure if that will last, but I just wanted to make sure this was something you’ve explored, in terms of being able to accept a proof on CreateSpace and then just asking Amazon to make it pre-order. They did also tell me to change the status to closed on AA, since CreateSpace fills the orders.

            I haven’t closed the book’s status on AA yet. What worries me about this is if closing it will remove my ability to modify the Amazon page contents. For instance, I haven’t gotten my Kirkus review back yet, and I don’t see any way to add it from the CreateSpace side now. But there is a clear way to add it from the AA side. Do you know if you can still update item content on AA after you have already updated item status to closed? Thank you. If so, then closing the item will finally make sense to me.

          • Wade Pfau

            I guess an easier way to ask my question: AA gives options to both suspend and close. Why is closing (which sounds permanent) better than suspending?

          • Without getting into the nitty gritty of details, closing the title is simply the best option when it involves the pre-ordering process.

          • Hi Wade, I’m not sure that having it go back to pre-orders is the best option, because technically you’ve approved the book, right? So, did Createspace unpublish you so that you can re-approve your book? I’m kind of confused the reasoning of what you are doing. My recommendation, would be keep the book as it, so that people going to your page can simply purchase it regularly. But that’s obviously your decision. 🙂 Correct, you’d close the book from AA so that Amazon knows to fulfill books from Createspace, not AA. So closing your book in AA is an important step in this process.

            As far as worrying about losing the ability to modify your content after you closing … that’s a legitimate concern. However, you can actually modify your book content, I know of a backdoor via AA that’ll help you with that, if the time comes that you actually have to do that. There is another option to add content to your Amazon Page, and that’s by using Author Central. You have the ability to add reviews, endorsements, product description, inside flap, back cover, etc. to your book there (for free).

          • Wade Pfau

            Thanks again, Eric.

            Indeed, I’m in the Author Central now and see that this can do all of the things that I was worried about losing by closing the book at AA. I will close it.

            About pre-order, my book still shows as available for pre-order now, after having been switched back to this by AA customer service yesterday. But all of the sales channels are open from CreateSpace. At this point, I think pre-order or not is fine. I’m working with some folks who like pre-order in order to do promotions, build anticipation, and then get sales all counted in a short period. But it’s been a learning experience. Thank you for all of your assistance with this.

          • You are welcome Wade … happy to be of service. 🙂

          • Wade – if you’d like, I’m available by phone. If you have additional questions, feel free to call me by phone. Just go to my contact address: http://replytoeric.com and share your number – and I’ll call you … or if you prefer, I’ll provide you with my number, and you can call me. 🙂

    • Stephen Bentley

      Hi Wade, I made the same mistake and as Eric says, it is a common mistake. I rectified it (or rather the CS customer support did) the same way as you and my title was soon back to pre-order status on both Amazon US and UK.
      I did become aware of one customer who received my paperback way ahead of the publication date so his pre-order must have gone through after I had prematurely hit the “approve button.”
      Otherwise, the resumption of my pre-order status seems to be going according to plan.
      Cheers, Steve.

      • Wade Pfau

        Thanks Stephen!

  • Brandy

    What if I don’t know what my ‘official’ launch date will be on CS yet?

    • Hi Brandy – you can make an informed decision, meaning … estimate how far out you feel everything will be ready (when you think that your 2 files will be ready to be uploaded, your manuscript file and cover file). Then you have to consider how long it will take to proof your book. Approving your book in Createspace becomes your Official Publish date, that’s when your book gets ‘published’. So knowing these aspects are the most important. Then choose a date ahead of time and stick with it. So if you feel you are a month out to accomplish all of that, then set your date 1 month ahead as your Official publish date. If it appears that that date is fast approaching, you can always change the date in your AA account to reflect a more accurate date. But after all things are said, your goal is to publish your book on the date you’ve set, so that in the end you can simultaneously approve the book in Createspace and close/cancel the title in AA on the same day. Hope this is helpful! 😉

  • DvoraH

    I have a new question, which may contribute to the group. I’ve just approved an AA order (backordered/publication date) for 109 copies of my book! However on Reports, for year to date, I’ve only sold 15 copies? Strange to me… If I recall you told me that the actual sales listed takes longer to process correct? Am I safe in Believing I’ve sold more than 100 copies? Thanks! 😉

    • Please refer to Step #4 for a more in-depth explanation of PO/COs. The number of actual Customer Orders is separate from Purchase Orders. The number 109 is the amount of units Amazon wants you to send them. They want that in their inventory so they can meet customer demand. However, you do not need to send them that because you are using AA for pre-orders. In most if not all cases, your Amazon Advantage Purchase Order Unit total will be more than your actual Customer Orders. So the accurate number of sales you have is 15, not 109. You are not actually approving the Customer Orders, they have already been “approved” when the customer paid for it via their Amazon Account. You are confirming the unit orders (via Purchase Orders). At the end of the pre-order process, these Purchase Orders will be “zeroed out” when you transition to Createspace, so no units of your book will need to be shipped to Amazon Inventory.

      • DvoraH

        Ah, gotcha… I had read it but was confused by such a huge difference in numbers. I was hoping they knew something I didn’t know! Ah well, time will tell. Thanks for taking the time to respond.

        • Hey Dvorah, you are welcome, I’m here to help! 🙂 Your question comes up often. You simply have to realize that those 2 numbers have separate meaning, even though they are related to each other, they still aren’t directly related to each other. Yeah, that should clear things up! LOL. 😉 Anyway, the number that is of more importance for you is the actual Customer Orders, that’s an accurate representation of how many orders you have. The PO reference is NOT a representation of your actual Customer Orders.

  • Stephen Bentley

    Hi Eric, further to my previous posts here, I have now approved in CreateSpace and have completed Step 7 with Amazon Advantage. But I am concerned at the response I just received from AA US to this effect:

    “Dear Stephen,

    Thank you for contacting Amazon Advantage. Hope you are doing well.

    To change the item’s status, log in to your Advantage account, click on the Items tab, then click “Update Item Status” in the green navigation bar. Select a title from the list by clicking on the ASIN, or search for title by either ASIN or external ID (UPC, ISBN, EAN, etc). Be sure to click the “Save Changes” button.

    If you are able to fulfill orders for an item, it should be set to Active status. If you are unable to fulfill orders for an item for any reason, it should be Suspended.”

    I used your template and adapted it for my own book details and AA #. It is not the reply I was anticipating! They (not for the first time – not in respect of this issue) appear to have ignored the detail in the message sent to them as per your template.
    Any thoughts?
    Regards
    Stephen

    • Interesting. Yes, there is the option to do this. However, I prefer a digital “paper” trail. That’s why I recommend a support ticket to do this. Respond back and request the same thing using my recommended request template. If you have further issues after that, open a support ticket on my site: http://replytoeric.com and I’ll personally help you out (no cost).

      • Stephen Bentley

        Thank you. I did re-open my ticket and pointed out they had not addressed the issues raised as per your template. To date, no response.
        I will open a fresh ticket immediately and see what happens.
        Either way I will keep you posted.

        • Sounds good, you’ve done what you can at this point. Wait a few hours and if no response, send another response. In my experience, when you get AA responses (or non-responses) like this, you simply have to be persistent. Another reason I do not simply reply on their “recommended process” to update status of item, etc. is that you’d only being accomplishing half of the “pre-order” request. You’d still have to send in a request to transfer orders to CS. So it’s always been my recommendation to request both of these things in 1 ticket. Otherwise, AA will only do what you ask, which is just updating status of item. The thing is if they aren’t asked to transfer orders, the chances that they don’t transfer orders becomes highly likely.

          • Stephen Bentley

            It’s now some 12 hours or so and I have received no response from AA. Upon checking the status of my book on the US site it does however show it is available, “In Stock” and no longer pre-order. But the listing is a peculiar mixture of my CS product description and that in AA.
            A further concern is upon checking with AA UK, my ticket has nor been “assigned!”
            In sheer frustration, I have updated the status in both AA UK and US to “Suspended” as per the original reply from AA US.
            However, I have written to both AA’s in an email support ticket update informing them of that but also asking they transfer customer pre-orders to CS.
            I have a sinking feeling that my pre-orders (and I know there have been some) will be lost in the system.

          • Stephen – it’s unfortunate that this is happening. However, your book is now showing as it should. But it appears you have another issue: the “copy” on your Amazon Page is re-arranged. You need to open a support ticket and ask them why this is happening and that they need to fix that issue. The part where you updated the status to suspended (because of your frustration), you need to reverse that. This is NOT part of the process that I recommend and will NOT help what you are trying to do, its only going to add to the confusion. I understand your frustration, but doing what you did (even though AA suggested it), would not have fixed it (even though it appears fixed). ‘Suspending’ your title is NOT part of this pre-order process. Having said all that, as I mentioned previously in this post, open another ticket to get them to fix your Amazon Page. Whatever pre-orders were made in the process should make it to CS, even though you think they will not. Phew! 🙁

      • Stephen Bentley

        Eric, this was the support ticket I sent a few moments ago. I will update you once I receive a response.

        I have opened a new ticket in light of receiving an unsatisfactory response to my earlier request 9/13/2016 12:09 AM PDT Case ID:1873749421

        This time please comply with my request using the procedure below so that I have a “paper record” of the transition requested. Your earlier reply made no acknowledgement of my request re the transfer of any pre-orders to CreateSpace so please read my original message (at the foot of this message) very carefully and follow that procedure from your end.

        For the record the earlier reply stated:
        To change the item’s status, log in to your Advantage account, click on the Items tab, then click “Update Item Status” in the green navigation bar. Select a title from the list by clicking on the ASIN, or search for title by either ASIN or external ID (UPC, ISBN, EAN, etc). Be sure to click the “Save Changes” button.

        If you are able to fulfill orders for an item, it should be set to Active status. If you are unable to fulfill orders for an item for any reason, it should be Suspended.

        I do not wish to do this as it provides me with no record of transaction. So PLEASE comply with my original request which is repeated below:

        Vendor Group Id: 4071830
        Vendor Code: SUAWJ

        I am planning on publishing my book ISBN-10 1530781558 ‘Undercover: Operation Julie – The Inside Story’ by Stephen Bentley, published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing which is currently listed on Amazon for pre-orders [http://amzn.to/29UtsRr] via CreateSpace on September 14, 2016.

        Therefore, as CreateSpace(CS) will be handling printing, distribution and royalties I ask that this title/book is closed/cancelled on September 14, 2016.

        For clarification I do not wish to close my Amazon Advantage account but only the title/book subject of this message.

        On the closure/cancellation date please FORWARD ALL PRE-ORDERS applying to this title in my Amazon Advantage account database to CreateSpace so that they may fulfil all customer pre-orders and distribution obligations for this title/book.

        Thanking you for your cooperation.
        Stephen Bentley

  • Heather Rae Hutzel

    Hi, I am considering using the pre-order process on my upcoming book. Here’s my questions:

    1. Do pre-orders made through AA count toward your sales on your launch date, therefore, count toward your bestseller rank?

    2. Once I transfer the pre-orders to Createspace, who fulfills the orders? Me or Createspace?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Heather – In answer to your first question: unfortunately the pre-orders do not count towards your sales rank in launch date. When the sales start coming in your sales rank will actually be affected then. So you’ll need to put an extra marketing push on launch day. Before the transition occurs, you are requesting that AA transfer your pre-orders to Createspace, so Createspace are the ones that will fulfill your orders, nobody else. Hope this answers your questions. 🙂 If you have further questions, concerns or comments, feel free to post. 🙂

      • Heather Rae Hutzel

        Thanks so much for the reply!

        • You are very welcome Heather! Don’t hesitate to connect with me again if you have any other questions, concerns or comments. 🙂

  • EGREENPG

    @ericvanderhope:disqus I plan to do a book launch party and will need to approve final proof with CS before ordering bulk copies. i am planning to cancel AA at the end of the week if I don’t have any pre-orders. Is this a good idea? Also, will the steps you have listed here change to close AA account? Thanks!

    • Hi! Whether you have pre-orders or not will not affect the process. If you do not have any pre-orders then the part of the process where you are asking to transfer any pre-orders you’d simply not mention (since there are no orders to transfer). If you want to publish earlier than your Official Publish date, that you can do that as well. The day you decide you want to publish, simply approve your book in Createspace (this gives permission to Createspace to publish your book) and immediately go to AA and request that your book/title be closed/canceled. Additionally, tell AA (in the same support ticket) that you’ve decided you want Createspace to fulfill your orders from here on out. That should be enough. Be persistant on your request if they do not do it right away. Sometimes it takes time for a response, other times transition occurs quickly. There is no telling how Amazon will respond on any given day! I hope this has been helpful. If you have further questions, concerns or comments, feel free to post them here. 🙂

      • EGREENPG

        You rock Eric! No sure if you could answer this but is there a way to order bulk copies before the set release day and keep the pre-order option open?? To order bulk for a book launch would require approving final proof. I don’t think I can have my cake and ice cream too? Meaning, pre-order option and place a bulk order.

        • Thank YOU. 🙂 Unfortunately no, not with this process. Once you approve your book, Createspace has “published” your book. Technically, you can tell them you made a mistake and that you want your book to be un-published. But it’s a real pain. You can make your publish date a soft launch and treat your Official launch day after the fact, that requires you to concentrate all your marketing efforts and promotion etc. for the certain day you decide after the fact.

          • Sonja Rouillard

            I just wanted to clarify, as I’m in the same boat. I need to order books now but my “launch” date is May 3rd at a reader conference. Createspace said that I absolutely CAN approve the title (it’ll have the approval day as the pub date), order my copies, and not open the selling channels at Amazon.com until May 3rd. But they couldn’t answer whether Amazon Advantage would fulfill the orders they have or not? I’m interpreting your answer above to mean that yes Advantage would full them unless I close it down and transfer to Createspace, thereby cutting off my “presale” option. Am I reading your answer correctly?

          • Not sure if I’m understanding your question completely, so let me take a stab at it. 😉 Yes, you can approve your book anytime you wish. But in order for you to be able to purchase books now, you need to approve your book. There is no way around that. When you approve your book, then your book will no longer be in pre-order status. If you close all the sales channels and you approve your book, your status on Amazon will become unavailable (this does not look good for any book). You want it to either say: “This title has not yet been released” with a pre-order button or “In stock” with a regular cart button. If you end up doing what you are saying, it will have a negative affect on your listing. Either way, once you do decide to approve your book, Amazon is obligated to fulfill whatever orders were created while it was in pre-order status. If you want to order copies of your book without having a negative affect on your listing, simply create a “new” book in your CS control panel. Use a free Createspace ISBN, use the same cover and manuscript, but make sure you update the manuscript/cover with the updated ISBN, and then have something in the book that says: Advanced Review Copy, or something to that affect so that people realize it’s not your official book. Make sure to disable all sales channels so that people don’t get confused with the ‘extra’ book. Then simply approve that book in CS control panel and use it specifically for advanced readers. Does that answer your question? If not, you are welcome to contact me directly and we can discuss it over the phone. It’s actually easier to talk about it rather than write about it! 😉

          • Sonja Rouillard

            Thank you. You’ve answered my question. I’ll just release it and have a soft launch. Thanks again!

          • Sounds good. But before you do so, make sure that whatever day you decide to approve your proof, that it matches the date you have chosen in Amazon Advantage. If the dates don’t match, your Amazon book listing could end up saying “Unavailable” or “Out of Stock”. So login into your AA account and change the publish date to the day you want to approve your book. Make sense? 😉

  • EGREENPG

    Hi Eric, I am hosting a book launch party and will need to approve my final proof with CS to order bulk copies of the book for the launch. Is there another way to order books in bulk without canceling the pre-order? Please advise. Thanks Eric!

  • DvoraH

    I was looking at other threads and noted that there can be some difficulties if Ingram is involved. My hardcover is up for pre-sale via Ingram (possibly my softcover as well, but on Barnes and Noble, not on the Amazon site–I think).
    I’ve been reading your instructions on a regular basis to make sure I know what to do on release day, October 9.
    I am wondering, since pre-sales are also via Ingram, should I mention that in the email I send to Amazon Advantage asking to transfer the pre-sales to Create Space? (transfer Ingram sales to Ingram?)
    I understand Kindle pre-sales are a whole different process, so I don’t need to be concerned about those. As usual, thanks again!

    • Hi DvoraH, unfortunately, this post only explains how to do the pre-order process while using a combination of Createspace/Amazon Advantage (not Ingram). It gets a bit tricky using Ingram Spark. Many authors have told me that Ingram Spark releases their book “early”. By using Createspace/Amazon Advantage YOU are in control of your book availability and thus your book is not released early or late. So I cannot say for sure what will happen when you involve Ingram Spark. Because Createspace and Amazon Advantage are Amazon company’s, it’s “easier” to manage this process. So I apologize, I cannot give you accurate advice about Ingram Spark involvement in this process since they weren’t the focus of this post. I’m only discussing Createspace/Amazon Advantage. I’m not saying it will not work, but you don’t have as much control over Ingram Spark as you would with Createspace/Amazon Advantage and I’m not sure how much “cooperation” you’ll have between Amazon Advantage and Ingram.

  • g3elle

    Hello Eric, you mention that you need an ISBN to use with AA; does this need to be the same Free CreateSpace ISBN that would be eventually used to publish my CreateSpace book?

    • In normal circumstances, your own ISBN means it’s an ISBN you personally paid for & own. I’ve never (nor my clients) had any issues using those ISBNs. However, if you decide to use a free ISBN issued by Createspace, you should be fine. I say ‘should’ because I’ve only heard from others who have used the free Createspace ISBN that it did indeed work for them. I do not have first-hand knowledge that is worked for them or not, but I’m going to say there is a pretty good chance it could work using a free Createspace ISBN. Hope this is helpful. If you do try it … come back and let me know if it worked or not. Then I will be in a better position to recommend using the free CS ISBN or not.

  • TDCloud

    @ericvanderhope:disqus I followed your instructions and wrote exactly what you had in step 7, and received the following email in response to my case file reads thus:

    I understand your concern and I will be glad to assist you.

    As
    per your request, I have changed the status of the ASIN:1537377221
    [Brontide (The Tempest Series)] from “Active” to “Closing” in your
    Advantage account.

    Createspace and Advantage are two different
    platforms and they have no intermediate connection with each other. Both
    of them are dealt differently and they do not share orders and
    pre-orders. Both the platforms are handled differently. Hence the
    pre-orders of Advantage cannot be transferred to Createspace as both of
    them have their own way of working.

    CreateSpace is a part of the
    Amazon.com group of companies, however, it operates as an independent
    site. Therefore, all inquiries regarding services offered by CreateSpace
    and customer service for CreateSpace are handled directly by them.

    I’m very confused and concerned that the pre-orders I have on record won’t be processed because of this. What do you suggest I do? My book is already live and I know my fans will be expecting their copies soon. Thank you for any help you can give.

    • Yeah, sometimes even when folks do exactly as explained, this response from an AA representative proves that they don’t know up from down. Please open a support ticket via my website and I’ll personally help you with this. http://replytoeric.com

  • RebeccaClioGould

    This is so helpful! I am gearing up to set up my book for pre-order, but I feel nervous about the process–specifically around a fear of losing the pre-orders. It’s nice to see that you offer support if any issues arise along the way. Thank you!

    • Hi Rebecca, you are welcome, and thank YOU. 🙂 I’m happy to know this will be helpful to you. Just follow the steps and you should be fine. And absolutely, if you need further assistance, simply contact me via my help desk at: http://ReplyToEric.com.

      • RebeccaClioGould

        🙂 Thanks, Eric! I have this fear that they’ll change their policies or something between now and January. My release date is January 7, 2017. I need to just stop worrying about that and practice what I preach–I’m always telling people that worry is the misuse of imagination and like praying for something you don’t want! 😉

        • That’s understandable Rebecca. Obviously, anything can happen between now and then, but we have no control of what could happen. Just keep doing what you are doing and if things change – THEN you make adjustments to compensate for that. 🙂 I’ve been personally doing this for myself as well as for my clients (and have taught this to others) since 2008, and I know that setting up pre-orders (for print books on Amazon) has been an option well before that (but obviously not widely known about).

          • RebeccaClioGould

            Cool, thanks! 🙂

          • You are most welcome … I’m happy to serve! 🙂

          • Question: Hi, Eric! 🙂 Does my file in CreateSpace actually need to be “ready to go”? I know I’m not supposed to approve it until the release date. But if I set up pre-orders, can I still make changes in CreatSpace, such as uploading a different cover (there was an issue with the spine) or uploading a new interior (as I’m reading my proof, I’m noticing some very minor things I might want to change)?

          • Hi Rebecca, it doesn’t have to be “ready to go”. You can make changes to your cover or interior, and submit for your proof as many times as you like while the book is in pre-order process with AA. The two platforms are not related to each other so you will be able to do things that will not affect either. As long as you don’t approve the book (which will give permission to Createspace to publish your book). Hope this is helpful. 🙂

          • SUPER helpful! 🙂 Thank you. What a relief!

          • Perfect … you are welcome! 🙂

  • DvoraH

    Just thought you’d like to know I’ve followed your instructions and am now waiting to see what happens. Thanks again for your advices and help.

    • Hi Deborah – fabulous! You are welcome & I’m glad you found the advice helpful. 🙂 If you need further assistance (or it seems AA is not doing as requested), simply contact me via my help desk at: http://ReplyToEric.com.

  • Amy @ Tenth Acre Farm

    Eric, thanks so much for this detailed process. I’m excited to start it soon for my 12/14/2016 release! Since my book will be released as both print and ebook, is there a way to have the Amazon preorder dates the same for both versions? I don’t know anything about preorder for ebook sales.

    Separate question: Is there a way to order physical copies of the book that aren’t proofs prior to approving the proof? I’m planning an in-person release party on my launch date and will obviously need physical copies to sell 🙂 I look forward to your advice. Thanks again for sharing this info!

    • Yes, there is a way to match dates for both versions for print and ebook (Kindle). You’ll have to open your own KDP account and set up your Kindle publish date there. When you add your print book to Amazon Advantage, you decide the date you want to publish (in your case, 12/14/2016). Wish to order physical copies that aren’t proofs? Create a “clone” book. Set up a book with same title, author, cover, etc., just use different ISBN (preferably FREE Createspace ISBN). “Publish” it before your official book, BUT disable all sales channels (so that it’s “private”). You can then buy as many “Author copies” as you wish. If you have further questions about this, connect with me via my help desk: http://ReplyToEric.com. Hope this has been helpful. 🙂

      • Amy @ Tenth Acre Farm

        This is super helpful, and I so appreciate your response. I’m sending fellow authors your way 🙂

        • Hey Amy, you are very welcome, I’m happy to help as I’m here to serve! 🙂 And that is very generous of you … thank you so very much for the mention, I’m most grateful. 🙂

          • Amy @ Tenth Acre Farm

            I set up my pre-order page yesterday and your steps were really easy to follow! The listing is showing as “currently unavailable”. Is there a waiting period before it will be available for pre-order?

          • Hi Amy – two possibilities that this is happening, 1 – you just set up your account, it can take anywhere from a couple hours (yep, that fast) & up to 7 days (yep, that slow) for your Amazon Listing to display accurately, 2 – What is the publish date you set in your AA account and did you accidently hit “approve” in your Createspace account? If you can clarify the answers to these questions, it’s a good probability that I’ll be able to give you an accurate answer. 🙂

          • Amy @ Tenth Acre Farm

            I guess I just needed to be more patient, because this morning it is showing as a pre-order (Yay!). Now, when I try to update/edit the listing, I enter the ISBN as the External ID, and get the message: “This item is not in your account.” Does this mean I need to just keep waiting? How do I update my listing’s content now that the pre-order page appears to be live? BTW, this post is the go-to source in the Self Publishing Support Group on Facebook 🙂

          • Hi Amy – that’s usually what it is most of the time, just waiting a bit. 😉 Correct, editing after you upload your info the first time will not be editable for up to 7 to 10 days. If you can’t wait that long (he, he, he), this is where Author Central becomes your BFF. If you don’t have a free account set up yet, go to http://AuthorCentral.com. There you can add/claim your book (using your 10-digit ISBN) and within 24 hours you’ll be able to edit content for your Amazon Book Listing. This actually becomes the alternate to AA once you close/cancel your book from AA. For the most part any edits you make via Author Central are almost instantaneous. If you don’t have an account set up with them yet, it usually takes 24 hours to get approved, most of the time much more quickly than that. And thanks for your support, I’m here to serve! I’m curious, which Self-Publishing Support group are you referring to? There are so many. 🙂 Whatever folks you feel can benefit from my articles, absolutely invite them! He, he, he. 🙂 Hope this additional information is helpful/beneficial.

          • Amy @ Tenth Acre Farm

            Thanks again! Your suggestions all worked. Patience is my friend! The group on facebook is simply called “Self Publishing Support Group” 🙂

          • Hey Amy – fabulous … happy to hear! 🙂 I’ll have to check out that group! 🙂 If you haven’t already seen, I’m hosting the largest Publishing Summit online on December 4th-18th. It’s called the Publishing Success Summit. Feel free to let your audience, tribe and friends know about it: http://PublishingSuccessSummit.com 🙂

  • Michael Sey

    Hi Erik, thanks a lot for the info! Just wanted to know what would happen if I forgot to update my purchase orders in time, and Amazon cancelled them? Is that as literal as it sounds? Wanted to know if it would directly affect customer orders currently in line.

    • Your welcome Michael, happy to know this article is beneficial. Since Purchase Orders are not actually Customer Orders, there is a good chance it’s not actually affecting any actual customer orders that come in. You are actually confirming Purchase Orders that are orders of units you’d have to ship to the Amazon warehouse. But I make it a habit anyways by confirming all POs, just to keep the “computers” thinking that you’ll be fulfilling orders at the end. So missing a confirmation of a PO here or there may not be bad in the long-term. I believe you have from 1-5 days to confirm a PO. Hope this is helpful. 🙂

  • @ericvanderhope:disqus Thank you for this guide. Quick question (and perhaps a silly one) – where exactly do I see Customer Orders in my Advantage account? My preorder link is live and I see the Purchase Orders section under the Orders tab, but I don’t see Customer Orders anywhere…?

    • Hi Andre – you are welcome, happy to know it’s helping. Not a silly question. Do the following: Log into your AA account, move your mouse over to the ‘Reports’ tab (a drop-down menu will appear), click on ‘Amazon Retail Analytics Basic’, click on ‘Sales and Inventory Dashboard’, a drop-down menu will appear. Then click on ‘Sales and Inventory Product Details’, then you’ll see the ‘Customer Orders’ column in the spreadsheet. If there is a number there, it will display how many actual Customer Orders you have. To go back further in time if you listed your book a month ago, you can narrow in on the time period. Click on ‘Week-to-date’ and you’ll see additional time periods and if you had additional sales it’ll show under the Customer Orders column. Hope this is helpful. 🙂

      • It’s super helpful Eric, thank you. It looks like the “week to date” (or any other current report) only goes through Nov. 7, which I assume means there is a delay in getting new sales reported – is that correct? (Today is the 9th, and no CO’s yet, although I know we have at least one because I put through a test order earlier, and several friends have preordered as well.)

        • Andre – yes, there is a delay. It takes up to 24 to 48 hours for sales to update. Your sales data should show up anytime now. As far as depending on what others have told you, I’ve been doing this for almost 10 years and when I hear people say they purchased the book, I don’t put much “weight” in that. Many people mean well, but sometimes they simply have not purchased your book if they say they have. They either say they will, but forget or any number of other reasons of getting in the way of purchasing.

          • Yeah, I definitely don’t believe it till I see it come in (while still being friendly & appreciative if they say they have). But I know there’s at least one in there from our test order.

            THANK YOU again, this guide is insanely helpful, and it’s good to know there’s a slight delay. Sounds like we should see our test order show up tomorrow.

            If it’s not too much, I’d like to ask you one other question… have you ever seen a case where having this Amazon Advantage listing tripped CreateSpace’s Content Validation department? The day that our listing went up, I received an email from CS saying they have “suppressed” our title because it appears it has already been published before (it hasn’t), and they need to verify our copyright. We sent them the materials they requested, but apparently it takes them a while to move on these things, and it makes me nervous about our impending launch.

          • The Amazon Listing should have no bearing on CreateSpace’s Content Validation department. For all intents and purposes, they are one-in-the-same. As long as you are using the same info in AA that you are using in CS, you should be fine.

          • Thanks again Eric. We’ll cross our fingers and hope they resolve it quickly.

          • You are welcome Andre … in the end, it should all work out. 🙂

  • Eric, one other question if you don’t mind. You say to approve the CS proof a few hours before midnight the day before your launch. However, we are launching on a Monday (the start of the week for many bestseller lists) and we want to make sure all our preorders count toward that week. If we approve Sunday night before midnight, is there a risk that the preorders will all get counted for Sunday?

    • Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way for print books when trying to get a high rank (low number) for the bestseller list. What I mean is, when someone pre-ordered a book, it gets ‘counted’ towards the ranking then. You may or may not have noticed that the book’s Amazon ranking changed during the pre-order process after you see orders appear in your AA account. So whatever pre-ordered books come in after the official publish date, those don’t count towards the ranking. Only the books you sell after the official publish date will count towards the current ranking. Because the pre-ordered books were already counted in the ranking before the book was published, it doesn’t apply to the ranking a second time. I’m not sure if that makes sense or not, but I hope so. This is what I’ve seen from personal experience as well as from clients of mine. For Kindle books the order/timing of the ranking and pre-orders is different. The print pre-orders will usually come in (appear in your Createspace account) the day of and into the following days after. It’s not guaranteed that all the books come in all on the same day. I’ve seen books appear in the Createspace account as soon as an hour to a couple days.

      • Okay, really helpful answer Eric, thank you. It’s unfortunate though—we probably would have run the pre-orders even if we knew this, but we wouldn’t have pushed so much for people to buy preorders (other sites I had read suggested pre-orders count for the official launch week). Still, our sales rank is indeed climbing and hopefully we’ll still make a splash on Monday when we “officially” launch. Thanks again for being so helpful.

  • David Bain

    Hey Eric

    Wonderful resource… thank you so much for putting this together!

    I have a few questions 🙂

    If I want to set up my book on pre-order with Amazon UK and USA at the same time, do I just need the one ISBN?

    Will a CreateSpace ISBN suffice?

    Should I start the CreateSpace process first to get my ISBN before signing up with Amazon Advantage?

    Is CreateSpace my publisher if I choose their free ISBN, if so so I need to enter this in Amazon Advantage?

    Do I need to barcode on the back book cover for pre-orders?

    Do I get the barcode for the back of my book from CreateSpace?

    Do I need a different barcode for the UK and the USA?

    Thanks again!

    • Hi David – wow, lots of questions! I’ll try answering all of them for you. First, many of these questions have really nothing to do with the Pre-Order Process. These are mostly Createspace related questions. 1 – You only need to set up 1 book (with 1 ISBN) for your book to appear on most of the Amazon websites (this will include the uk). 2 – I don’t know your ultimate goals, so I cannot answer that thoroughly, but yes, if you want your book to appear on most of the Amazon platforms, using a Createspace assigned ISBN should be enough. 3 – You cannot set up an Amazon Advantage account without an ISBN, so yes you’ll need to start setting up your book on Createspace first. 4 – If you are using a Createspace assigned ISBN, CreateSpace will be your book’s imprint of record, so yes, you’d enter that ISBN when Amazon Advantage asks for it. 5 – No, you do not need a barcode on the back cover to do pre-orders. 6 – Yes, you can get a barcode (for free) from Createspace. 7 – No, you do not need a different barcode for the UK and the USA. Only 1 book is required with it’s own ISBN and barcode. It then get’s printed/distributed on most if not all Amazon platforms if those channels are enabled in your Createspace dashboard. Hope this has been helpful David, thanks for your support by reading my blog/article. 🙂

      • David Bain

        Superb! Thank you so much for your help Eric! I just tweeted about this wonderful article 🙂

        • Hey David, you are very welcome. Thank you for sharing with audience, I really do appreciate it! 🙂

          • David Bain

            Hi Eric – 1 more question if that’s OK! 🙂

            Do I have to sign up with both Amazon Advantage USA and Amazon Advantage UK if I want my book to be available for pre-order on both Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk?

          • Yes David, you’d have to set up your book with each site separately. You’d set up your book for pre-orders on the Amazon US site via AA (US) & set up your book for pre-orders on the Amazon UK site via AA (UK). You’ll find the url’s to both sites in the article above.

          • David Bain

            Thanks again Eric, much appreciated

          • You are welcome David. 🙂

  • Daegor

    Hi Eric. This tutorial was extremely helpful, but now something has come up that worries me. Without any notice, Amazon lowered the price of my pre-order listing by 20% (maybe for a general holiday sale?) Will that eat into my royalties or cause any problems for me down the line when I switch order fulfillment to Createspace?

    • Happy to know it was helpful, thank you. 🙂 Don’t worry about the discount (this is actually good for you as it’ll hopefully encourage people to buy). But whatever discount is “added” to your book, it’ll be taken from Amazon’s profits, not yours. So when you ultimately publish using Createspace, you’ll still get the same royalty whether they increase or decrease the discount. 🙂

      • Daegor

        Ok great news! Thanks for your quick reply and for writing this guide.

  • blueeyedshook

    This might be a silly question, but what is the benefit in closing my Advantage account if I’m already having to pay $99 annual fee? I really want to use pre-orders but if it doesn’t add to the sales ranks, in your opinion, what is the benefit of pre-orders?

    • Great question. After you use Advantage for the pre-order process, if you don’t have any other books, then closing it is an option. You may not even have to pay the annual fee if you close it sooner rather than later (I cannot guarantee that though). Correct, this process does not contribute directly to the Sales Rank (that’s actually not the purpose of this pre-ordering process with CS/AA). The ADVANTAGE of doing this is to get your book in front of an enormous audience with a ton of traffic, to start building momentum for your book before it actually gets published. Most if not all Traditional Publishers use this method to put books up on Amazon way before the book is published so that it can start getting traction. It’s all about marketing. Hope I’ve answered your question adequately enough. 🙂

      • blueeyedshook

        One more question! Amazon Advantage shows that they take a 55% commission on sales as well as the $99 annual fee. With this pre-order process, do they still take that commission out from your pre-order sales?

        • Sure, no problem. You are simply using AA to start the pre-order process. Once the AA/Createspace transition occurs, AA will not be processing orders, Createspace will be. So AA will not take 55% commission from you. Whatever happens with your book after transition, Createspace will handle. The commission AA will take is if you were actually going to use AA for the intended purpose of fulfilling through them – but you are not … you will be using Createspace. Hopefully this answers your question? 😉

  • Helena

    Thanks for all the info! I’m publishing through Ingram and definitely want to do pre-orders. Should I use your way of setting up pre-orders or is it just as effective to do that directly through Ingram? And, is it even possible to use this technique even with Ingram?

    Many thanks!

    Helena

    • Hi Helena … you are welcome, happy it was helpful. 🙂 If you are printing via Ingram (I assume Ingram Spark or Lightning Source?), it would not be necessary to set up pre-orders via Amazon Advantage. So if you set up your book properly for pre-orders via Ingram, they will connect with Amazon in order to set up your Amazon Book Page in the same way as if you were doing it yourself (via AA). Let me know if this helps answer your question. If you have further questions or concerns, feel free to ask.

  • Jamie Penno

    Hi Eric, thanks so much for the helpful article! With regards to the annual Amazon Advantage fee, do you end up paying that even if you cancel it after a month? Or do you pay a portion of it?

    Thanks,
    Jamie

    • Hi Jamie – you are welcome, I’m happy you’ve found the information in this article helpful. 🙂 That’s a great question and something I cannot answer with 100% confidence. I’ve had an Amazon Advantage account for over 10 years and haven’t paid the fee. But to be transparent, I’m not using my account for fulfillment, just for setting up pre-orders. That’s probably the reason why I’m not having to pay anything. For those folks who have had their accounts open for only a couple months simply to set up their book to help with pre-orders, I’ve not heard anyone mention that they had to pay a fee. So, it’s probably safe to say that you may not have to pay the account fee if you only have the account open for a couple months … or if it’s clear you are not doing fulfillment through them. Hope this helps. 🙂

  • Jamie Penno

    Thankyou for your last response! It’s so lovely how you’re helping everyone out! I was just wondering if you also have to confirm the Customer Orders? Or do you just let them sit there until they’re transferred to CS? Thanks so much!

    • Hi Jamie – you are welcome. There is no feature/tool to confirm Customer Orders, so no you do not have to confirm Customer Orders when they appear in your Amazon Advantage account. Those orders will simply “sit” there until they are transferred over to Createspace after you initiate the transition. I hope that answers your question adequately. 🙂

  • Jamie Penno

    Hi, sorry for all the questions! None of the pre-orders are showing up on my account as customer orders, and I emailed them about it and they said they shouldn’t be showing up – is this normal?

    • First, could you clarify who you emailed and who “they” are? It would help know who is saying what. Second, you say none of the pre-orders are showing up – how do you know you have pre-orders, are you assuming you’ve got pre-orders or have people told you they purchased your book? If you know for sure that people purchased your book then is takes 24 to 48 hours to appear in your Amazon Advantage account. Also, it’s important to note and it’s not unheard of that when folks say they purchased your book they actually didn’t, so keep that in mind.

      • Jamie Penno

        I emailed the “contact us” for Amazon Advantage, and they said that they do not give out information on pre-orders and they’ll only show up after the release date.

        I know people who have pre-ordered, and I’m fairly sure they weren’t just saying that 🙂

        • Thank you for clarifying. AA is half right and half wrong. The part they are correct on is they don’t give out personal information when a pre-order goes through. All you will see on your end is the number of Customer Orders as they come in. As I said in my previous reply, if someone actually purchased, you will see it 24-48 hours later in the AA spreadsheet. The part AA is wrong is that the actual pre-orders WILL show up in your AA account BEFORE the book is released (before the release date). Hope this is helpful.

      • Jamie Penno

        Ok, scrap that! They’ve actually shown up now!! Not sure what the customer service people were talking about. Thanks for your help!

        • In my experience (and from speaking to other publishers and authors) half of what Customer Service says is totally wrong. As I mentioned in my previous replies, it usually takes anywhere from 24 to 48 hours for orders to show up. Officially, AA says that the database updates once every 24 hours, so 48 hours is usually what I ‘add’ for those stray orders that don’t show up in the 24 hour period. 🙂

  • Parker Sinclair

    I’ve tried this process ofr the first time for my most recent book, Eve of the Exceptionals, and everything has worked seamlessly so far. I have just approved my proof and send off my email! I only had one snag and that was based on my image upload and this very important step fro Eric, “Before uploading your image, read the guidelines about the format and naming conventions, then click on the ‘choose’ your image link. Browse for the image, then click submit.” Make sure you read the guidelines which requires you to name your image a specific way. I’ll update when I see the process transferred over to Createspace!! So excited. Thank you Eric for giving us indie authors this option to generate interest in our books.

    • You are very, very welcome Parker, it’s my pleasure & thank you for such kind words – I’m here to serve! Congrats on your journey – you are almost there! 🙂

  • Ty Buckingham

    I did everything but you mentioned it could take as little as 3 hours or a couple days but my account says it’ll take 7-11 days?! Also how do I show that the retail is 15.99 (which is what I set it up as) but want people to be able to actually buy it for $10 so they see a discount? @ericvanderhope:disqus

    • Hi Ty, that message of 7-11 days is something that Amazon has to say, but in normal cases, new book listings will appear within 24 hours after uploading everything correctly. You “show” or choose the retail list price by setting it at whatever you want in the setup process, in your case $15.99. You do NOT however have the option to set your own discount, that’s Amazon’s choice and they’ll discount your book at whatever price they wish (or no discount at all). We have no option to change that, they are the retailer and they do that themselves.

      • Ty Buckingham

        Is there a way to change my retail price then or is that too late.

        • Ty Buckingham

          My createspace is setup as 10, so maybe it’s not a big deal?

          Thanks so much, can’t believe you help so many people!

          • You say your book it setup on Createspace at $10? It is a big deal, both list prices must match. And you are welcome, happy to help indie authors/publishers.

        • Yes, you can change the list price (and no, it’s not too late, unless you plan on publishing tomorrow). If you just recently set up your book, you will not be able to change the list price as it’s to near the setup stage to make edits. You’ll have to wait approx a week or so and then you can put in a support ticket, (via AA) and request to change the list price.

          • Ty Buckingham

            I hate being “this guy” asking all these questions, but my book is now on amazon but it says it’s unavailable? (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0692808426) and the picture is terrible quality but I can’t see any of the info in my amazon advantage of how to edit or anthything. Thanks for your help, I feel like I owe you

          • Yeah, seems we may go back and forth here … so to make it easier, why don’t you simply call me, I’ll be happy to answer your questions. Sound good? Open a support ticket via my help desk & provide me with your number: http://replytoeric.com

  • Jamie Penno

    If we approve the manuscript on CS but are still waiting for Amazon Advantage to remove the title from their account, can we start selling it from Amazon? Or will those sales be directed through Amazon Advantage still?

    Thanks

    • The transition will occur after you approve your book in Createspace and tell Amazon Advantage to close/cancel the title – this is almost instantaneous, so you don’t have to wait long (re-read the article, it’ll explain how it’ll start selling within hours of the transition, the “Pre-order” button converts to the regular “Add to Cart” button). Within the Amazon Advantage account, your book title may still be there and the spreadsheet may populate different sales figures, but it’s not anything to worry about. By morning, if done correctly, Amazon will be selling your book (the units will be fulfilled by Createspace but shipped by Amazon). I’m not sure what you mean when you say: “can we start selling it from Amazon??” All this happens automatically, you do nothing. Transition occurs and Createspace takes over. Hope that clarifies for you.

      • Jamie Penno

        Hi Eric! Sorry for my confusing wording. I’ve done the timing a little differently, as I had to wait for CS to check my manuscript overnight before I could approve it this morning. I’ve done that, and it’s already saying “add to cart” on Amazon, but I haven’t received a reply from AA yet to confirm that they’ve removed the title. If people click the “add to cart” button will this still go through my AA account if they haven’t closed it yet like the pre-orders did? Or will they automatically go to CS?

        • Same outcome, CreateSpace will print the book, Amazon will ship it. AA in the meantime will close your title whenever they get to it.

  • Ty Buckingham

    Is there anyway to know how many pre-orders people have “purchases”? Trying to see if some of my marketing is working

    • Hi Ty – yep, there is. I’ve actually answered this question before (you’ll find it buried somewhere below … he, he, he). I’ll pull it up for you so you don’t have to search for it! 😉 Once logged into your AA account, move your mouse over to the Reports’ tab (a drop-down menu will appear), click on ‘Amazon Retail Analytics Basic’, click on ‘Sales and Inventory Dashboard’, a drop-down menu will appear. Then click on ‘Sales and Inventory Product Details’, then you’ll see the ‘Customer Orders’ column in the spreadsheet. If there is a number there, it will display how many actual Customer Orders you have. To go back further in time if you listed your book a month ago, you can narrow in on the time period. Click on ‘Week-to-date’ and you’ll see additional time periods and if you had additional sales it’ll show under the Customer Orders column. Database will update once every 24 hours. So to get an idea if your marketing campaign is effective, you should see results within 24-48 hours. Hope this is helpful. 🙂

  • Clarissa Thompson

    Hi, Eric! Thank you so much for this article! I’ve been able to setup my book for preorder on Amazon Advantage. I have a couple questions. Can I change the list price? And can I order a copy of my book from Createspace a week or two before my release date?

    Thanks!

    • You are welcome Clarissa. 🙂 Yes, you can change your list price but it depends how soon you wish to change your list price after listing your book on Amazon. It usually takes about 7 to 10 business days before you can make any edits/changes from within your Amazon Advantage account after you first list your book. Can you order a copy of your book from Createspace a week or two before your release date? Well, that depends: it’s a yes and no answer. No, you cannot purchase a book from Createspace before you approve your book (because it hasn’t been published yet. Approving your book gives permission to Createspace to publish your book). But there is also a Yes: you can order a “proof” of your book, when you are at that stage of the publishing process. At that stage I believe you have the ability to purchase 5 “proofs” before you actually publish it. Now, if you purchase the book before it’s release date (for example, you pre-order the book via Amazon) you will not get the book until after it’s published (which you could end up receiving in as little as 2 to 3 days AFTER the publish date if it’s pre-ordered). Hope this answers your questions adequately enough. If not, please let me know so that I can clarify.

      • Clarissa Thompson

        Hey, Eric! Thank you so much for answering my question from earlier—I happen to have another question! So I was able to change the preorder price of my book; however, I have had friends tell me they’ve preordered my book but when I log into my advantage account and go under Purchase Orders there is nothing there. Could there be a delay in the system?

        • Hi Clarissa – you are welcome. Yes, there is a “delay” in reporting. Amazon Advantage/Amazon updates their database once every 24 hours. So you could see the result of a pre-order within a 24-48 hour period. The other reason you may not be seeing it is that the folks who said they purchased your book actually did not. I know, that sucks … but in my experience (and from working with my students and clients), I’ve found a high percentage of people who say they purchased but they actually didn’t. All good intent, one reason or another people just don’t follow through. The other thing you should be aware of (which I may have written about in the article), is that your Purchase Orders are not the indication of an order when someone purchases from you. You have find your actual Customer Orders in the AA control panel … just want to clarify that point. 🙂

  • Lynn Yu

    Hi Eric,

    This article was so helpful! So I just set-up the page for my book on AA a few hours ago, and it seems to be “live” … when I type in http://www.amazon.com/dp/ISBN, my book’s page appears. However, the page does not have a list price, and it says the product is “currently unavailable.” There’s also no pre-order button. Wondering if this is normal and I just need to wait a little bit to see the pre-order button pop up, or if I need to change something within AA to make that appear?

    Thanks!

    • Happy it was helpful. If you just set up your book today, then this is “normal”. It will take a day or two for things to look a bit normal. You cannot do anything in AA at this time anyway, as it takes about 7 to 10 days before you can actually go back in and edit anything. So just be patient. Just give it some time and things should be looking fine … if things don’t seem to change in a couple days, drop by here and let me know and we’ll see what’s up.

      • Lynn Yu

        Hi Eric,

        It seems like the pre-order button still isn’t available on my page. Should I contact someone at AA?

        • Yes, from time-to-time there are glitches on their end. Open a support ticket within your AA account and let them know what is happening and they should take it from there.

  • Alex Hahn

    Hi, Eric. Thank you for your great service to the self-publishing community. I apologize if this question has been asked already. My book has been available for preorder for a while and the official release date is February 28. My question is can I initiate your “step 5” — that is, opening the ticket with AA to begin fulfillment from createspace — a few days early?
    Step 5 states that this should be done about four hours before midnight of the official launch day. Ideally, I’d like to get the whole process rolling earlier so that if anything customers receive the book earlier.
    Thank you again for your assistance and continued responses on what has become an iconic posting.

    • Hi Alex – you are welcome. 🙂 I would strongly suggest that you DO NOT change the process. There have been instances where some folks have tried to do it earlier and issues developed as a result. Whether you tried doing this earlier or simply follow my steps, it will not change the outcome of when people get their books. Your book will be ‘available’ as soon as you hit approve (well, almost as soon as), meaning: when someone purchases it, it will be shipped and someone may receive it within whatever shipping option they chose. I’d highly recommend you stick to approving your book 4 hours before. For the most part, all those who pre-ordered your book will likely get their books within 3 days of the publish date. From time-to-time when I’ve worked with clients, I’ve test purchased their books during the pre-order process and ended up receiving their book no less than 3 days after publish date. So my recommendation, stick with the process that’s proven to work, otherwise you may end up with issues you don’t really want to deal with. Hope this is helpful. 🙂

      • Alex Hahn

        Thanks very much, Eric. Really helpful. We will go ahead and follow the process as planned. Have a nice weekend and we’ll let you know how it is going.

        • You are welcome Alex, happy to be of service. 🙂 Thanks, keep me posted on your progress. Have a great weekend!

  • Scott Berkun

    Thanks for posting this detailed summary. Two questions:

    1. I tried contacting Amazon Advantage about this procedure and they seemed to know nothing about it. Any idea why they don’t officially acknowledge the ability to do this?

    2. Are you available for hire in consulting on doing this process? i have a few other questions but would happily pay you for your time rather than just ask here.

    Thanks.

    • Hi Scott – you are welcome. I encourage all authors I come in contact with to not bother to contact AA about this (because most of the time they don’t understand or they don’t know about the process). I’ve been doing this for 8 years and 1/2 the time I’ve (or my clients, or other independent authors) have talked to AA staff, they have no idea what’s going on or they fully believe there is no pre-order process. Createspace doesn’t know what AA does, AA doesn’t know what Createspace does. I could try to understand or guess why Amazon (AA and Createspace) does what they do or think what they can’t do and it would simply be a waste of time. I simply tell authors, just follow the process, it’ll work until someone ‘pulls the plug’. 🙂 Yes, I do provide services for this (and other publishing and marketing processes) and have successfully helped all my clients with a 100% success rate. Feel free to open a support ticket via my website: http://replytoeric.com and I’ll be happy to answer any of your questions. — Eric

  • Alex Hahn

    Hi, Eric. We are getting ready for our launch on Tuesday in no small part due to your help. Here is today’s question. The book has ended up to be shorter than we expected in terms of page count. The description on Amazon advantage says 400 pages and it’s really going to be more like 350. I would obviously like to be as transparent as possible in our marketing. If I go into Amazon Advantage at this point to change the description, will that mess anything up? I know on the KDP side, making such changes triggers a review process. Thanks again, Alex

    • Congrats. 🙂 A change/edit like you have described will not have any adverse affect on anything (this will not trigger a new review process). You have two options, you can go into AA and physically update it there. It could take 3 to 5 days to update. Or you could simply open an AA support ticket and have a representative change it for you. Going that route may be faster (all depends on how busy things are within Amazon). If you do, make clear what the book title and ISBN is so the representative knows exactly what to do to what. Easy peasy. 🙂

      • Alex Hahn

        Thanks, Eric! Sounds great.

  • Sonja Rouillard

    Thank you for this amazing post! I’m going to share to my FB and twitter.

    You wrote: “You will however need a print/proof-ready file “ready to go” on Createspace before the final step.”

    What is the “final step”?

    This is the only thing that confused me? I’m hoping you mean AT THE POINT I WANT TO PUBLISH (PUB DATE) and not the step before pre-orders go live. Can you please clarify./

    Thanks!

    • You are welcome Sonja! I’d be very grateful if you could share with your audience. 😉 The final step is “approving” your book for publishing (4 hours before pub date). I highly recommend that BEFORE you “approve” your book that you purchase and see a physical copy of your proof (you can also review a digital copy). So it’s not the step before the pre-orders go ‘live’ as your book pre-order listing should already be ‘live. 🙂

      • Sonja Rouillard

        Thanks so much for clarifying. I’m setting up my Amazon Advantage account now. We’re definitely doing a print proof.

        I did share…I’m Kate Allure for my fiction, but this nonfiction book will be by Sonja.

        Thanks again!

        • Fabulous …! Yep, I noticed and I’ve already re-tweeted you, thanks for the mention. 🙂

          • Sonja Rouillard

            So I’m back with more questions. I’m not up for pre-orders. Yeah! I was able to link to my new author page. Yeah! I was able to add a front, back covers end a TOC. Yeah!

            But my problem is that I can’t figure how to add meta data. The AA options are very limited: “Travel — Europe.” Which means I will NEVER show up on the London Travel Guide pages…I went through page after page down to about page 20 looking.

            2nd, my book crosses-over to historical romance and I can’t find a way in AA to add a second category.

            Can you tell me how to put in keywords for AA? I’ve tried from both the AA website and the Author Central page.

            Thanks so much!

            sonja

          • Yes Sonja, in some cases Amazon Advantage and Createspace will not provide exact browse categories, but Keywords is different. You can choose between 5 & 7 of them and enter them in the setup within Createspace. Since Amazon Advantage doesn’t provide an option to choose keywords in the setup process, you must open a support ticket and ask them to add them to your Amazon Listing. As far as categories are concerned, if you cannot find the exact ones in Createspace or Amazon Advantage, then again, you open a support ticket in Amazon Advantage and ask them to add the Browse categories to your Amazon Listing. However, you can’t just pick any category, it must actually be within Amazon’s database. You can choose your category browse path from the following url: http://www.amazon.com/books-used-books-textbooks/b/ref=topnav_storetab_b?ie=UTF8&node=283155 (scroll down the page a bit and you’ll see the categories on the left hand side of the page under the category/topic: “Books”). An example after you’ve chosen your browse category could be something like the following after you’ve narrowed down to your ultimate choice: Books > Business & Money > Management & Leadership > Leadership. You can also request browse categories via Author Central by clicking on Contact Us and then follow the prompts to choosing specific browse nodes.

          • Sonja Rouillard

            Thank you!!! I’ll get right on it!

          • Sonja Rouillard

            So, yet another question…

            Can you be listed in more than one category?

          • Yes … Amazon allows you to be listed under two (2) categories for your print edition and three (3) categories for Kindle your edition.

          • Fabulous! 🙂

  • Chandi

    Eric, I found your site today as I was trying to understand what pre-orders are and how they work and whether I should consider them. I am publishing (self) my first book and my pub date is April 2. My launch event at a book store is that day. My main question right now (and I didn’t see it addressed in your post) is what is the main reason an author would do a pre-order. I know it is for creating a buzz but what I don’t understand is weather the main reason for it is to enable launch team members to access the book in order to read it ahead of time, so that the author can ask them to leave reviews on Amazon on launch day?

    Or perhaps pre-order simply means that people are signing up (in essence) to order it, and on the day of the launch, those orders will go out. If the answer is the latter, then I’d like to ask if you would say that it’s important, this concept of having launch team members read the book ahead of time and be poised (and committed) to leaving a review on the day of the launch?

    • Hi Chandi – there are many different reasons people decide to do pre-orders. However, in this instance it’s not for the purpose “to enable launch team members to access the book in order to read it ahead of time, so that the author can ask them to leave reviews on Amazon on launch day” These are two separate things. People don’t get access to the book earlier as a result of setting up a book on Amazon. Most authors provide digital copies of their manuscripts (rather than print) to allow for earlier review and get testimonials ahead of time. There are many alternatives at accomplishing this though. Essentially, as you wrote, the books will get shipped out on the publish date. Many authors who do pre-orders normally provide incentives to purchase ahead of time (in order to get the potential customer’s email address, which is very important). Is it important to have a launch team, get team members to read the book ahead of time, leave reviews on launch day…? Absolutely! You’ve asked questions that really do not have much to do with the actual pre-order process (that’s what most of the questions I get here), so I’ve not really gone into too much detail in answering your question since there is much more to it than what I’ve explained. So I welcome you to open a support ticket on my site: http://replytoeric.com and I’ll be happy to answer your questions in more detail (complimentary ofcourse). I want to make sure you understand the entire process. Once you open that ticket, I’ll be happy to exchange my phone number, it’s much easier to talk about this than typing it! lol 🙂

  • Ty Buckingham

    Blown away by how helpful Eric and his article was. I officially published my book which is being released tomorrow (March 28, 2017) and couldn’t have had this pre-order go any better. BLOWN AWAY by how helpful this article was.

    • Hey Ty – thank you so much for the awesome feedback! Oh, do you mean your book is being released tomorrow (February 28th)!? 😉 He, he, he … Ty, I’d be most honored if you decided to share this article (and your personal “endorsement”) with your audience (email, social media, etc.) – I’d be extremely grateful. 🙂 Best wishes for you and your book’s success!

  • Ty Buckingham

    of course I have one last question…

    I just did the last step so I’m waiting on AA to do all their magic, when should I, through Createspace, submit my book to go to Kindle etc?

    • You DO NOT want to set up your Kindle book through Createspace, they’ll screw it up. So create an account directly with KDP (it’s free) https://kdp.amazon.com/ and have someone convert your source file into .mobi format and upload to KDP (or if you are patient, you can learn how to convert it yourself.

  • Ty Buckingham

    Slightly concerned, I did everything you said however AA emailed me saying I had to do some of it myself because they need two days to do it, so I had to go in and cancel my book, is there a way I can make sure/check that everything worked before I promote it?

    • You don’t need 2 days as AA has indicated. They have no idea what they are saying. Obviously you got a representative that doesn’t understand what to do. Oh, just got a call from you and as you noticed on your listing, everything is working out as it should. 🙂

      • Ty Buckingham

        I got an email this morning from AA saying that I need to set it up with createspace, doesn’t say how, but on amazon it says everything is okay? But how do I know it’s working with Createspace?There email said “If you want to list your title(s) through Create Space, you must close your title from Advantage and enroll the title in Create Space to avoid detail page errors and inventory management confusion.Once your title is closed from Advantage, all the pre-orders will be assigned to the next available option. If Create Space is our immediate source for inventory fulfillment, we will procure inventory from Create Space.”

        https://www.amazon.com/dp/0692808426 is where my book is at. Thanks for your wisdom

        • Ty Buckingham

          actually I went on create space and it shows we have sales so I guess it worked haha!

          • Yep, ofcourse it worked. 🙂 I’ve been doing and teaching this for 8+ years. 🙂 Sales start rolling in on your publish (release) date. So, ya’ happy!? Everything is working fine Ty! He, he, he ….. 😉

          • Yessss, ofcourse it worked. 🙂 I’ve been doing and teaching this for 8+ years. 🙂 Sales start rolling in on your publish (release) date. So, ya’ happy!? Everything is working fine Ty! He, he, he ….. 😉

        • 1 – Obviously another cut and paste response from AA. Set up what with Createspace …?? Don’t worry about it, you already have set up through Createspace. 2 – I looked at your Amazon Listing and everything looks fine. 3 – Close your title from Advantage … haven’t you done that? That is part of the process explained in the steps above. Actually, it should have been part of the support ticket explained above … to close/cancel the title and transfer pre-orders to Createspace, so I’m assuming you’ve done that. 4 – Your title is already “enrolled” with Createpace. 5 – The next available option for fulfillment is Createspace, so all orders will be transferred over. Most emails from AA are cryptic! What they said you already have done (I assume, if you are following my steps). So nothing to worry about.

  • Alex Hahn

    We had a tremendously successful release of my book “The Rise of Prince: 1958-1988” using Eric’s system, and also he was very selfless in providing advice, encouragement, and comfort throughout this process on this blog and elsewhere. Eric has done a tremendous service to the self-publishing community. I’m very grateful and glad we pulled this off. https://www.amazon.com/dp/0692839240/

    • Thank you very much for your fabulous comments. Feel free to share this article with your audience/tribe via whatever platforms you have (newsletter, blog, social media, etc.). Happy to be of service! 🙂

  • Erin Woods

    Hi Eric, Thank you for this information! But I think I must have messed up a step somewhere. On Amazon it says my book is “Currently unavailable” and can only be added to a list rather than pre-ordered. What did I do wrong, and is there a way I can fix it? Thank you!

    • Hi Erin – you are welcome. In answer to your first question: “What did you do wrong? Is there a way to fix it?” If you could be more specific on what you’ve done, it’ll help me pinpoint where you are at in the process, then I can troubleshoot. So, at this point I’m going to assume that perhaps you completed adding your book to Amazon Advantage, yes? And perhaps your Amazon Listing says: “Currently Unavailable”? If that’s it, then in some cases this is “normal”. Your listing may not have a pre-order button for a day or so. Sometimes it takes an hour, sometimes half a day, sometimes a day before you see your listing with a pre-order button. If after a day or so goes by and there still is no pre-order button on your Amazon listing, contact AA support and let them know there is an issue with the listing and they need to check it out. On the second question, I’m not sure what you are referring to when you say “can only be added to a list rather than pre-ordered”. I’m not sure what you are referring to, please be more specific so that I can help you better. Thank you. 🙂

      • Erin Woods

        I’m sorry I was so vague, but you guessed correctly. Thank you so much! I’ll see if the pre order button appeared and contact AA if it hasn’t. Again, thank you!

  • Jenny Randle

    I can’t even tell you how helpful this article is. Thank you SO much for being so detailed! I have two questions that’ll help me determine to jump in. Well, make that three. 1. Do you offer consulting services on this? 2. Can I include a sample on the pre-order amazon page? 3. When I merge people over when the book launches, is there anyway I could mess that up and erase all the sales?! (this is a fear!!). Thanks in advance for your help.

    • Hi Jenny – you are most welcome … very happy you’ve found it helpful! 🙂 In answer to your questions: 1 – Yes, if you’d like to inquire further about my fees, feel free to connect with me here: http://replytoeric.com. 2 – Could you please clarify by what you mean when you say: “Can I include a sample on the pre-order amazon page?” 3 – Nope, you cannot mess it up if you follow my directions precisely.

      • Jenny Randle

        Thanks, Eric! To clarify, I am making a square 8.5×8.5 interactive devotional. It won’t be in kindle (not sure if these details matter) but I really want to show a sample of it. I know on amazon when you click the front cover, you can also “view inside”. I was hoping to show my book that way, so people can see what it’ll look like. Am I able to do that in the pre-order method you describe? Also first timer here … so I apologize if this is a silly question.

        • You can upload as many individual images of your book to Amazon Advantage as you wish. Folks visiting your Amazon Listing will then be able to click on the thumbnails for a closer/enlarged view. The Look Inside feature is something that comes later, once your book is published (Createspace does this automatically for all it’s books). There could be a way to get the Look Inside feature activated prior to publishing, but I’m not sure Amazon allows that anymore. Nobody has asked about this for a very long time!

          • Jenny Randle

            Hi again Eric, so I’m working on this and have my book all set up. I also did a test pre-order. But it isn’t showing up in my “purchase orders” so I have no way of tracking how many people ordered, etc. I did reach out to amazon and they said … “I would like to inform you that we will begin ordering your title four weeks before the release date. As your release date is currently listed as 06/24/2017, we should begin placing orders 30 days before the release date. If you do not receive an order from us by 21 days before the release date, please reach out to us.”

            So from what I’m gathering, because it’s not a month away I can’t see the purchase orders or something??? I’m so confused as to why I can’t see who’s pre-ordering and if there’s something I need to do. If you have availability to help me, I’d love to pay you for your time.

          • Jenny – the answers provided by Amazon Advantage are always confusing.

            In this case, they are referring to Purchase Orders, which have nothing to do with your actual order YOU made or someone else makes. So their answer is completely off base to what you are trying to get an answer to.

            I believe my article mentions how Purchase Orders and Customer Orders do not have a direct impact on each other. When customers order via the pre-order button, the Purchase Order doesn’t automatically update, they are two different things. Purchase Orders is Amazon’s method of asking the vendor (you) to send them a block of units (books) to them for their warehouse.

            You CAN actually see who orders your book (the pre-orders) via another menu option, but you will only see the number (how many), not WHO ordered (only Amazon has access to that info).

            To find the actual pre-orders, do the following: once logged into your AA account, move your mouse over to the Reports’ tab (a drop-down menu will appear), click on ‘Amazon Retail Analytics Basic’, click on ‘Sales and Inventory Dashboard’, a drop-down menu will appear. Then click on ‘Sales and Inventory Product Details’, then you’ll see the ‘Customer Orders’ column in the spreadsheet. If there is a number there, it will display how many actual Customer Orders you have. To go back further in time if you listed your book a month ago, you can narrow in on the time period. Click on ‘Week-to-date’ and you’ll see additional time periods and if you had additional sales it’ll show under the Customer Orders column. Database will update once every 24 hours. So to get an idea if your marketing campaign is effective, you should see results within 24-48 hours. Hope this is helpful. 🙂

            I’ll be happy to answer your questions in more detail, feel free to open a support ticket on my site: http://replytoeric.com.

  • Marc Miller

    I really appreciate having this post as a resource. THANK YOU!!

    • Hi Marc – you are welcome! Thank YOU for sharing your comments, I really do appreciate it very much. 🙂 — Eric

  • Sonja Rouillard

    Hi Eric,

    RE: Purchase Order Cancellation Policy

    I got this email today from Amazon.com Vender Central. I’m a newbie so I have to admit this is all Greek to me. Can you tell me does this impact the system described above? I just followed your wonderful system a day ago, doing the zeroing out a PO step. Thanks so much for any help you can offer explaining if this will affect your system above. Sonja

    “We’re contacting you about an improvement to our purchase order cancellation policy. Starting today (Friday, March 24), we will be simplifying our cancellation policy for both existing and new purchase orders.

    Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with this cancellation policy and prepare your operations teams for any updates you might need to make in your fulfillment processes.

    Note that we now have two distinct policies: one impacting direct import orders, and one impacting all other order types (regular replenishment, staged, or manually placed orders).

    Under these policies, Amazon will cancel outstanding orders if products are not received within the specified window.

    For regular replenishment, staged, or manually placed orders, Amazon will auto-cancel line items on your purchase order 7 days after your expected delivery date, or 30 days after the end of the ship/delivery window, whichever is sooner.

    For accepted line items with submitted advanced shipment notifications (ASN), Amazon will auto-cancel items 30 days after the ship/delivery window only if they are not be received by this time. Please take this into account when planning order fulfillment as you will need to factor transit and receive time into your fulfillment if you are near the 30 day post-ship/delivery window deadline.

    Please note this means that backordered line items will auto-cancel if not received into our network 30 days after the ship/delivery window on the purchase order, the longest amount of time these orders will remain open. Any late backordered items will be subject to the Unfilled by Cancel Date chargeback.

    For items you’ve already backordered, those may be cancelled under the new policy. For purchase orders received before March 24, 2017, there will be a grace window for cancelled items receiving an Unfilled by Cancel Date chargeback. Note that this grace period does not impact Unfilled by Cancel Date chargebacks you might have received before March 24, 2017.

    For direct import orders, accepted line items will auto-cancel 45 days after the ship/delivery window on the purchase order unless we receive an ASN.

    Backordered line items on direct imports without an expected delivery date (EDD) will also auto-cancel 21 days after the ship/delivery window.

    Backordered line items on direct imports will auto-cancel if not received into our network 120 days after the ship/delivery window on the purchase order, the longest amount of time these orders will remain open. For purchase orders received before March 24, 2017, there will be a grace window for cancelled items receiving an Unfilled by Cancel Date chargeback. Note that this grace period does not impact Unfilled by Cancel Date chargebacks you might have received before March 24, 2017.

    You will find details of your ship/delivery window in your Amazon purchase order. To alert you of all purchase orders that need to be fulfilled before the cancellation date, see Update past due PO items under Action Items on your Vendor Central home page.

    The above cancellation policy (excluding the cancellation chargeback) applies to all outstanding orders received before March 24, 2017. Purchase orders received after March 24, 2017, will be subject to the cancellation policy and the cancellation chargeback.

    Please continue to fulfill these orders within your ship/delivery window or before the cancellation policy dates where possible. If you do receive a cancellation notice and can reallocate that inventory to future orders, this is preferable to filling cancelled orders.

    Thank you for your careful review and support,

    Amazon Vendor Central”

    • By following my process step-by-step, the announcement you received will not apply to you. Simply confirm any Purchase Orders as they come in (don’t wait for them to be cancelled), choosing back-ordered and Expected Delivery date (your publish date). If you’ve already completed the process, then this notice wouldn’t apply to you anyway.

      • Sonja Rouillard

        Thanks so much! I did the process already but of course I’m hoping for more orders and more PO. Crossing my fingers anyway. Thanks again!

        • You are welcome. Sonja – I just want to clarify … if you’ve completed the process you WILL NOT be getting any more POs (essentially Amazon Advantage is out of the picture now). That process is completed and PO’s are no longer applicable. What I assume you are trying to say is that you hope for more regular orders (via Amazon/Createspace). By putting emphasis in your marketing efforts, you will get more regular orders. Thank you.

  • The old process has not changed for years (in reference to Amazon Advantage UK). That sidenote (**) was referencing the UK. I should have been more specific so I’ll be updating my article to reflect that. Thank you Woody.

    • Thanks Eric. I also notice that I’ve got an email from Amazon Advantage US this AM which states changes in their “Cancellation policy” – I wonder if this’ll affect the US pre-orders….

      Attach here in case of use 🙂 https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/876554a700e345c0fe2676adc8f909d952cf73e19a0d5af8f83b972c9b485439.png

      • Your welcome Woody. By following my process step-by-step, the announcement you received will not apply to you. Simply confirm any Purchase Orders as they come in (don’t wait for them to be cancelled), choosing “Backordered” (or “Cancelled: Not Yet Available” for UK) and Expected Delivery date (your publish date). By following my steps exactly there should be no issue.

        • As book launches in a few days, I hope it’ll all go through okay (trusting your steps here :))

          … especially as I’m going to plant a tree for every pre-order – so this needs to work (http://canopyharvest.com)

          Thanks for the post Eric, it’s very helpful!

          • Hey Woody, it’ll work – as long as you followed my steps exactly.

            As a matter of fact, I just finished up a campaign a few days ago with a client of mine and everything worked … and just a couple days ago a few authors following my process (using the steps from this exact article) successfully managed their campaigns. So, it’ll work … I’m not entirely sure how many times I’ve said this – perhaps thousands!? 😉

            If you do get “push back”, let me know, I’ve got “boiler plate” responses for Amazon Advantage representatives who still feel this process doesn’t work (yeah, there are lots of those folks out there).

            Do you know how to find out how many pre-orders you got (so you can plant a tree for every pre-order)? I’ve included instructions below. Remember, if you want to show proof, take a screen shot and highlight for emphasis.

            To find the actual pre-orders, do the following: once logged into your AA account, move your mouse over to the Reports’ tab (a drop-down menu will appear), click on ‘Amazon Retail Analytics Basic’, click on ‘Sales and Inventory Dashboard’, a drop-down menu will appear. Then click on ‘Sales and Inventory Product Details’, then you’ll see the ‘Customer Orders’ column in the spreadsheet. If there is a number there, it will display how many actual Customer Orders you have. To go back further in time if you listed your book a month ago, you can narrow in on the time period. Click on ‘Week-to-date’ and you’ll see additional time periods and if you had additional sales it’ll show under the Customer Orders column.

            That’s for Amazon Advantage US, Amazon Advantage UK is very similar so you should be able to figure it out without any difficulty. 😉

            The Amazon database will update once every 24 hours (so it’s not real-time data). So to get an idea if folks are buying from you, you should see results within 24-48 hours after their purchase.

          • Thanks Eric, sorry for making you say it again! haha.

            I’ll take screenshots as you’ve advised, and also mix with KDP pre-order ones for the ebook version pre-orders 🙂 Messy old business!

          • No worries … ha, ha, just saying. 😉 The screenshot is for your benefit (and also “proof” if you have issues down the road).

          • Is a good point, though hoping not to have any issues, just trees and book sales 🙂

          • Unfortunately, 50% of the time there will be an “issue”, but that issue will not be my process, it’ll be an Amazon Advantage representative saying it can’t be done. Fortunately, they are completely wrong. Amazon has clearly not trained their representatives thoroughly. However, as I’ve mentioned before, if this does happen, let me know and I’ll guide you forward. Rest assured, your pre-orders will still transition over, whether they think it will or not.

          • Thanks Eric, you’re doing a great thing here 🙂

          • You are welcome Woody … & thank YOU! 🙂

          • Thoughts on this Eric (is this a typical Amazon Advantage US response? Should I do as he says?)
            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/309fff10858abcf957dacf04c88969772d50564067c4fd608ad75680613eaee8.png

          • Hi Woody – nope, this is not a usual response from them. But first thing that I need to ask is: the date is a month away – my process explains to do this 4 hours before you plan on publishing. So that may have caused AA reason to add this specific response. To the second point, there is no written policy that authors/publishers cannot ask support to close the title. I encourage this process so that there is written record of what you want done. If you go ahead and just click a button, there is no accountability. And there are 2 requests you are making when you do this anyway, so how would AA know to transfer orders, they wouldn’t. So the opening of a support ticket is what has worked for over 8 years.

          • Hi Eric,

            Fully realise you know what you’re doing, and suspect it was my error if any – I believe it’s them that have mis-read the date and I’ll go back and check. Should be noted that Amazon Advantage UK Solved beautifully in one email …. but US keep banging their heads about saying it can’t be done:

          • Hey Woody – it can be done, this guy obviously doesn’t think so. First thing, you need to make sure the date is correct! Respond with the following response and insert info where it pertains to you:

            ==

            Hi Luis,

            As far as transferring/redirecting orders, this is something Amazon Advantage does, perhaps you simply are not aware of this.

            Amazon Advantage CAN transfer pre-orders. Hundreds of authors/publishers have done this successfully for 10+ years.

            Amazon does not recognize any “official” process for this and that’s why you probably think it’s not possible to do.

            So please forward any pre-orders from this AA account for this title: ISBN-10: xxxxxxxxxx to Createspace so that they can complete fulfillment and distribution of that book/title.

            Here is a recent quote from an Amazon Service Member (such as yourself) who took care of this same request without any issues:

            ========
            ========

            “Greetings, We contacted our department concerned about the pre-orders of your title. They have confirmed that the pre-orders will be moved to the next available source after the title has been closed from advantage Program. We cannot assure you that pre-orders will be moved to CreateSpace. If CreateSpace is the immediate source then pre-orders will be moved to CreateSpace. Please note that if the title is active in advantage you have to fulfill advantage orders.

            If you have any further questions regarding this then please contact createspace.com.

            Thank you for selling with Amazon,

            Sowjanya Reddy T.
            Member Services
            Amazon.com Advantage
            Do you have all of your titles enrolled in the Advantage program? Enroll them all today!
            http://www.amazon.com/advantage

            ========
            ========

            So please confirm that any/all pre-orders for this book, ISBN: xxxxxxxxxx in this AA account be transferred to Createspace.

            Thank you.

            Woody Hayday

            ==

          • Thank you Eric, I replied with similar, but will now forward your helpful message… look what he replied with this time 😮 https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/73b6a587262b402e4173e578dd718ccb91d90ee22f399ca12a0a144222c473da.png

          • Hey Woody – not really sure why he doesn’t get it. We provided him with a response from another AA rep who said they did what they did to make sure pre-orders would be transferred. So this guy must be living under a rock. Contact me via my help desk: http://replytoeric.com and I’ll personally help you out. There is no reason he should be saying this. Meanwhile, send a reply back and tell him you want your ticket elevated and taken care of by a supervisor who can take care of your request and use my same info I gave you earlier to emphasize that these pre-orders can be redirected. In essence he is saying Amazon will refuse to fulfill orders from customers … that’s ridiculous. The pre-orders are there and need to be fulfilled by someone, Createspace is the only source at this time that can fulfill the orders. In between all this back and forth, I bet that your orders are being transferred anyway, and he doesn’t even realize it. Has your Createspace account gotten lots of orders in the past day or so? If so, your pre-orders are being transferred. So it’s happening whether he thinks so or not. Much of this process is automatic (and they don’t even know it), but it’s just good to get a confirmation from them. Dealing with Amazon Advantage you need to be patient yet persistent.

          • Hi Eric,

            Sorry to harass you here so much 🙂 He’s replied with another random response which I won’t bore you with. It does look like they moved over automatically, (same count), but I think was just confusing because UK + US at same time (and my first time around). I’ll elevate it just for the confirmation, but am fairly confident it’s all trickled through now.

            Thanks again Eric, I bet this post is a gift and a curse for you! 🙂

          • Hey Woody – no need to apologize, sounds like you have a real “character” on your hands. It doesn’t matter what you say to him, he seems to be stuck in his own little world. From past experience, I’ve found it usually takes one (1) reply back to AA explaining how the process works and they realize it’s something they actually do. Haven’t seen this much push back from a Rep like this in years. Meanwhile, the transition will occur (whether he thinks so or not) as I’ve mentioned previously. And from your most recent share, sounds like things are moving forward. Keep pushing through, it’ll work.

          • Hi Eric,

            Thanks again for all the help. Pushing further got this reply:

            ========

            Also, I already checked on the inventory and customer orders that we may have and I saw we do not have orders anymore. This means CreateSpace has taken care of them. From now on the orders related with your book: ISBN 1544120850 will be manage by them.

            ========

            … so looks like it’s resolved (I wonder if it even needs them to do it manually!)

            Thanks Eric

            Woody

          • Hey Woody – looks like you don’t need to pursue any further. From what you’ve shared there is nothing more to do … all your pre-orders should be transferred if they aren’t already.

          • 🙂 All good, thanks again Eric!

          • You are welcome Woody! 🙂

          • Hey Woody – when the Amazon Advantage rep replied to you, he had a typo, looked like the book was for April, not March. I just checked your book listing and you are ‘live’ and taking regular orders. So you just need to tell them to fulfill your request – you want them to close/cancel your title. There is NO REASON that they should say no or that they can’t do it.

      • Jenny Randle

        I was wondering the same thing @woodyhayday:disqus

        • Hi Jenny (@Jenny Randle), like I mentioned to Woody, it really does not apply if you follow my steps exactly. 🙂 — Eric

  • Catherine Bilson

    Hey Eric, can I ask a question about advertising? Is it possible to use the Amazon Advantage platform to create Amazon ads? I’ve been told that this is a possible way for an author published via Pronoun or another aggregator rather than through KDP, to be able to create ads. Just wondering if that’s true!

    • Hi Catherine – sure, ask away! 😉 There is nothing within the Amazon Advantage account that has anything to do with advertising or creating Amazon Ads. However, AA does suggest other Amazon platforms that can provide these type of services: “Amazon Marketing Services” https://ams.amazon.com/ or “Advertise on Amazon” https://advertising.amazon.com/ or “Amazon Services: Sponsored Products” https://services.amazon.com/services/sponsored-products-overview.htm. Hope this is helpful.

      • Catherine Bilson

        Hmmm… as far as I can tell, these all go back to the KDP account. Rats. Ah well, never mind, I was hopeful! Thanks for your time!

        • Yes, if you have a KDP account, it makes sense that it would refer to your KDP account. If you have an AA account, it would probably refer to that as well. So any type of account you have with Amazon will probably show up. Why? Well, if you are creating Amazon Ads, you are obviously trying to promote something on Amazon, probably something like a book or product, so I’m assuming it’s sourcing that thing you want to advertise. But nowhere within the AA account itself is there an option to create Amazon Ads. Those ads would have to be created via the websites mentioned above. 🙂

    • Hi Catherine – I just want to follow-up with my previous comments about your question. I believe you can set up ads whether you have an AA account or not. It’ll reference your account if you have one, but you’d still create the ad via one of the websites I’ve already referenced. You wouldn’t be creating the ad within AA. If you are creating ads you’d simply need to reference that book using it’s ISBN. If you’d like further info on all of this (since this specific article is not about creating Amazon Ads), feel free to contact me via my help desk: http://replytoeric.com and I’ll be able to get into a bit more detail. 🙂

  • Seth Bleuer

    Eric Van Der Hope,
    THANK YOU! This is an absolutely amazing step by step! I just followed this and got my pre sale for my first novel, Guy’s Odyssey, set up with zero issues. I imagine that when I transfer everything over to createspace it will go just as smoothly thanks to your instructions. Thank you so much for what you do, you Sir are appreciated!

    • You are very welcome Seth! 🙂

      • Seth Bleuer

        Eric,
        How long does it take to start seeing PO’s come in? I know that I’ve sold some books, but I haven’t had anything pop up for approval yet (I know some people say they order it and don’t, but I’ve had about 5 people send me a screenshot of their purchase and 1 order it while I watched).

        • Hi Seth – this type of question comes up often, but in different versions.

          As explained in my article above, Purchase Orders have nothing to do with Customer Orders (when someone decides to purchase your book using the pre-order button). So when you are looking for something to approve – the PO (because you’ve been told someone purchased your book), you will not find a Purchase Order. You will not see it because they are two completely different things.

          Purchase Orders come from Amazon, they estimate demand for your book and as a result the number of units they want shipped to them will vary, it could be 1 unit, 5 units, 50 units, whatever. That’s what you’d confirm – their request.

          As far as when you’d start seeing these Purchase Orders appear, it varies from book to book, depending on demand. But usually 2 weeks after you open your account and/or a month before your official publish date.

          If you wish to see actual Customer Orders (you’ll only see the total number), you have to look elsewhere in your AA control panel. The information is not real-time, so if you order and expect to see it in your AA account right away, you will not see it. Usually takes about 24-48 hours to show.

          To find the actual pre-orders, do the following: once logged into your AA account, move your mouse over to the Reports’ tab (a drop-down menu will appear), click on ‘Amazon Retail Analytics Basic’, click on ‘Sales and Inventory Dashboard’, a drop-down menu will appear. Then click on ‘Sales and Inventory Product Details’, then you’ll see the ‘Customer Orders’ column in the spreadsheet. If there is a number there, it will display how many actual Customer Orders you have. To go back further in time if you listed your book a month ago, you can narrow in on the time period. Click on ‘Week-to-date’ and you’ll see additional time periods and if you had additional sales it’ll show under the Customer Orders column.

          As I mentioned just a moment ago, the Amazon Advantage database updates once every 24 hours (so it’s not real-time data). So to get an idea if folks are buying from you, you should see results within 24-48 hours after their purchase.

          Let me know if you found this helpful and makes sense. Thanks. Eric

          • Seth Bleuer

            Thanks so much for explaining that. I kind of thought that’s what it said in the article but wasn’t 100% sure that’s what you meant. I really appreciate you taking the time to answer this, as I’m sure you’ve answered it countless times before. You sir, ROCK!

          • You are welcome Seth – happy to have been of help. 🙂

  • Joy Hall Le-luya

    Thank you so much for this, it is very helpful. Question. It seems you are saying the pre-sale copies are printed by CreateSpace but sold on Amazon first. Does that mean Prime members (who pre-order) will have their free shipping if I use this process? Also do the pre-order sales count for the book’s sales ranking? Thank you in advance. -Joy

    • Hi Joy, just to clarify, the pre-order copies are NOT printed before the publish date, but are printed by Createspace on the publish date or soon after. Prime members will get free shipping whether the book/product is published or not. If you purchase as a Prime Member you get all the benefits, so you will get free shipping once the book is printed and shipped. The book’s sales ranking will be affected during the pre-order process. For example, if someone orders your book from the pre-order button before its actually published, you will see the sales rank change. Hope this helpful! 🙂 — Eric

      • Joy Hall Le-luya

        That is VERY helpful! Thank you, Eric!

  • Lauren Clark

    Hi, I just had a friend purchase a pre-order, how long until it shows up on the PO log? Also I submitted the product this morning and it is already available!

    • Hi Lauren – congrats for listing your book and good to hear that you’ve already received an order. 🙂

      Yes, sometimes a book will become available within a hour or so after it’s been listed via AA (but most of the time not).

      As to your question – this actually comes up very much so I’ll re-post my response that I recently made with a previous poster.

      Short answer – your pre-order DOES NOT show up as a Purchase Order. These are two separate things (explained in article above).

      Here is more detail from my response to a previous poster:

      “As explained in my article above, Purchase Orders have nothing to do with Customer Orders (when someone decides to purchase your book using the pre-order button). So when you are looking for something to approve – the PO (because you’ve been told someone purchased your book), you will not find a Purchase Order. You will not see it because they are two completely different things.

      Purchase Orders come from Amazon, they estimate demand for your book and as a result the number of units they want shipped to them will vary, it could be 1 unit, 5 units, 50 units, whatever. That’s what you’d confirm – their request.

      As far as when you’d start seeing these Purchase Orders appear, it varies from book to book, depending on demand. But usually 2 weeks after you open your account and/or a month before your official publish date.

      If you wish to see actual Customer Orders (you’ll only see the total number), you have to look elsewhere in your AA control panel. The information is not real-time, so if you order and expect to see it in your AA account right away, you will not see it. It usually takes about 24-48 hours to show.

      To find the actual pre-orders, do the following: once logged into your AA account, move your mouse over to the Reports’ tab (a drop-down menu will appear), click on ‘Amazon Retail Analytics Basic’, click on ‘Sales and Inventory Dashboard’, a drop-down menu will appear. Then click on ‘Sales and Inventory Product Details’, then you’ll see the ‘Customer Orders’ column in the spreadsheet. If there is a number there, it will display how many actual Customer Orders you have. To go back further in time if you listed your book a month ago, you can narrow in on the time period. Click on ‘Week-to-date’ and you’ll see additional time periods and if you had additional sales it’ll show under the Customer Orders column.

      As I mentioned just a moment ago, the Amazon Advantage database updates once every 24 hours (so it’s not real-time data). So to get an idea if folks are buying from you, you should see results within 24-48 hours after their purchase.”

      Let me know if you found this helpful and makes sense. Thanks! Eric

      • Lauren Clark

        This makes so much sense. I still haven’t been able to see the customer orders in the place you had said to look! It’s making me nervous. I just want to make sure that the people who have pre-ordered will definitely receive a book!
        Have you had any issues utilizing Amazon Advantage Pre-orders?

        • Hi Lauren – hummm … perhaps you are not choosing the correct time period? Or perhaps the person who said they purchased it, didn’t actually purchase it? This happens all the time. If you can get them to forward you their receipt, you’ll know for sure they purchased it. If someone purchases your book (via the pre-order process), they WILL get it. This process works. I’ve been doing/teaching this for almost 10 years. All the folks who have followed my steps exactly have had no issues getting the pre-orders shipped to them once the book is published. I’ve had no issues utilizing Amazon Advantage pre-orders … I know of a couple authors who have just completed this process (the past couple weeks or so) and it worked for them. Why don’t you simply open a support ticket via my website: http://replytoeric.com and we can exchange numbers. Most if not everybody who calls me feel reassured after a phone conversation. I can understand your nervousness as a result of not having ever done this before, but there is no reason to worry – it’ll work. 🙂

  • Shanon Roberts

    Hi Eric. Thank you so much for this step by step tutorial! I just approved my book and it is already available in Amazon and Createspace. I know you said it would be a couple hours before the PO’s from AA are transferred into my Createspace. My question is, where will those be visible once transferred? Also, do you know if it is possible to create discount codes for Amazon purchases?

    • Hi Shanon – you are welcome. I’m happy it was helpful. The PO’s DO NOT transfer over. This is a common misunderstanding. The PO’s and actual Customer Orders are two separate things. The actual Customer Orders will transfer over. The units will appear in the same place that the normal Createspace orders will show up. They usually show up in bunches … meaning, if you know you had 100 pre-orders, they usually are transferred over within a 1 or 2 hour period, like 50 books 1 hour and another 50 books the next hour. But it will not be the same for every book. When you are in your Createspace Account, click on ‘My Account’, then click on ‘Member Dashboard’, if you have sales you’ll see the number of books there. Click on the royalties for the month and there will be additional options available. In answer to your second question, it is NOT possible to create discount codes for Amazon purchases, that is a feature you can only apply if you are selling your book via your Createspace eStore.

      • Shanon Roberts

        Great, thank you for clarifying. It appears AA has yet to open/assign my request. Hopefully all will be resolved in the morning.

        • Depends on the workload. Sometimes they answer quickly and sometimes they do not. They’ll get to it, just not at your preferred pace.

          • Shanon Roberts

            They seem to reply between 4 and 5 in the morning 🙂 I have not seen the handful of orders come through. Although, AA says pre-orders “should automatically be transferred to the next available source”.

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4ad141118f24b51c0dd6d7708f8877e5e364b1d5e8da5207100660b96d1e34e3.jpg

          • Yep, this confirms it will happen. Transfer doesn’t necessarily happen right away. Sometimes happens the day of the publish day but it’s not uncommon for the unit sales to simply show up within a 1-3 day period. If you just published within a day or so of this post, there is still time for it to show.

  • @ericvanderhope:disqus thanks for this tremendous resource!
    I recently set-up my book for pre-order via AA and followed your process step by step. Once the book was available for purchase, I purchased a copy via Amazon to see how it would show up as a PO. But my purchase on 4/7 still hasn’t show-up as a PO in AA. Any idea why this is happening? I don’t want to start promoting the book until I know the POs will come through.
    Thanks in advance!
    If helpful, here is the link to my book page: http://amzn.to/2oJUOF8

    • Hi Ryan – this is a good question & it actually comes up often, but in different versions.

      Simple answer: if you purchased the book via the pre-order button – it does not show up as a Purchase Order, they are 2 separate things. So to address your question as to why that’s happening: Purchase Orders are NOT the direct result of a Customer Orders (only indirectly).

      The following is the answer in more detail (please refer to Step 4 in the article, it’ll also provide you with further explanation):

      As explained in my article above, Purchase Orders have nothing to do with Customer Orders (when someone decides to purchase your book using the pre-order button). So when you are looking for something to approve – the PO (because you’ve been told someone purchased your book), you will not find a Purchase Order. You will not see it because they are two completely different things.

      Purchase Orders come from Amazon, they estimate demand for your book and as a result the number of units they want shipped to them will vary, it could be 1 unit, 5 units, 50 units, whatever. That’s what you’d confirm – their request.

      As far as when you’d start seeing these Purchase Orders appear, it varies from book to book, depending on demand. But usually 2 weeks after you open your account and/or a month before your official publish date.

      If you wish to see actual Customer Orders (you’ll only see the total number), you have to look elsewhere in your AA control panel. The information is not real-time, so if you order and expect to see it in your AA account right away, you will not see it. Usually takes about 24-48 hours to show.

      To find the actual pre-orders, do the following: once logged into your AA account, move your mouse over to the Reports’ tab (a drop-down menu will appear), click on ‘Amazon Retail Analytics Basic’, click on ‘Sales and Inventory Dashboard’, a drop-down menu will appear. Then click on ‘Sales and Inventory Product Details’, then you’ll see the ‘Customer Orders’ column in the spreadsheet. If there is a number there, it will display how many actual Customer Orders you have. To go back further in time if you listed your book a month ago, you can narrow in on the time period. Click on ‘Week-to-date’ and you’ll see additional time periods and if you had additional sales it’ll show under the Customer Orders column.

      Since you purchased your book a while back, your book should show up in the results (it’s past the 24-48 hour window).

      Let me know if you found this helpful and makes sense. Thank you. Eric

  • Hi Eric! I’m on my 3rd book and have always wanted to try the Amazon pre order process but I could never find the info I needed! This is extremely valuable information so thank you for sharing!

    I do have a couple of questions:

    1. Will all pre ordered copies count towards the first day/week of the actual publish date?

    2. I understand that Barnes & Noble now has a program for self published authors where you can submit your book to be shelved in their stores called Nook Press. Have you used this before? If so, how did the process work while using your pre order method?

    • Hi Natasha – thank you very much. Happy to know how valuable it will be for you. 🙂 In answer to your first question: 1 – If you are asking if pre-order copies count towards the first day/week rank, nope, they do not. As they are purchased (in the pre-order phase), you’d see a notable change in the Amazon ranking (in real-time, within an hour or so). The units purchased will not all add up and contribute to the first day/week. However, you could have a rank bump on launch day, but that would be a result of the sales on that specific day. 2 – I’m not familiar with Nook Press. This pre-order process is used for books that will be printed/fulfilled via Amazon/Createspace. I’m pretty sure that whatever you decide to do with Barnes & Noble/Nook Press, it would have to be done independently of this pre-order process. I hope you find this information helpful. 🙂

      • Hi Eric! Ok that’s good to know. So can you tell me what’s the biggest advantage of taking the pre order route?

        • Lots of advantages: 1 – Gets you attention & exposure. 2 –
          Levels the the playing field between traditionally published & self/indie published books. 3 – Pre-Ordering represents the book’s potential. 4 –
          Starts building buzz, excitement, anticipation and hype toward launch day. 5 – Allows you to test your messaging in advance. 6 – It allows your tribe to support you. Those are just some of the benefits that come to mind. 🙂

          • Awesome! I actually went on and did it and it’s only been about 20 minutes and the page is almost completely set up! Have you ever seen anyone do pre orders on Amazon AND their own book website?

          • That’s awesome. Congrats on getting your book listing up so quickly. 🙂 Yes. Best case scenario is that you create an announcement of some sort on your own website (such as an opt-in page, landing page, funnel, book launch page) that encourages potential customers to pre-order the book in return for their contact info (email address) or as an incentive (an ethical bribe) to grow your email list (which you can use for short term, launch day; long-term, building/nurturing your tribe).

  • Hi Eric, quick question. I’ve set my book up for pre order on Amazon but what if I wanted to get some physical copies printed through Createspace for reviews before the actual release date. Is this possible or are we to only wait until the release date to add our book into the Createspace database?

    • Hi Natasha – you are only allowed up to 5 review copies before “approving” your book via Createspace. Sometimes Createspace will allow more, but you need to request it via a support ticket. Basically, other than that, the only way to get a physical copy is to approve your book, which in effect is publishing your book (therefore your pre-order is over). A method I encourage folks to do if they want extra copies before they publish, is set up a clone of your book. Use a free Createspace ISBN, use same cover file and manuscript file, but make sure to update your files to reflect the “new” ISBN. Then make sure to disable all distribution channels so that once you approve that book it will not appear on Amazon. You’ll then be able to purchase as many books as you wish via Createspace (author copies at production cost). Make sure to put a watermark throughout the book that says something like “Advance Review/Reader Copy” so let people know it’s not your official/final book. I hope this answers your question & is helpful. If you have further questions, concerns or comments, feel free to ask. 🙂

      • Ok that makes a lot of sense doing a clone in Createspace! Thanks so much Eric! You are amazing:)

        • You are welcome! 🙂 If you do go ahead with this, make sure to disable all sales channels prior to approving. This will prevent that ‘extra’ edition from appearing on Amazon which could confuse your customers. You don’t want to have two listings of the same book. If the system is preventing you from approving the book as a result of disabling all channels, then enable just your Createspace eStore, since nobody will ever find that in a search anyway. Then you can disable it after your approve the book. Make sense? 😉

  • Lauren Clark

    @ericvanderhope:disqus if you cancel your account right before the book comes out, having the account for only one month, do you get charged the membership fee for amazon advantage?

    • Hi Lauren – I’d like to suggest that you NOT cancel your account before the book comes out, so I’m not sure if you simply misstated some of your words. I wouldn’t take the chance of doing that which could have detrimental effect on your book listing. My suggestion is that you close/cancel your account 1 month AFTER your book is published (if you don’t plan on listing additional books). Do you get charged the fee if you your account is open for such a short time? Probably not. I haven’t heard of anyone getting billed later. Does that mean everybody who closed their accounts early didn’t get billed later? No. I’m just sharing what I’ve “heard” from other people’s experiences … I just simply haven’t heard people getting billed. Unfortunately I cannot provide you with a more specific answer to your question. But hope this helps anyway! 🙂

  • Tiffany Cherie Graham

    Hi Eric! I currently have a pre-order set up through Amazon Advantage but the actual book won’t be on CreateSpace for a couple of weeks. Is it possible to see the orders that have already been placed?

    • Hi Tiffany – this question comes up often, I should post a F.A.Q. section under this article! lol. 🙂 Yes, you can see the orders (the total quantity). To find the actual pre-orders, do the following: once logged into your AA account, move your mouse over to the Reports’ tab (a drop-down menu will appear), click on ‘Amazon Retail Analytics Basic’, click on ‘Sales and Inventory Dashboard’, a drop-down menu will appear. Then click on ‘Sales and Inventory Product Details’, then you’ll see the ‘Customer Orders’ column in the spreadsheet. If there is a number there, it will display how many actual Customer Orders you have. To go back further in time if you listed your book a month ago, you can narrow in on the time period. Click on ‘Week-to-date’ and you’ll see additional time periods and if you had additional sales it’ll show under the Customer Orders column. The Amazon Advantage database updates once every 24 hours (so it’s not quite real-time data). So to get an idea if folks are buying from you, you should see results within 24-48 hours after their purchase. Hope this is helpful. 🙂

  • Parker Sinclair

    Hi Eric! Do you know how to delete an image from an item?

    • Hi Parker! Unfortunately, there isn’t an option within the advantage account where you can delete an image yourself. So you’ll have to open a support ticket within Advantage and request that they delete the image for you.

  • Lauren Clark

    Hi, so 0’ing out the orders after submitting the final proof with createspace, will send the orders through createspace after opening up a ticket with amazon advantage asking them to transfer? The orders wont get lost? I’m so scared my pre-orderers will lose their money and not receive my book. It launches on may 24th 🙂

    • Hi Lauren, just follow my process exactly and you’ll be fine. I’ve helped literally hundreds if not thousands of authors (indirectly, whether I’ve helped or they simply followed my steps). The pre-orders will not get “lost”. Following the process I’ve laid out will actually help if something did go wrong (like “lost/misplaced” orders), because you are creating a “paper trail” via the support ticket process. Pre-orders in Advantage will not disappear, they are in Amazon’s database. By simply following the process, you are simply telling Amazon that Createspace will be an “open” channel to fulfill orders through. This is literally all automated by Amazon’s internal software, so it really would be impossible to “lose” an order, unless someone (the customer) actually cancels the order. Don’t listen to the naysayers (or the folks that say this process doesn’t work, or that Amazon lost their orders – most probably as a result of not following my process). Just follow the process exactly and you should be fine. I’ve been doing/teaching this since 2008 and nobody has personally replied to me that it didn’t work.

      • Lauren Clark

        I can’t thank you enough! I appreciate it!

  • Ricci-Jane Adams

    Hi @@ericvanderhope:disqus Eric, thanks so much for this very helpful article. I have followed all the set up steps and have the live page https://www.amazon.com/dp/0648095002 but it says the books is not available. I would be so grateful for any insight you have as to why. Thanks again

    • Hi Ricci-Jane – I’m very glad it’s been helpful to you. If you (JUST) added your book on Amazon via Advantage, then it’s too early for your book to display as “In Stock”. So give it some time (couple hours to a day). Sometimes (depending on Amazon’s server and network volume) books get listed (with “In Stock”) very quickly and others a bit slower. If you don’t see any changes after a day, let me know. Usually, a simple support ticket to AA requesting that they look into it fixes it. 🙂 If you wish keep me posted and I’ll assist if necessary.

      • Ricci-Jane Adams

        You are just the most helpful person on the planet! Thank you!

        • Ha ha … YOU are very welcome. And that’s awesome to hear – thank you so very much for your kind comments! 🙂