Friday, February 4, 2022

I'm No Ninja

I read a post this morning that said something to the effect of 'Ninja writers pre-sell books'.  Umm... yeah... about that...

I don't pre-sell books.

I had my first book up for pre-order.  For like ten days.  It was finished and could've gone live as soon as I uploaded it.  But I'd heard pre-orders were a thing, so I tried it.  I didn't like it.  I got a few orders that way, but not enough to warrant the waiting.  This post was talking about putting it up for pre-order before you even have the cover or the book finished.  


Just the thought of doing that sends me into paroxysms of fear and doubt.  What if I don't get the book finished?  What if I have to delay the release due to reasons and because of stuffs?  What if I do get a bunch of pre-orders and I have to let those readers down?  

The author of the post even went so far as to suggest taking money for books that haven't been printed and offering a discount to those people.  Actual cash in hand for a product that doesn't exist.  :panics at the thought:

Nope, nope, nope.  If you lay down money for one of my books, you will have the book in your hot little hands, inside whatever time it takes to deliver the book to you - immediate for ebooks and however long ship times are for print.  

Perhaps if I was the kind of author who planned her books, this would be closer to possible.  I'd have a general idea of how long a book was and when I'd get the damn thing done, so I could maybe put up a pre-order.  Even then, I'd still be all spastic about it.  What if I break an arm?  What if my arthritic wrists decide not to comply?  Hell, what if my beta-readers/editors are jammed up and can't work me into their schedules?  Or they break an arm?  There are too many variables.  I don't like variables.

Now, if the post-author had been talking about pre-selling in terms of marketing before the book is ready to go, that I can do.  To a certain extent.  I mean, I have a cover.  And I have a general idea of what the book is about now that it's finished (not edited, but written), so I can talk about it.  But to take actual orders?  Ut-uh.  I can whet your appetite with snips and stuff, and let you hunger to buy it when it's available.  But that's it.  

I can hardly even give you a firm date for release until I am way closer to finished than I am now.  I'm shooting for before April Fool's Day, but I'm not promising anything.  I don't like making promises I'm not certain I can keep.  And a pre-sale is a promise.  

So if that means I'm not a Ninja Writer, well, I guess I'm okay with that.  I hope you are, too.

What about you?  Do you pre-sell your books?  If you're a reader, do you do pre-orders?  (I don't do those either, but that's me and a whole 'nother post.)


  1. I have no idea whose post you are referring to, therefore I have no clue who/what/how that author writes. I do know "cookie cutter" authors who put out books as often as once a month or every two months. They write the same book over and over, changing only the name of the characters, set in places they have no knowledge of with facts that are completely wrong. And they make massive amounts of money with preorders and sales. WTF?

    Yes, this is a hot button. *deep breathes* I may not be a best-selling author but I like to think that my books are well-written and factual even though they are fiction. I avoid (mostly) politicas and political stands in my books, unlike some others. *shrug* I can't work like they do. And I won't. Would I like to have their readership? Hell yeah, but not at the sacrifice of quality.

    To a large extent, that describes you too. You take your time to but the best product you can out in the world. We may never get rich but we can be proud of what we publish.

    As for "pre-selling"--like you, I tease. Wednesday is my snippet day. I'll tease with pictures of the hero. It's seldom that I have a cover well in advance. I try to keep an up-to-date word count for the book on my website. If those things generate interest, great. If not, no biggie. until I have the finished product, I'm not comfortable taking "credit" for it.

    Happy Friday. Stay warm and dry this weekend!

  2. I'll never be a Ninja of any sort. ;-)

    I tried pre-orders with one of my books, and didn't sell a single copy there. I'm of the opinion that unless you have a huge following, pre-orders don't help sales.

    Besides, like you, when the book is ready I want it out there!