What Pre-Ordering a Book Means for You and the Author

This morning as I was making pancakes, my husband walked into the kitchen and I said something to him that made perfect sense to me, and he said, “Baby, you’ve been having a conversation in your head for like 20 minutes and I just walked into it…what are we talking about?”

It’s true, I do that. I’ll have something on my mind and as though mid-sentence in my brain I’ll say it out loud as though he knows what I’ve been thinking about. Do you do this?

I think that’s how I’m starting this post. I realized that I haven’t blogged here in 10 months. 10 months! How did that happen? Instagram happened. I guess I use my blogging energy there. So here, I haven’t told you that I wrote a Bible Study that came out in June, or that I released a podcast, or that my new book, The Complicated Heart, is done and releases September 17th.

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Complicated Heart Cover.jpg

I haven’t told you that I might homeschool my youngest again, or that we got a dog, or that my new favorite gets-me-sick-every-time obsession is Rainbow Twizzlers. But this post isn’t about those things. This is a post where even though I haven’t blogged much about my new book, I want to tell you why it’s important for you and me that you know the importance of pre-ordering a book.

But first, another story: I was sitting at the pool a week or so ago and my friend was asking about my book, and the topic of pre-orders came up. I think she must have asked me why it mattered if someone pre-ordered, and I told her, and she was all, “I had no idea! I would pre-order more books if I knew that.”

If she knew. Because she didn’t.

And so I thought of you all. And I thought about how I should tell you why pre-orders are important, even though this feels a little like a conversation you’re walking into mid-sentence.

Okay so first…


You can’t see me, but I’m grinning ear-to-ear and dancing in my heart. I’m basically a real-life emoji, feeling all the feels (I am an enneagram 4, so….). At the end of this post, you can read more about the book (please do).

Why Pre-Orders Are So Important to You and the Author (and a quick word on book price)

Amazon Stock (as in, supply, not Wall Street stuff)

Have you ever gone to order a book and it says, “Out of Stock, ships in 20 days” or something like that? It’s because there wasn’t enough demand for the book before launch, and Amazon orders for launch-week and beyond based on that demand.

When we released Desperate, this happened, Amazon ran out of stock during launch week (a very important week for authors). What a bummer to hear from people who were trying to order it and couldn’t get it!

So, if you’re excited to read a book, and you’re a Prime user or a Barnes & Noble member (free shipping FTW), please consider pre-ordering the book so your fellow readers don’t have to wait a month after launch to get it.

BONUS FOR YOU: If you pre-order and Amazon runs out, no matter for you! You will get the book on launch week no matter what!

Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Pre-orders give a great jumpstart on word-of-mouth marketing because it gets all of us thinking about the book and telling other people about it, which is a major gift for authors. There is nothing like word-of-mouth recommendations or conversation about a book to build interest. It’s also helpful because as soon as you get your book on launch day, you’ll likely (hopefully) begin talking about it right away. When I get a book in the mail I’ve been waiting for, I get giddy over it and want to share it. I bet you do, too.

If you’re excited about a book, pre-order it. And share it. It’s a joy for the reader and the author.

Publishing Lists

Pre-orders are counted as first-week sales, which just means that it gives a book its best shot at hitting one of the many bestseller lists. Why does this matter, hitting a list? Visibility. The more a book gets out there, the more people pay attention to it, the more hands it will get into, and the more impact it will have.

If you think a book is good and important and worthy of sharing, pre-order it.

Book Stores - We Love You!

When you pre-order a book, and others pre-order a book, and ALL OF YOU PRE-ORDER A BOOK, it gets people talking, and when people talk about a book (word-of-mouth) and people get excited and pre-order it (demand) and book numbers add up (publishing lists), book stores take notice too. If you’re like me, you love book stores. You love walking the aisles and touching the books and being surrounded by hard-won words.

You love talking to your favorite independent bookstore owner about their favorite books or what’s new that they recommend. You love the comfy-chairs (Barnes & Noble, bring them back) and the coffee and the camaraderie. Me too.

I know there’s a tension between me telling you to pre-order online and also to love on your local bookstore, but the reality is, when you pre-order, wherever you pre-order, it helps all of us. If the word gets out, people will go to their local bookstores to get it.

A Word on a Book’s Price

My book retails for $16.99. I know that seems expensive, at least if you’re like me and your budget doesn’t allow for all the books you currently have on your wish list. I get it. But a couple of things:

First, that price will go down, and when you pre-order, you are guaranteed the lowest price. You do not pay $16.99. You will likely pay around 10 bucks.

Second, when you pre-order, you do not pay right away, you are only charged when the book ships.

Third, a good book is worth $16.99, because a good book has the potential to initiate change, to impact people and generations for good for years to come. The effect of a good book is priceless. Unless you’re broke, in which case, refer to “First.” :)

Here’s why I’m asking you to pre-order The Complicated Heart

Yes for the reasons above, but also because I believe the story will inspire change in you, in someone you know, and in the generations coming up after you.

So, what’s The Complicated Heart about?

It’s the story of how I learned to love and forgive my alcoholic mother, but really it’s about the truth that dysfunction does not have to be your destiny or your identity. Victory is always on the table. (You can tweet that if you’d like.)

If you’re struggling with a complicated or confusing, manipulative, tangled-up relationship, here are some of the questions your heart might be asking:

  • How do I forgive when the wound is still open?

  • How do I forgive someone who carelessly brushes aside my pain, who has caused such destruction, and who doesn’t show remorse?

  • How do I know when to stay and when to go?

  • Will I ever not feel so dang crazy?

If you’ve struggled with a difficult relationship, if you’ve felt torn-up and crazy and confused because of it, if you just want to know how to move forward and be okay, my story is for you.

And if not for you, for someone you know.

To pre-order The Complicated Heart, just click on one of the retailers below.


Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Happy pre-ordering!


Sarah Mae4 Comments