Check Out These ABA Pre-Order Calendar Highlights

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Booksellers can view this year’s list of titles with good pre-order potential on the American Booksellers Association’s website by browsing the Pre-Order Calendar. The calendar specifically features books with added value, such as pre-signed copies and exclusive merch, to entice customers to order from their local indie.

The calendar, which is updated on a regular basis, shows booksellers the selected books’ publication dates and details for ordering from publishers (booksellers should note order deadlines). When available, titles on the calendar will also link to a page with publishers’ downloadable digital marketing assets, occasionally including special ads created by ABA that detail the offer for customers. This title list is also available as a downloadable Excel spreadsheet.

In addition to pre-order ads for specific books, ABA has created “Keep It Local” pre-order shelf-talkers, which booksellers can use for their websites and newsletters or print out and use in their stores.

ABA also notes new items on the calendar that are available for pre-order by indicating the date they were added in red. Since the calendar gets updated about once a week, that notation is removed once the title has been listed for a week or two, in order to highlight newer titles being added. ABA has also begun marking which titles will be featured as a pre-order ad in upcoming Indie Next List fliers using the notation: *INL: Month*.

Some highlights from the Pre-order Calendar include:

  • How to Read a Book by Kwame Alexander (HarperCollins, 9780062307811, Hardcover, $17.99) Added Value: 8-copy signed carton (carton ISBN: 9780062916358); While supplies last; To receive by the on sale date, place order by 5/24/19.
  • Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton (Grand Central Publishing, 9781538745823, Hardcover, $27) Order 5+ HC copies and 1 pre-order kit and receive custom chip bag clips (for pre-order customers). Grand Central Publishing will send a chip clip for every HC ordered above 5 copies up to 10. Max of 10 clips per store. While supplies last. To receive your kit by the on sale date, place kit orders via Edelweiss (Kit ISBN: 9781538717042) by June 21, 2019. Kits will ship by July 8, 2019.
  • The Last Widow by Karin Slaughter (William Morrow, 9780062858085, Hardcover, $26.99) Added Value: 10-copy signed carton (9780062935038, $279.90); limited signed quantities available while supplies last; stores will be notified if orders need to be adjusted.
  • The Trials of Apollo, Book Four: The Tyrant’s Tomb by Rick Riordan (Disney-Hyperion, 9781484746448, Hardcover, 19.99) Added Value: 20-copy signed cartons with posters for pre-order giveaway; order by August 28; while supplies last; 1 carton minimum, 3 carton maximum per store.

Every bookstore has the ability to take pre-orders, either in-store or online, granted they have e-commerce capabilities. Here, booksellers can find a cheat sheet for reporting pre-orders to six types of POS systems, which was handed out at ABA’s “Maximizing Pre-Order Campaigns” session at the most recent fall shows, as well as the PowerPoint presentation that details how to manage pre-orders.

Additionally, booksellers can flag pre-order titles on their IndieCommerce websites. If interested in using the pre-order badge feature on a specific title, booksellers can enable the setting on the book’s product page. A document with more information is available here.

Booksellers should also search Bookselling This Week’s  “pre-order” tag  for more information about promoting pre-orders in their stores.