If you hope to sell many books online through discovery in search results, the publication date is very important.
At Amazon, customers can filter search results by clicking the ‘Last 30 Days’ or ‘Last 90 Days’ new release links. These filters give your book a window of opportunity. Customers looking for new releases in their favorite genres may discover your book this way.
Now consider the following scenario.
You go through the entire publishing process. You set the publication date to be today’s date, since it won’t let you enter a date in the future. Then you discover one or more typos in the proof. After correcting those, there is suddenly a problem with the cover. When you fix the cover, you find more typos. A few weeks later everything seems to be just fine. So you click the magic button to approve your proof.
You forgot to update the publication date. Your book won’t be listed in the ‘Last 30 Days’ results for an entire month. If it took three weeks to fix all of those problems, your book will only appear in the ‘Last 30 Days’ results for about a week.
Unless you remember to change the publication date before you publish.
If you’re debating whether to enter the publication date as ‘today’ or some date in the past, there is a distinct advantage to using ‘today.’ If the book you are publishing now is a new edition, for example, then why not give this edition a new publication date?
When you explore the ‘Last 30 Days’ and ‘Last 90 Days’ filters, you may also notice a ‘Coming Soon’ filter.
How do you get your book listed under ‘Coming Soon’?
First, you have to publish a paperback or hardcover. You won’t be able to do this if you publish exclusively an e-book edition.
Next, you must learn how to setup preorders at Amazon Advantage. There are some very helpful discussions on this very topic at the CreateSpace community forum. Check them out.
Chris McMullen, self-published author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon