I'm so excited! I've been watching every day and today for the first time, VEXING THE VISCOUNT is available for pre-order on Amazon. This is important for several reasons. While pre-orders don't help a book hit a best-seller list, they do influence how many copies of a title the brick and mortar stores decide to stock. If pre-orders are strong, a book can even go back for a 2nd printing before it's been released the first time.
Publishing is a new game for me and I still feel like a neophyte, even though this is my 6th release. As I understand it, hitting a best-selling list is NOT decided by the total number of books sold. It's determined by the velocity with which the title flies out of a certain number of pre-determined bookstores (sort of like Nielson rating households for books).
Which bookstores? That's way above my paygrade, but even hitting Bookscan (which tracks more outlets) with a respectable sell rate will get a book noticed. And marketed more heavily.
So when I want to support an author, I do two things. First, I pre-order their upcoming book. This will help her/his "buy-in" and I'll usually get my copy a week or more before it actually shows up in the stores. Then I buy a second copy to share with a friend as close to the release date of the book as I possibly can. This one definitely counts on Bookscan and may help my friend hit a bestseller list!
And it keeps my TBR pile fat and happy and filled with the kind of books I want to read.