Last year Kobo unveiled Writing Life, which is its seminal indie self-publishing platform. It has attracted many prominent authors, such as H.P. Mallory and Kevin J. Anderson. In the last few days, Kobo has quietly introduced the ability for authors to issue pre-orders for their ebooks. This adds a tremendous amount of versatility to promote your upcoming title before the official release date.
Authors have two main options for uploading their book with a future release date. Basically, if an author, when they are ready to publish, WANTS to set a pre-order, they have the option of either keeping it hidden until the release date (the way Kobo used to do it), or making it available for pre-order so they can start selling it now and also build anticipation.
Mark Lefebvre, the Director Self-Publishing & Author Relations told Good e-Reader, “We wanted to make sure that self-publish and indie authors have the ability to take advantage of pre-order activities, but not force them into it. So we give them a choice. It is important to allow them the freedom to decide what marketing pre-release strategy they want to employ.”
Honestly, I think this was a savvy move by Kobo. Not many ebook publishing companies allow you to issue your book as a pre-order with their self-publishing systems. This should be a major competitive advantage for authors looking for a more global reach.