The pre-sale period is the time between when your title is first listed with the retailers to when it’s actually available to be shipped to readers. After your book proof is approved, we will send your POD files out to our entire retail store network. Your book will start appearing on the retail websites within 2 to 3 weeks. In this pre-sale status, your customers can order and pay for the book during this period. Your readers’ credit cards won’t be charged until the book is actually released and shipped.
To gauge reader demand, Amazon requires a minimum of 28 days in pre-sale status for all new titles. This allows them to calculate a 2 week inventory forecast. Amazon's goal is to maintain 2 weeks worth of inventory of your title in their warehouse so they can display a stocking message of "In stock. Ships Today". They use demand during the pre-sale to build this forecast and then they order the books from us towards the end of the pre-sale.
Your pre-sale window is when you should build the excitement for your launch. The longer your book is available for pre-order, the more time you have to send your eager readers to Amazon and the other stores to accumulate orders. All these orders count as sales on your release date, giving you a good chance at cracking some top-100 best seller sub genre lists on sites like Barnes & Noble and Powell’s.