Presale period is when your book is listed on Amazon and other stores prior to the published book launch date. 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 presales 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 presale 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 "Instock. Ships Today". They use demand during the presale to build this forecast and then they order the books from us towards the end of the presale.
Your presales window is when you should build the excitement for your launch. The longer your book is available for preorder, 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 in sites like Barnes & Noble and Powell’s.