I don't know about you --
But I didn't really understand that preorders were a thing before my chapbook Words or Water was accepted for publication.
In my case, the press run of my chapbook was determined by how successful my preorder campaign was. In other words if I secured X number of pre-sales then they'd do a print run of Y number of copies.
While that's not exactly how it works for all publishers, the truth is pre-orders can make a difference in a book's success.
As I mentioned in an earlier email, all preorders count towards launch week sales, meaning that large preorder numbers can help propel a book onto some fancy best-seller lists.
Beyond the pie-in-the-sky best-seller lists though, solid preorder numbers can indicate early buzz to booksellers and librarians, which can lead to larger orders, more sales, more buzz, and around and around.
Lots of preorders can also mean early reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, and other bookish platforms.
On the reader side, I love a preorder because a book I forgot about ordering months ago will POOF just appear on my doorstep -- an unexpected gift from my(earlier)self.