After you click play, below, be sure to click “HD” in the upper-right corner.
We’ve just made it incredibly simple to create album pre-orders on Bandcamp. You can give fans one or more tracks immediately when they pre-order, and then when you release the record, we’ll automatically email those fans a link to download the full album and we’ll report your pre-sales to SoundScan. Here’s how to set it up:
- Get the album as close to its release-ready state as possible: create all its tracks, upload all the audio (or as much of it as you have), add lyrics and liner notes, etc. You’ll want to keep the album hidden during this phase, but leave its tracks set to visible.
- Go into the album editor and check “this is a digital pre-order”:
- In the new “include in pre-order” column, check the tracks that you want to give fans immediately when they pre-order. The other tracks will be shown in the track list, but only the pre-order tracks will stream and download.
Then you just set the album to visible, save it, and you’re taking pre-orders:
When you’re ready to release the pre-order, return to the album editor, choose “release pre-order now,” and save:
Now all your fans who pre-ordered will receive an email with a link to download the full album, we’ll report your pre-sales to SoundScan, and fans who buy the record from here on out will receive all its tracks in their download.
Some things you may be wondering:
How do pre-orders work with physical packages?
If you want to include a digital pre-order with a physical package (such as the vinyl or CD version of the album), then you just follow the instructions as above, and in the package editor, make sure “include immediate download of album with purchase of this package“ is checked. We’ll then give fans an instant download of the pre-sale tracks with their physical purchase, and email them a link to download the full album whenever you release it.
You can also set up pre-orders for physical versions of albums that are already out on digital. Just set the package’s release date to whatever future date you like, and that’s that.
I’m in the middle of a pre-order right now (using the old, kinda clunky method, where I email download codes out myself). Can I switch it over to this new system?
Yes, but you’ll still need to manually email codes to the people who have already pre-ordered, and existing sales won’t be part of the SoundScan holdback.
Can I set my pre-order to automatically release at a certain time so that I can just go to sleep?
What, and miss all the action? This is your big album release! If you’re not up and refreshing Twitter non-stop and talking to fans and high-fiving your bandmates we respectfully submit that YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG.
Please back up to the beginning. Why would I want to do a pre-order?
If your music career is just getting started, you’re almost certainly better off avoiding pre-orders and instead getting your full album out, letting people hear it, and building up your fanbase. It’s conceivable that someone who has never heard of you might pre-order your record on the strength of a few teaser tracks, but it’s pretty unlikely.
If you’re a more established artist, however, setting up a release as a pre-order can have a few benefits. First, it gives your biggest fans an easy way to make sure they get your record the moment it comes out. Second, it gives you a way to build up excitement and demand for a release, beyond just talking about it. And finally, it can increase the likelihood of your album reaching the weekly Billboard charts, since all your pre-orders are reported to SoundScan as if 100% of them were placed the week you release the record. We were as surprised as anybody to learn that that’s how the game is played, but hey, we’re here to help you play it.