If you’ve never heard of BookBub and you’re an author, you’ve missed out on a lot of opportunities to promote your work. The selection process is a bit of a mystery, often considered one of the hardest paid newsletter advertisements to obtain.
From their website:
BookBub is a free service that helps millions of readers discover books they’ll love while providing publishers and authors with a way to drive sales and find new fans. Upon joining, members receive unbeatable deals selected by our expert editorial team, handpicked recommendations from people they trust, and real-time updates from their favorite authors. BookBub works with all major ebook retailers and devices, and partners with thousands of the industry’s leading publishers and authors to promote their books. BookBub was founded in 2012 and is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
The best part about this site, in my opinion, are all the options they offer both readers and authors. Let’s take a look at the ones available as of today (since they’re adding more features all the time). Before we get started, though, you need to create an author account and claim your books. If you’ve already done this, great. If not, click HERE.
So how do you obtain a coveted BookBub featured deal?
If I knew, I’d have them all the time. What I do know is this…
- Make sure your book is deeply discounted. My first ad was a sale on a box set – 3 books for $0.99 vs at the regular price of $4.99.
- Your cover needs to not only be professionally designed, it also needs to fit your genre.
- Is your book available on multiple platforms? Yes, you can still get a featured deal is your book is only available on Amazon and enrolled in Kindle Unlimited, but you have a better opportunity is your book is available wide.
- How many reviews does your book have? There’s a rumor that they won’t consider your book if it doesn’t have a minimum number of reviews, but both deals I’ve been chosen for didn’t meet that mysterious minimum number.
- SELL THEM YOUR BOOK! There’s a place to leave additional comments. This is your opportunity to sell your book. Don’t just copy and paste your blurb, they can read that on Amazon. Tell them why they should choose your book. Highlight some of your best reviews. Share your star rating on GoodReads, Amazon, iBooks… everywhere you have one. Make your book stand out against the other applicant in your same category.
With the featured deal, you have the option of offering your book internationally. This is a great idea, but I have one word of caution. If you are accepted and are enrolled in Kindle Unlimited, when you use your Kindle Countdown Deal or Free Promotion… you cannot select ALL countries. If I remember correctly, you can only choose two. You will have to change the price of the book manually to ensure all countries are included.
^ I learned that the hard way and so have many others. ^
Featured deals can also be expensive, depending on your category. Click HERE for the pricing sheet. If you are running a free promotion, I would recommend it be a series starter if you want to recoup any of your investment.
Featured New Release
This is new. I haven’t used the feature yet, but it looks promising. Since I’ll be releasing my final book of this year next month, I’ll be playing with this feature a little to see if the investment is worth it. The pricing model looks similar to having a featured deal. The only thing I notice is that your book needs to be available for preorder so you can select it for the feature.
So, what’s the difference?
From BookBub’s wesbite: Featured New Release emails are curated lists of new releases hand-selected by our editorial team and targeted by category. Each featured book will reach US members subscribed to a single BookBub category. There is an editorial selection process for a book to be included in the Featured New Releases email, but there are no pricing requirements, so full-price or discounted books are eligible to be included in these emails.
What I really like it that you can release your book at FULL price. The information they collect is the same. You still need to SELL THEM YOUR BOOK in the comments section. If you’ve received any reviews from ARC or beta readers, highlight those as you won’t have any on the major retailers or a star rating.
Here’s an example of what I plan to include in the comments when I submit in a few weeks for my final book of the year. (please note: this is book 6 or 6 in a series)
- Book 6 in the Rumors series (the final book)
- star rating for books 1-5 in the series (Amazon & GoodReads)
- highlight reviews from ARC readers for book 6
- SELL THE SERIES – readers may only pick up the final book but chances are they may see it’s book 6 and go back and purchase books 1-5. That’s what I’m hoping for.
What I won’t mention… it’s only available on Amazon and enrolled in Kindle Unlimited. If I were to mention it, I would include details stats about page reads. The reason BB doesn’t like to include KU books often is that they want to promote books to readers on ALL platforms. If they started promoting a ton of KU books, readers who buy from iBooks or Nook would unsubscribe from their newsletters.
Another promotional opportunity offered by BookBub is advertising on their website. Now, unlike the other two promotions mentioned above, you DO NOT have to apply for this. You can create your own graphic, or use the BB template to create one. The hardest part of advertising on any site is finding your target audience. I’ve included a few screenshots so you have a visual of what I’m talking about.
When it comes to targeting, you have two options to refine your audience. You can select other authors with books that are similar to yours. If you want to do this, I recommend checking yasiv.com and looking at what other authors and books are connected to yours. Choosing random authors will not help your ad performance.
You can also target by book category. The nice thing about this option is that you know for certain that you’re going to reach the best readers, the ones who want to read books like yours.
Now, if you combine the two, you’re going to get the most efficient results in my opinion. Your audience will be narrower which should keep your CPC down. Do your homework and waste less money.
The last image is all the financials. Only you can decide how much you want to spend. My recommendation here is to start low, let your ad run for a minimum of 7 days, and then make the necessary adjustments. Just like you before you’ve had your coffee, ads take time to get moving. You have to give them the necessary time to work, to be seen.
New Release Alert
GET IN ON THIS! First of all, it’s free. All you have to do is claim your book and they will send an alert to your followers that you’ve released a new book. So, if you haven’t claimed all your books, go do that now. If you have books available for preorder, claim them as well. As soon as I put a book up for preorder, whether I announce it to my followers or not, I claim it on BB because that way I can guarantee myself a new release alert. It’s easy and I don’t have to do anything except grow my followers between releases. Here’s what one looks like…
Author Profile & Reviews/Recommendations
Probably my favorite new feature BB has started offering is the option for readers to review your books on their site. When they do, it shows on their profile to others as a recommendation to read that book. Again, another FREE feature from BookBub to keep readers engaged.
Authors can also make book recommendations. If you are friends with other authors in your genre, which you should be, it’s a good idea to swap recommendations. It’s a great way to cross promote each other. Your books will reach their followers and vice versa. I caution you, though. I would only recommend books I’ve read.
If you haven’t joined BB, go, now, claim your author profile. You will have to wait until you’ve published at least one book to claim a profile but once that first book is out there in the world, make this a priority. With plenty of free and paid features, you could spend all day browsing the site to find new ways to reach readers. Hell, you’ll probably even find a deal on an amazing read!
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