BookBub: Affordable and Effective Book Promotion Ideas to Get Your Book Seen and Sold (Part One)
Featured Deals Program and BookBub Setup How-To
In a previous Substack article I started a series of articles on Book Promotion Services That Won’t Break the Bank. I continue that series here with information about BookBub as possible book promotion to add your book marketing plan. In Part One I describe BookBub and how it works and feature a couple promotion opportunities: The Featured Deals and New Releases for Less. (stay tuned for part 2)
As I mentioned in the previous article, I am providing information from my own research, there are no guarantees here, please do your own research and form your own opinion - I have no affiliation with Book Bub.
In fact, I am just starting to use the site myself! My new book, Get Your Book Seen and Sold will Pub in 2023 and I am in the process of researching Book Bub for use in MY marketing plan. We can to learn together!
To review, after you have decided to write a book and publish it, the next step whether you are traditionally published or self-published, is to devise a marketing plan to get your book seen and sold. Part of that marketing plan will be book promotion - those things you can do (or buy) to get exposure for your book.
I recently came across BookBub as one of the online sites that offer promotion opportunities for authors and specifically, their eBook. I will cover why I think Book Bub should be considered as part of your plan for book promotion.
BookBub is one of those sites that is for readers and for authors. Like Amazon - you can participate as a reader (purchaser of books) and you can also have a presence as an author (author central). Plus, as an author/publisher you can participate in promotional programs, for a price, that Book Bub offers on a ala carte basis.
Here is how BookBub works
BookBub has an interactive database for readers to purchase books and also to read about new books, new authors, new releases, etc. (A 2020 article cited 15,000,000 users and the users have only increased) When you join as a subscriber (when you create an account) BookBub will email you (as a reader) the deals of the eBooks that are available for a limited time. You can then purchase the eBook advertised on any of the outlets that you prefer (Amazon, Barnes & Noble…etc) at the link provided. When the link is selected, the ebook will show up on the outlet at the special price.
BookBub is the middleman brokering the special deal and reaching out to all of their subscribers. Pretty darn cool. You can see how it is a win/win. The author/publisher who buys the discount program that BookBub offers gets advantage of BookBub’s huge reader database. The publisher or author gets exposure to readers in their genre at a lower price but hopefully higher volume. BookBub collects the fee for the promotional opportunity.
For an Author / Publisher to purchase Book Bub’s promotion opportunities:
You need an eBook
2. You can be a self-published author or a traditionally published author
3. Your eBook is published.
Get started with Book Bub as a reader and as an author/publisher
First step: Create an author profile - its FREE - there is no reason not to do this….do it.
(If nothing else, with an account, you will get the emails from BookBub announcing great deals on eBooks - you will see how BookBub works - how they diligently market to their audience. You can then decide if you would like to benefit from it by participating in the book promotion options.)
Next: Go to “BookBub Partners”
Select “My Author Profile”
You need to have an eBook that is available for sale to submit your author profile information for review. They call it “claiming your author, title.”
Complete the prompts as requested. If will take a few hours or a day or two to get approval and then you can complete your profile.
Once your profile is complete, you can upload your headshot and attach your book to your profile.
BookBub Promotion Opportunities - Featured Deals Program and New Releases for Less
There are a several opportunities to promote your book on BookBub. One of the biggest promotion opportunities is their Featured Deals Program. In this promotion program, you decide on a discount price for your book (the deal you are willing to offer), you pay BookBub the fee associated with the discount price you are willing to offer and the genre category of your book, and BookBub reaches out to their vast network of readers (subscribers) with your book and the book deal.
Each genre and each discount point is a different fee. I have linked to the chart that lists all the genres and all the fees by discount price. The chart also lists the downloads/sales you can expect of your book based on BookBub’s historical data base.
In the example below I use figures from the chart as it was in 2/2022. The data on the chart is “continually adjusted.”
Example of a Featured Deal
For example, a parenting book, like my first book, It Gets Easier and Other Lies We Tell New Mothers, at a $1.99 discount price would cost me $423 to participate in the program. BookBub’s estimate of average sold books at that discount price level is 560 books. Theoretically, I made my money back. (not guaranteed) Plus, think of the exposure of the book and the exposure of you as an author. Fantastic!
Many authors who are writing or have written a series, for example, offer their first book in the series for free. The cost, in my example, to offer my book for free to participate in the program would be $169. You see, the bigger the discount you offer, the less money you pay to BookBub. The average downloads for a free Parenting genre book in my example is 7,200 books. Again, if I am writing a series and offer the first book for free, my subsequent books are now on the radar of the book buyers. The theory is that the subsequent books will sell and my invesment of $169 will pay off.
To participate in this Featured Deals Program, an author/publisher submits their ebook and BookBub decides whether or not to accept your book. The competition is fierce and BookBub only accepts a certain percentage of submissions. You CAN Re-submit every 30 days. It is a coup for your eBook to be accepted into the program.
Note: Doesn’t it strike you as funny that you have to submit to a company that you are trying to pay? But that is how popular the program is and how effective. Think about it. Your book will be put in front of book buyer who are in your specific target audience. Pretty darn great.
Number one on the list to get accepted is to have a fantastic book cover. Having many reviews on your book is also a help. In the comment section when submitting your book to the program talk up your book and specifically mention industry reviews or awards that your book has received.
Good Fit for the Newly Published Book?
I reached out to the folks at BookBub and asked if the Features Deal Program is a good choice for a newly launching book. The answer was no - they said it much more poetically but essentially the answer is no. BookBub selects existing books for this program and rarely selects a newly released book. Authors that write a series of books already published often offer their first book for free to gain the exposure for their other books. The strategy pays off for them. So, if your book is brand new, and you are just launching it, look into the other program that BookBub offers that I will cover in Part 2 - New Releases for Less.
How about if you have one title?
I also asked if an author with just one book is a good candidate for a Features Deal Program. You can absolutely submit your eBook for the Features Deal program with one title!
What if your book is with a Traditional Publisher?
Hold on there. If your book is with a Traditional Publisher, they own the book and they retain the rights to price it. So… get in touch with your publisher about the program. Perhaps they will like to hear about it and participate! Plus, you will be impressing them with your research into promoting your book! I have seen many books in the BookBub Deals emails that feature traditionally published books. It is worth the ask.
The first step: go sign up for an account with BookBub as a reader. Check it out.
BY the way…the best article I have found so far too describe the various programs of BookBub is linked here from Selfpublishing.com.
Part Two on BookBub is coming up next week. Please ask any questions in the comments.
Last but not least: Follow me on BookBub! (see how that works?)
If you have questions when you jump in to check out BookBub, feel free to ask in the comments.
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