My First Experience with a BookBub Featured Deal
By Keri Kruspe
Author of Otherworldly Romantic Adventures
As a struggling new author, (for me, the definition of struggle is replacing my secular job with a writing full time gig) it’s really hard to gain the needed attention for readers to find my fabulous books.
I strive to do all the right things… had a professional killer cover done; a catchy, eye-grabbing blurb (the first book was done professionally); and to add credence to my writing ability, I have some great reviews on my first four books.
For marketing efforts, I’ve thrown those puppies up on social media on a rotating basis. I’ve religiously studied the various ad platforms to utilize so I can launch myself into author stardom.
All I can say is I’ve been plugging along like a racing snail. Everything I’ve done helps, but nothing has given me the needed boost to really launch my career.
One of the things I’ve come across over and over as an aspiring author is the advice to get a Featured Deal with BookBub. I can’t tell you how many podcasts, training sessions, as well as articles have all said one thing: “If you can get a BookBud Featured Deal – grab it!”
So, like any good student, I’ve submitted my books over the last year and a half to BookBub trying to grab my part of that elusive unicorn of a deal, only to suffer disappointment.
Then it happened. After reading yet another article on the merits of having BookBub deal, I thought to myself… why not go all out? I put my trilogy in a box set last year, how about submitting that? It contained three full-length novels and also included a thirty page “writers bible” - chocked full of extra tidbits of the worlds and characters I created.
I thought, “What the heck” and sweetened the submission by slashing the price to 0.99¢ from $8.99. I promptly forgot about it until I got THE email. To my complete dumbfounded/shocked/flabbergasted surprise, I was accepted and they scheduled my sale for 06/12/2020.
To give you complete disclosure, running this ad on BookBub is expensive, but I knew that going in. The category my books belong in is “Paranormal Romance”, which has over 1,040,000 subscribers. At the listing price of 0.99¢ it would cost me $532 (the cost increases based on the price of your Deal). The average sales for this particular category is around 1,510. So, by my calculations, if I sold that many I would pretty much break-even dollar wise (0.35¢ is the usual royalty earned when you sell a book at 0.99¢).
Okay, now I had a goal: sell the average and recoup my expense.
Before I share my experience about my (hopefully the first of many) BookBub Featured Deals, let’s go over what it is and why it’s so important to authors.
What is BookBub and What Can They do for Me?
According to Wikipedia: “BookBub is a discovery service created to help readers find new books and authors. The company features free and discounted ebooks selected by its editorial team, as well as book recommendations, updates from authors, and articles about books.”
Since its inception in 2012, BookBub has spent thousands of hours testing and retesting books on their platform. As a result, BookBub only accepts the “cream of the crop” - books they deem worthy to be a part of their high-level marketing strategy. On average, BookBub editors get 300 Featured Deal submissions per day. The company has strict criteria for submitting a deal, and even stricter criteria for getting selected. As a result, they only accept 10-20% of those submitted. They know what sells (ack!), why it sells, and how to curate books to match the needs of their readers.
The Bene’s for an Aspiring Author (such as myself)
Getting accepted sounds like a daunting task. So why go through the pain and probable rejection?
- Ø It can add new subscribers to my email list and/or increase BookBub followers.
- Ø Increase book discoverability and exposure (1,040,000 is nothing to sneeze at)
- Ø Immediate sales boost across back list sales.
- Ø Lots of books have reached several bestseller lists after a Deal.
So… How Did I Do?
My BookBub Featured Deal campaign ran from 06/12/2020 to 06/17/2020 – with the 12th as my one day to sign in the sun.
While I didn’t obtain
that lofty position of being a Best Seller (i.e. NY Times, USA, or Amazon) in
that time, I did get THIS CLOSE
to achieving #1 on the category of
“Science Fiction Romance” on Amazon. For a brief second on 06/13/2020 around
5:00am, I was #2
Even better – At the same time, I reached #3 in a bigger category of “Paranormal Romance” that SciFi Romance is a small part of.
I was so excited I ran to my husband blubbering like a crazy person and yanking him to my computer. Since words were beyond me, I had to show him what I was crying about. Not being a writer (or an avid reader for that matter), he scratched a cocked head, shrugged, and asked, “Is that good?”
I assure you, he’s now well versed in what the rankings on Amazon mean.
And Now… the Pièce de Résistance!
Remember, my goal was 1,510 sales, and recoup my initial expense. Here are the stats for the end of 06/17/20:
Amazon = 2,015
Draft2Digital (includes vendors like Kobo, Apple, B & N as well as worldwide) = 877
A total of (Holy Cow!) 2,892! That’s 1.91% of goal! What’s even better is I more than made up my expense.
Now I will continue to analyze the benefit of doing a BookBub Featured Deal for the rest of the year. Other than achieving my initial goals, I had a slight increase in BookBub followers as well as new sign-ups for my newsletter that might continue for months.
But what’s more important is I got something priceless back. I got confirmation that I was on the right track with my writers’ career. I passed their strict criteria and was accepted in their hard, competitive arena. To me, it meant I was doing it right. It meant I can hold my head up high and jump in with the big boys.
So, move over, gang. There’s a new girl in town.