Bookbub Strategy: Choose the Right Pricing Approach
I make no secrets of my respect (almost love) for Bookbub.com advertising. My first Bookbub ad is what really kick-started my book sales, back in January 2015. Since then, I’ve been blessed to have my books featured with Bookbub (6) different times. Through these, I’ve identified some clear strategies for obtaining and pricing a Bookbub feature. Over the next week, we’ll talk through these strategies!
First, a few details. If you’re unaware of Bookbub, you can learn more about them here, but they are the largest Book Email Distribution company around today. Bookbub currently offers (3) different promotional opportunities for authors.
- Featured Deal: This is the daily email Bookbub sends to their email list (in some cases over 3 million readers). The featured listing will be the primary topic of our Bookbub discussion over the next week.
- New Release Emails: If you’ve created an Author Profile here, people can begin to follow you on Bookbub. When you have a new release available for pre-order, make sure make sure that book is listed under your Author Profile, and Bookbub will send a new release announcement to all your Bookbub followers during your release week.
- Ads: This is a new option from Bookbub, similar to Pay-Per-Impression campaigns you can do through Facebook or Google Adwords. I’m on the waiting list to participate with ads, so I’ll report back when I have some experiences to share!
When to Request a Bookbub Featured Listing
I occasionally hear authors say they don’t want to run a BB ad when they only have one or two books out, because they want to wait until they have a series to promote. On the flip side, many authors say advertising with Bookbub when they had only their first book out is what kick-started their book sales.
So what’s the real answer? I think it’s in knowing what your strategy is.
Bookbub typically only promotes books that are Free or on sale for $0.99. So when is each price point most effective?
When to make your book FREE for a Featured Deal:
- First Book in a Series: When you have three or more books in the series available for sale, this is a fantastic strategy. When I had four books available in my Mountain Dreams Series, I set book 1 to permafree and ran a Featured Deal it. That book hit #1 in the entire Kindle free store with almost 25,000 downloads that day (and more the next few days). Sales for the other three books in that series doubled the day of the ad. They went back to normal over the following week, but then more than doubled (and at times tripled) from the series read-through effect. I honestly can’t recommend this approach enough.
- Promoting New Release: If you’re trying to make a larger-than-normal splash with a new release of a series book (for example, if you’re trying to make one of the “lists”), run a Free Featured Deal for the previous book in the series. I did this when book 5 in my Mountain Dreams Series was available for pre-order. Using the 5 free days available through KDP Select, I set Book 4 for free and promoted it through a BB Featured Deal. Book 4 had over 30,000 downloads that week, and book 5 sold almost 600 pre-order copies just that week. Pre-order sales continued to be high for the rest of that month.
- To Grow Your Mailing List: I’ve occasionally seen authors run a free deal when they only had one book in the series for sale. This is not always a break-even venture, although it can be profitable if your book is available in KDP Select (you still get paid for page reads through the KU library). The perks to this approach are: (1) the new readers who join your mailing list (through the link you’ve added in the back of your ebook), (2) increased visibility from the huge ranking boost Bookbub gives, and (3) the sustained increase of unit sales that sticks for one to three months after your Featured Deal runs.
When to make your book $0.99 for a Featured Deal:
If you only have one or two books out, I recommend submitting for a BB deal at the $.99 price point. My royalties from sales at this price point are usually at least triple the money I spent on the ad. If your book is in Amazon’s KDP Select, make sure you run it as a Countdown Deal and your royalties will double that number.
Icing on the cake
The other HUGE bonus to a BB deal (besides sales) is it catapults your book up to the top in its category. That gives it great visibility and, with a little work, you can usually keep it there for months, which means lots of sales. Great stuff. 🙂
So don’t wait, if you only have one book out, submit for a $0.99 deal. Then when you have more books in your series, you can submit book 1 for a Free deal, and month by month, submit the other books for their own $0.99 deals.
And don’t forget to take screen shots of your rankings as they creep up. Something fun to save and look back on later. 🙂
Stay tuned for next week when I share my tips and strategies for actually securing that Featured Deal.
Now, it’s your turn. What were the results from your Bookbub Featured Deal?
3 thoughts on “Bookbub Strategy: Choose the Right Pricing Approach”
June 30, 2016 at 5:26 pm
Great stuff, Misty. I’m studying and printing out for the future. Elva Cobb Martin
June 30, 2016 at 5:35 pm
You’re going to love Bookbub, Elva!
February 7, 2021 at 2:13 pm
[…] week, we talked about when to use a Bookbub Featured Deal, and how to decide your discounting strategy. But that all assumes you can actually get Bookbub to approve your book for a featured deal. After […]