Bookbub Strategy: How to Get Approved for a Featured Deal

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Last 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 all, BB receives typically receives 100 – 300 submissions per day, and only features 10-15% of those submitted.

yTkgEp4GcSo how do you get a book approved for a Featured Deal? 

Here are some tips I’ve learned, based on my experience (over 6 BB Featured Deals) and Bookbub’s feedback:

  • Make sure the book meets the submission guidelinesThe sounds like a no-brainer, but some of the requirements are very specific. Read them thoroughly, and read them long before you intend to submit (weeks or months, if possible). I intentionally plan my book launch price points and timelines around BB requirements.
  • Make sure your box set applies. If you’re planning to promote a box set or a book within a box set, the rules are very specific regarding length of books and cover art. Make sure you read that info here. Also, after a box set has been featured, their policy about promoting the same book only once every six months applies to both the box set as a whole and each book within the set.
  • Know that it may take more tries to get a $0.99 feature approved than a Free feature. When I’m requesting a $0.99 deal, I usually have to submit for 4-5 months in a row before finally getting approved.
  • Have lots of Amazon reviews with a 4.5 average star rating or higher. BB likes a decent number of reviews, so my strategy is usually to run an ENT ad for a new book to build up the reviews before I begin submitting for a BB ad. How many reviews, you ask? Bookbub won’t give a specific amount, but my personal minimum is (25) reviews before I submit to Bookbub. They only allow the same book to be submitted once every 4 weeks, so don’t waste your submission.
  • Sell/giveaway a lot of books during previous BB Featured Deals. This may seem a bit like the old chicken/egg debate, but here’s the skinny on Featured Deals from a business perspective: Bookbub uses affiliate purchase links in the emails they send out to readers. In a simple scenario, when a reader purchases a book using the Amazon link in BB’s email, Amazon pays a small percentage of the profit from that sale to Bookbub for sending that customer to Amazon. In addition, for anything else that customer purchases from Amazon for the next several hours, Amazon pays a small percentage to Bookbub. That’s why Bookbub gets affiliate money even when they feature free books.

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    Consider Bookbub from a business perspective

So from a business perspective, if a company has a record of previous profits from a business decision, it will be easier to make a similar decision again in the future. Disclaimer: I’ve never actually heard this logic from Bookbub, but were it my company to run, previous profits from promoting that same author would influence my decision on whether to promote more books by that author.

So how do you make sure your books perform well in a Bookbub Featured Deal? I don’t have anything new to report here, beyond what BB already recommends. Make sure your cover is striking, your product page is attractive and error free, and your blurb entices your target reader.

  • Keep submitting. It’s normal for Bookbub to decline a book several months in a row before finally accepting it. Put on your rhino skin and keep submitting as often as you can. The same book can be submitted every 4 weeks until it’s been accepted. There’s no limit to how often an author can submit different books if a previous book was declined. (Although I don’t think I would submit more than one book at a time. You wouldn’t want a book to be declined just because another of your books was accepted.)
Now it’s your turn! What are your Bookbub stories? How many times did you have a book declined before it was finally accepted? What was the highest Amazon rank your Featured Book reached?

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