Snagging a BookBub deal is usually at the top of every indie author’s marketing wish list. For most of us, it’s a difficult and often disappointing road. BookBub, the giant of all discount book email services, only gives the nod to approximately 20% of the authors who request a “Featured Deal.” And, it’s expensive, as in hundreds of dollars expensive for one email. It’s a significant financial commitment. However, they have MILLIONS of subscribers in most categories. In my case, they have over 2.3 MILLION cozy-mystery subscribers. Wahoo! If only 10% of those subscribers open the email, I’ll have over 200,000 sets of eyes see my discounted book.
I’ve been submitting requests to BookBub for several years—probably seven at least. Rejection emails over time made me reconsider the value of expending the effort to fill out the forms, only to receive a thanks-but-no-thanks response. So I concentrated on writing more books, advertising with smaller email services, and other marketing resources.
As the pandemic languished last fall and I was attempting to revive my drooping interest in marketing, I decided to try BookBub again. The sting of another rejection couldn’t possibly hurt since the events of 2020 were numbing anyway. Imagine my joy when that coveted email arrived two or three days later, which said, “You’ve Been Selected for a BookBub Featured Deal.” HOLY COW! I couldn’t stop saying that over and over. Just ask my husband. With trembling fingers and a prayer of thanks to the Lord, I set up the deal and paid the invoice.
My KDP dashboard hadn’t ever been watched so closely as the day of the BookBub (BB) promotion. I set my expectations low, hoping to break even. As the day wore on, it was clear I was comfortably in the black, quickly making my money back before the day was half over. The featured book was free, so you might ask how I made any money on the deal. Well, this is a benefit of writing a series. Although the free book promoted on BB was the last in the mystery series, I discounted the first book in the series, along with another, to encourage buy-throughs. There were over 46,000 downloads of the free book in three days! The series is also in Kindle Unlimited, and lots of readers began reading the series. My marketing plan worked beautifully for once! That was providential as well.
Hundreds of book purchases and hundreds of thousands of pages read in the KU program tallied up over the next few months. Yes, months. A bonus was the flood of reviews on the featured book and others in the series. Reviews are so hard to accumulate, and this was a fantastic windfall. I went from having 18 reviews to over 1,000 Amazon reviews and ratings on the promoted book in about three months. It was like surfing the crest of a perfect wave for a long time.
The blush of the BB deal has now faded. I can’t complain since it’s been six months. Yes, I’m trying for another BB deal, but so far, the answers are “no.” Other book promotion emails are in play again, however no results compare to the mighty BookBub. If another deal doesn’t come along, I’m grateful for experiencing at least one exhilarating BB ride. The adventure continues.
With over 30 years in administration as a manager, paralegal, and administrative professional, my experience runs the gamut from finances, policy, contracts, and human resources. My goal is to help writers navigate the business side of writing with understandable and practical advice.