Posted on 2013-Aug-28
“Been There, Done That”
For most independent authors, you might have been used to repeating the clichéd phrase “been there, done that” in your memory too many times. You have written countless words, commercialized them, and ultimately appealed to your potential audience in order to achieve satisfactory sales and brand name recognition accolades. The “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality can further illustrate your state of mind why certain marketing approaches can be underwhelming and unsatisfactory.
Having witnessed the sparkling glow on BookBub‘s phenomenon, it seems its systematic listing is the key that propels the book discovery website into talk of the town. To say that this is the only nectar and ambrosia to bring immortality to your eBook sales may be a generalized hyperbole; however, BookBub has created massive impact among authors whose decisive future relies on effective sales and promotion. Let’s find that out, shall we?
Late last year, Lindsay Buroker first reported an unusual incident when she was approached by the lesser known book discovery website at the time. Beginning the first paragraph recounted her unimpressive experience with Goodreads ads that stalled her return on investment. Pixel of Ink and Ereader News Today were the praiseworthy breakthrough performers that could change your life. Unfortunately the more popular they had been widely adopted by several authors, the longer potential candidates had to wait to buy an ad for their book(s). Out of the blue, BookBub notified her of their secret promotion via email. The soaring number in downloads had Lindsay trust their effective mailing list subscription that earned them the level of success that no other websites could imitate.
To be eligible for their mailing list subscription, readers have to sign up and choose which genre they decide to receive the subscribed notification email on a daily basis. Based on the number of Sci-Fi and Fantasy subscribers stated on her website at the time, the current number surpassed 200+K as opposed to the then 90K. Maintaining the website’s policy to promote deals, Lindsay slashed her price from $3.95 to $0.99 and started to worry about the lower royalties earnings and the significant figures of sales to make to cover the flat fee she had already paid. When the sales outperformed the sales numbers she had had in mind, it did not take long for her to ‘go for it’.
In the beginning of April this year, Mystery/Thriller author Ryan Casey took to his personal blog to explain a bit about Bookbub’s backstory. With unprecedented record of 1 mil+ subscribers who signed up to receive daily email about the books of their favorite genre, chances were your books were most likely to be read by your potential fans of your genre rather than any typical curious anybody. Instead of mainly discussing how BookBub can better promote his book, he enthusiastically combined it with the household name KDP Select. Despite a slow start in generating the number of downloads, BookBub lived up to its expectation to deliver the full blow of fierce promotion that further boosted his book to triumph Amazon’s overall charts. Altogether, he had given away 40,775 of his books on Amazon.com alone.
Although the ad did not come cheap, he made his money back in a very short period of time. There is a certain limitation to how often you can run an ad for your book. Ryan’s word of advice was if you had more than two books, you could simply take advantage of the promotion run every thirty days. Beneath the information lied a flood of positive feedback that signaled either personal experience with BookBub or the intention to check out details.
In his own testament, “If KDP Select was the big shortcut to indie nirvana in 2012, then BookBub is the best way to boost sales and visibility in 2013, and used in conjunction with KDP Select, it’s heaven.”
At the end of April, another successful indie author Michael Hicks chimed in why paid advertising on BookBub was worth the investment. Michael’s life with KDP Select was smooth and satisfactory until he encountered the same experience Lindsay had witnessed last year. Stephanie Bucklin, Advertising Associate of BookBub, offered him an extra space in their daily email. Again, the price point entry was not easily digested unless you could do a tough calculation of your estimated sales based the potential number of downloads. Since I am not a scholarly viable student of math, I must leave it to your personal study. One thing that struck a chord was the sky-high number of 460,000+ readers who would potentially read his book in mystery/thriller genre. Eventually, he was willing to sacrifice “fifteen cups of Starbucks coffee” to sell more books.
When his book was on the promotion run, BookBub went against his wish list to put his book in Action/Adventure instead of Sci-Fi/Horror. Being exposed to the new group of fans, he found the new group of reader that significantly boosted his book’s rank. To echo the first voice that reaffirmed his success, M.E. Patterson shared his notable sales right after the daily email was sent out to their massive subscribers. Ryan Schneider commented his reservation against the fee yet his personal study ensured that he was not alone in the universe to sell more books even to niche audience. However, do not give your hopes up too high and anticipate rejection if your book is still in KDP Select and has been discounted in the past. Patterson provided enough explanation to accept rejection and said he would keep trying with other books of his with stride.
One More Time
Last but not least, it is only fair to bring your attention to the BookBub promotion in the month of August. Ryan has his reason to revisit the same place of attraction. With former success reaching #2 in Amazon’s Best Sellers in Kindle Store, this time he combines all the good ingredients-KDP Select promotion, BookBub ad, and Freebooksy ad-to concoct the best potion that shoots him over the moon. It only took him two days to give away more than 56,000 copies of the same book he had eminent success with BookBub. The impressive result earned him the top winner of chart. For him, not only can he sell more books running a combination of promotional methods, the side benefit of gaining a significant increase of subscribers to his mailing list does also help drive the traffic to his books all the more in the long run.
Sometimes, it can take a leap of faith and wind of change to experiment a new way to sell more books. As long as there is no absolute answer which promotional strategy works the best for all authors, flexibility tends to be the key to open yourself to new possibilities awaiting your discovery and journey. BB eBooks stands firm to find all the right formulae for our valued authors to succeed and proceed with confidence. We would like to offer similar services to BookBub through our new Substance B platform, where readers can find out the latest eBooks from our clients.
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