Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Indie Advertising: BookBub Results

At this juncture, almost everyone who's interested in self-publishing knows about BookBub. They're generally acknowledged as the the 800-pound gorilla of book advertising (especially among indies), and getting an ad with them is as close as you can get to guaranteed sales.  Needless to say, everyone wants a BookBub promotion, so it's probably surprising that I resisted the urge to submit a book to them until very recently.

To be perfectly honest, "resisted" is probably the wrong word.  Truth be told, from everything I'd heard, BookBub was a powerful tool if you could get accepted (everyone agrees that they're very selective), and I was looking to get the most bang for my buck.  Thus, rather than try to get an ad with them as soon as humanly possible, I waited until I released the third book in my Kid Sensation series and then tried to get an ad.  Apparently the stars were aligned just right, because I was approved for an ad for Sensation, the first Kid Sensation book.  Per BookBub's terms, I dropped the price of the book from $3.99 to 99 cents (it has to be at least 50% off). At the time of the ad, Sensation was ranking at about 4,000 in the Kindle Paid Store. The results were as follows:

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #329 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
#1 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Superhero
#1 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Action & Adventure > Romance
#1 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Teen & Young Adult > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Coming of Age

Needless to say, I was quite pleased. More than pleased, actually. In fact, my mood was a lot like the lady here:

I shelled out $180 for the ad, which meant that I had to sell approximately 514 copies of the book in order to break even. (That's based on getting a 35% royalty for every 99-cent copy purchased.) I sold well in excess of that so it was an all-around great day. BookBub is clearly fantastic, and well worth the price of admission. 

My BookBub ad ran on January 23, roughly two weeks ago. Since then - and with the reversion back to its regular price - the book has slipped back down in the rankings again. However, the power of BookBub has been proven, leaving me in awe. The only bad news is that now I'm terrified of getting rejected by them the next time I want to do a promotion.  But I'll worry about that later; at the moment, I'd rather just be thankful for how well the promotion turned out and bask happily in the moment:

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  1. Congrats on your great results. Here's my experience with Bookbub. I ran a promotion for my supernatural suspense novel The Last Conquistador, selling it at 99c. The ad cost $120, and I sold 160 copies. It wasn't the thousands of sales I've seen other people talk about. The spike came the first day - 100 copies - then slowly petered out after that. I won't make my money back for the ad, but hopefully I've expanded my readership.

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience, and I think that - while you may not have gotten the level of sales you wanted - you are certainly viewing things in the proper light: you've expanded your readership, which is difficult (if not impossible) to put a price on.


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