Bookbub is a reader-targeted email newsletters where authors can advertise their book deals for a fee. You can do this in two ways: get a bookbub deal where you are featured IN the newsletter OR pay for an ad which runs either at the bottom of the newsletter or on their website. I am discussing the second option in this blog post.
Bookbub graphics ran for Wicked Wolves of Windsor
Bookbub graphics for Never Date a Siren
Bookbub graphics for Dance of Hearts
Requirements for a Bookbub ad
Bookbub requires authors to have:
1.) An ebook version that will be put on sale during the dates of your ad.
2.) That your ebook is slashed by half in cost OR
3.) is priced at 99 cents (what they prefer).
4.) That your book is usually priced much higher $3.99 and up and is not a short story or novella. They want their readers to get “value for money.”
These are temporary sales to tempt readers to check out your book. In my limited experience, running an ad on Bookbub did not break even. I actually went into the red. Especially, when you consider selling a book at 99 cents on Amazon get’s the author about a 35 cents commission per sale.
These type of ads work best for someone who has a big backlist. When the ad runs for your series, the marketing thought is they buy the rest of your books (not on sale) which enable you to make your investment back and more.
That’s the theory anyway. I’ve had mixed results on what I earn back from running a newsletter ad. It seems like a mythical unicorn to me!
Reasons to use a Bookbub ad
However, a Bookbub ad can serve some important purposes:
1.) gaining new readers who will be willing to check out your book since it is at a low risk price;
2.) Readers buy other books from your backlist;
3.) market research.
Bookbub gives you tons of data that will help you refine your understanding of who your Ideal Reader is as well as how to go forward with better campaigns. They also have methods where you can really target and focus your campaign (which I loved!). But it can be expensive so I warn you to proceed with caution.
Second, do your research before you get started. Sign up as a reader and start receiving their emails so you can see what they look like and how other authors are doing with them. Pay close attention to book descriptions and graphics for books that would appeal to your readers (these books and authors are called comps as they are comparable to your work). Start compiling a list of those books and authors so you can use them to make your Bookbub ad.
Test market your ad with your followers using social media and see what they like.
Third, get your ebook ready. Bookbub research shows that a book needs reviews in order to get traction. At the time of my ad, I had about 15 reviews on Amazon and I ended up selling 64 copies of my ebook due to this campaign.
Fourth, realize that you are looking to gain NEW readers who hopefully will like your low cost book so much they’ll come back for more! So a first book in a series would be ideal in order to get people hooked on your stories.
UPDATE: I’ve now done several Bookbub ads and honestly they spend a lot of money fast! I’d recommend using other newsletter campaigns and getting more of a backlist, as well as studying the help advice Bookbub provides before jumping into this very deep lake.
Test, test, test before leaping in with a big gamble for an ad.