As an indie author, I’m always on the lookout for ways to get my books in front of new audiences (and therefore increase my book sales and revenue). Amazon and Facebook are the most obvious ways to advertise books. Amazon is the biggest bookseller in the world and Facebook is the largest social media platform in the world. But what about BookBub?
Getting a BookBub Featured Deal is still considered one of the best ways to sell your book. (A BookBub Featured Deal means being included in the email BookBub sends to its hundreds of thousands of subscribers.) But getting a BookBub Featured Deal is a dream that doesn’t come true for many of us indie authors. It’s also very expensive and doesn’t fit the budget of many. Personally, I’ve given up on trying to get a BookBub Featured Deal as I’m exclusive to Amazon.
Thankfully, BookBub also offers paid ads. Are BookBub ads the next great advertising platform?
In a word, no. At least not for me. I’ve tried BookBub ads on various occasions during various times throughout the year. I’ve tried them for my cozy mysteries and for my romantic comedies. I’ve tried them to help with new releases and I’ve tried them with sales. All to no avail. I just can’t get the ads to make money.
Before you go and tell me I need to do more testing, let me say I’ve taken my quest to master BookBub seriously. I’ve taken two courses. Both of which were not free. I learned all about using CPM, finding similar authors, graphics, etc. What I apparently didn’t learn is how to actually make money using BookBub ads.
So, what went wrong and is there a way to correct it?
Amazon Exclusive vs. Wide My books are exclusive to Amazon. Unfortunately, it appears BookBub ads work best for wide authors. I’ve searched and searched but I can’t find any actual data regarding what platforms BookBub subscribers prefer. I imagine BookBub keeps this information private and I can’t blame them. A search of several Facebook author groups, however, reveals that wide authors have better success with BookBub ads.
Romance vs Mystery According to BookBub, the vast majority of their subscribers are mystery readers with only 11% of their readers enjoying romance. This is evidenced by my very best BookBub ad which was for one of my cozy mysteries.
|$ 84.48||Over 100 pre-orders|
Considering the price of this book – 99 cents – 100 pre-orders did not come anywhere near to paying for the nearly $85 in advertisement costs. This was book 4 in the series and I did eventually make up for the cost with read-through of the previous three books in the series.
Deal One thing all of the BookBub ad experts agree on is the book you are advertising must be on sale. BookBub subscribers expect a good deal. My very best cost per click for a BookBub ad was 34 cents. (This is considered a good CPC for BookBub) With a CPC of 34 cents, it’s impossible to earn the cost of the ad back as the royalty on a 99 cent book is around 33 cents.
Should you still try BookBub ads?
Based on my experience I suggest the following:
- Go wide.
- Use a book in a series to ensure revenue from read-through.
- Try a $1.99 deal instead of $ 0.99 deal.
Let me know how it turns out!
This blog post is part of the #AuthorToolboxBlogHop. This is a monthly blog hop hosted by @raimeygallant. Make sure to stop by the other author blog posts in this month’s blog hop to fill up your author toolbox! Just click on the graphic to take you to the list.