Here’s the play-by-play of my BookBub experience. I hope you find this information helpful. Please feel free to ask me specific questions via the contact form. Good luck!
Book Info: My debut novel, The Truth About Awiti, is an independently published novel. Published on March 27, 2015, the novel was part of KDP Select from March 2015 – December 2015. It is best categorized as African-American Historical Fiction/Fantasy.
Thursday, September 24, 2015 – Applied for first BookBub promo ($0.99). Not selected. I had 78 reviews on Amazon and less than 25 ratings/reviews on Goodreads. I had no professional endorsements and the ebook was not available on other outlets because it was enrolled in KDP Select. I vowed not to apply again until I was able to present a stronger package.
Monday, December 28, 2015 – Applied for a second BookBub promo ($0.99). (The novel is now available on Amazon, NOOK, and Kobo. I have 122 favorable reviews on Amazon, 1 review on NOOK, 3 professional endorsements, and a shout out in the Huffington Post as one of “25 Necessary Books by Black Authors in 2015.” The novel is also part of the spring curriculum at two universities.) I noted all of this information in the comments section. My cover was also updated to reflect endorsements. I left the date for the promotion open.
Monday, Jan 4, 2016 – Selected! I received an email from BookBub early in the morning. (Commence screaming)
About the Promotion
I applied for the Historical Fiction category (hoping to reach 2 million subscribers), but the BookBub editorial team thought my novel would fit best under African American Interests (310,000 subscribers). I was a little disappointed – the average number of paid downloads for the African American Interests category is 310 vs 2,310 in Historical Fiction. Still, that’s potentially 310 more ebooks sold so… The promo price was also significantly cheaper at $130. I decided to give it a shot.
Also, I left the date open and BookBub selected Saturday, January 9th. Please note BookBub gave me the option to select another date if I felt the 9th was too soon. I decided to stick with the 9th and paid the fee immediately so we had a binding agreement (law school – smile.) Then I scrambled to find other ebook promos to run concurrently. This was difficult given the short time frame.
I decided to run my $0.99 promotion for an entire week 1/9 – 1/16.
Countdown to Promotion
Tuesday, Jan 5 – Read everything that I can about trying to maximize my promotion. I read that the smaller categories have very active users. This gives me some hope. I need to sell 371 ebooks to break even.
Wednesday, Jan 6 – Stress and obsess over Amazon reviews and Goodreads rankings. (Please, if someone hates the book, don’t leave a review until after the 9th!)
Thursday, Jan 7 – Fear that if I wait until the 8th to drop the price, there will be a glitch in the system and all will be lost. I drop ebook price close to midnight.
Friday, Jan 8 – I can’t sleep. It’s just not happening…
Saturday, Jan 9 – The big day! My fellow author friends cheered me on as my novel climbed the charts. I felt a bit like a celebrity. The numbers were unbelievable – 827 ebooks sold, 500+ than I expected.
Takeaways and Things That I Think Worked In My Favor
This is total speculation but I think these factors helped my chances:
- Applying during a time where there were likely fewer submissions. The Huffington Post article was released on December 22, 2015. As soon as we returned from Christmas vacation, I submitted my promotion so that I could use this information. I believe there were likely less submissions between Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
- Using the comments section. Include any recent or forthcoming information about your book—upcoming book talks, conferences, news articles, etc.
- Leaving the date open. However, having a few days to prepare for the promotion was stressful. If possible, give yourself at least two weeks to prepare for your promotion—prepare ads, set up other ebook promotions to run concurrently, etc.
- Availability. Kindle is definitely the king of ebooks! Still, I think having my novel available on NOOK and Kobo increased my chances of being selected.
- Keep in mind that while the sales are great, one of the biggest benefits (in my opinion) is getting your book into the hands of new readers who will follow your work and leave reviews. I started receiving new reviews and ratings on Goodreads a few days after the promotion.
|Overall Total Sales||1044||151||65||1260|