My latest 99 cent Bookbub promo ran Oct 22-26. I piled a lot of expectations on this promo. I have been reading so much about how these 99cent Bookbubs have changed people’s careers. If I read the phrase “my first five-figure month” again, and I haven’t written it, I’m going to lose it. (Don’t get me wrong, I’m so happy for all of you through my gritted teeth!) Why have I not been able to get there with my bookbub promos? Well, here are some reasons I’d come up with and attempted to tackle in the past year’s 365 Days of Actionable Book Marketing
Reviews: Didn’t have enough. Ran some free bookbub promos for this, reached out with mailing list expansion, facebook ads, beta readers. Aside from the bookbub ads, I can’t seem to get more than a handful of reviews from beta readers and mailing list subscribers. Been really trying NOT to reach out to mailing list people whom I know are friends, family, etc, as industry experts have been saying this hurts your targeting, algorithm reach, blah blah blah. So, this is a cleaner mailing list, mainly through fb ads, and I get above-average opens (21.something-ish percent mostly). But very few sales from lists.
Amazon Pages: They needed refreshing. Doing this pretty regularly lately, check in, move things around, re-word, update covers.
Boxed Sets: A must, I think, to market in the way people read and buy today, plus an opportunity to re-brand. Done, done.
Sales Funnel: Set up, finally, but not seeing much improvement from it, so will tinker further.
So. Here I was. I read up and followed what all the biggies said worked best for their 99 cent Bookbub promos: I followed Joanna Penn and Michael Lister’s advice on the Sell More Books Show, and Ad Stacked. Here’s my schedule with resulting sales and stats (in $USD):
OCT 20 BOOKSENDS ($60) and FB AD $60 (ran at this elevated budget through all days), email blast to list, FB post
Sold 40 units, 13 KU pgs read, day’s top rank #7,063 Paid in Kindle Store
OCT 21 ONE AD on JustKindleBooks (cost $30), FB AD $60
Sold 19 units, 54 KU pgs read, day’s top rank #7,003
OCT 22 BOOKBUB (cost $734), FB AD (cost $60)
Sold 2286 units, 3490 KU pgs read, day’s top rank #31
OCT 23 BOOKBUB, FB AD (cost $60)
Sold 350 units, 6,672 KU pgs read, day’s top rank #59
OCT 24 BOOKBUB, FB AD (cost $60)
Sold 118 units, 7,771 KU pgs read, day’s top rank #108
OCT 25 BOOKBUB AND ENT (cost $75), FB AD (cost $60)
Sold 94 units, 7,251 KU pgs read, day’s top rank #167
OCT 26 BOOKBUB AND FB ADS, FB AD (cost $60)
Sold 69 units, 10,761 KU pgs read, day’s top rank unrecorded (sorry), but by the next day top was #699
ROI: 1,451.15 USD, 116.82 GBP, $4.72CAD= $1598
So, I hit #1 in all my categories, ranked #31 on the list, and I’ve made back my investment and a profit of $278, but although this makes me feel alright about the amount I invested, and stacks well next to a lot of authors who show losses on such attempts, I don’t think it’s much of a measure until we look at the long tail, which I promise to do in future.
Nine days out from my 99 cent Bookbub promo now and while unit sales have gone pretty flat since (around 4 per day), KU pages hover around a stunning 10K per day with a ranking of #
3600. Tells you a lot about how people in this genre are consuming books. I tried to cash in on the exposure by starting Bookbub ads and by adding my new release at 99cents for those who finish the boxed set and want more. I assume this can take some time, as there are over 800pgs in there. Will I have a five-figure month in the coming two months? I will certainly let you know.
*Technical Detail On Running International Bookbub Promos For Those Interested:
I’ve always thought the bigger the potential audience, the better chance you have of getting Bookbub to approve your promo. Therefore, I always check the international boxes for my applications. From my own experience, I advise against this, unless you are NOT in KDP Select. Here are the issues: Your price is not automatically reduced in international markets to match the 99cent promo in the US. Trying to do so manually must be done a couple days before your promo, and reduces your royalty rate across the board to 35% rather than 70%, which you are normally due in Kindle Countdown Deals. I asked Bookbub how this normally works out and they’ve said it’s much of a muchness: If you go for the international listings with the 35% royalty, the number of sales make up for it. I didn’t want to risk it though. For now, I will go only with the US and UK listings, both of which you can enter without losing the 70% rate. Some helpful links on this:
I’d love to hear your experience, advice, thoughts! Please do tell!