Author Topic: An important heads-up regarding Books Butterfly  (Read 5292 times)  

Offline benlovejoy

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An important heads-up regarding Books Butterfly
« on: April 04, 2017, 11:00:29 AM »
TL;DR: Books Butterfly failed to deliver on a promo with a guaranteed result, and are now refusing to honour that guarantee.

Last month, I booked the Books Butterfly 'Pure Pearl' promotion for a free promotion of a brand new book on Amazon. The promo guarantees a minimum of 5,000 downloads at a cost of $400, with a pro-rata refund should this not be achieved.

In the terms, Books Butterfly said that they normally issue refunds as store credit, and I should advise if this was not acceptable, which I did by return. I stated that as the guarantee was key to me booking the promo, I would require a cash refund should one be necessary.

Books Butterfly proceeded with the promo, and there were a grand total of 743 downloads during and following the promo period (even crediting them with 100% of those downloads). I emailed them a screen grab showing these numbers (day one sales preceded their promo):
https://www.dropbox.com/s/ccp7pcig815uoke/Screen%20Shot%202017-04-04%20at%2018.56.45.jpg

As they only delivered 14.86% of the promised number, that made the pro-rata fee $59.44. I therefore requested a refund of the balance of $340.56. Books Butterfly did not even reply to my email.

I then issued a refund request for that same sum via Paypal, and Books Butterfly has refused, instead trying to palm me off with a second promo.

Three obvious issues:

1. The company failed to deliver what it promised.
2. It then failed to honour its guarantee.
3. It is offering me a worthless alternative (if it didn't hit target on launch, it certainly won't do so when the book has been out for months)

Ben

Offline benlovejoy

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Re: An important heads-up regarding Books Butterfly
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2017, 11:14:29 AM »
This post appears to have resulted in an exceedingly rapid U-turn: the company has now refunded me ...

Online Usedtoposthere

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Re: An important heads-up regarding Books Butterfly
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2017, 11:19:25 AM »
I'm glad to hear it. Really, for anybody--if a promo service is expensive, Google the name or search here. There are a number of expensive services like this that have some red flags around them. Guarantee of results is a flag, but there are some other smoky services also.

For reference, $400 is more than a free US+international BookBub costs in contemporary romance, which can result in 50K downloads on that day alone. $400 for 5,000 downloads is way too much. Way, way too much. You're just so unlikely to earn that back on reads of subsequent books.

(The other question is HOW a company is getting those downloads. Some services do deliver the downloads, but with consistently low sell-through to other books, which makes one question whether the book was downloaded by actual non-incentivized readers.)
« Last Edit: April 04, 2017, 11:21:41 AM by Rosalind J »

Offline Mare

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Re: An important heads-up regarding Books Butterfly
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2017, 11:28:29 AM »
I'm glad you got your refund.  :D 

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Offline AliceW

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Re: An important heads-up regarding Books Butterfly
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2017, 11:34:57 AM »
There's lots of threads here about that service. Your experience is somewhat typical...  ::)

Offline benlovejoy

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Re: An important heads-up regarding Books Butterfly
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2017, 12:25:59 PM »
I'm glad to hear it. Really, for anybody--if a promo service is expensive, Google the name or search here.

Yeah, it was actually recommended here, but clearly experiences can vary ...

Quote
For reference, $400 is more than a free US+international BookBub costs in contemporary romance, which can result in 50K downloads on that day alone.

I gave up on BookBub after about a dozen attempts with no luck. I am registered for ads, though, so I will try that.

Ben

Offline benlovejoy

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Re: An important heads-up regarding Books Butterfly
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2017, 12:27:53 PM »
Thanks, Mare and Alice. The really amusing part was the refund was conditional on me agreeing not to use them again like I was going to!

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Re: An important heads-up regarding Books Butterfly
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2017, 12:31:35 PM »
Off topic - I don't really get why people "give up" on Bookbub. Once you have your books on their site, it takes about a minute to apply. Even if you are getting knockbacks, trend in reading change. A book that might not appeal to them a year ago might be exactly what they are looking for now.

Offline benlovejoy

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Re: An important heads-up regarding Books Butterfly
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2017, 12:46:48 PM »
Off topic - I don't really get why people "give up" on Bookbub. Once you have your books on their site, it takes about a minute to apply. Even if you are getting knockbacks, trend in reading change. A book that might not appeal to them a year ago might be exactly what they are looking for now.

I guess, but it feels like continuing after a dozen refusals is failing to take the hint ...

Offline Harvey Click

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Re: An important heads-up regarding Books Butterfly
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2017, 12:47:22 PM »
For reference, $400 is more than a free US+international BookBub costs in contemporary romance, which can result in 50K downloads on that day alone.

Unfortunately Bookbub won't advertise some of us. I've probably applied 20 or 25 times with no success.

Harvey Click

Offline Jennifer Morse

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Re: An important heads-up regarding Books Butterfly
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2017, 01:06:33 PM »
BB has always honored their refund guarantee with me.

Offline she-la-ti-da

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Re: An important heads-up regarding Books Butterfly
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2017, 02:47:50 PM »
How long ago was this service recommended to you from here? Because just about everything I've read about them in the last four or more threads indicated there have been issues for a while (and not just here, but other writer forums).

Number 1 red flag:  guaranteed downloads.
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Offline AlexaKang

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Re: An important heads-up regarding Books Butterfly
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2017, 02:56:11 PM »
Off topic - I don't really get why people "give up" on Bookbub. Once you have your books on their site, it takes about a minute to apply. Even if you are getting knockbacks, trend in reading change. A book that might not appeal to them a year ago might be exactly what they are looking for now.

Pride I guess? I've only submitted one book twice and I promised myself if I get rejected both times, I'm not going to bother anymore. I'm sure everyone else and their mother here will say that's stupid, but I feel like, if they don't want me, I don't need to beg. I've heard they've run the same book every quarter. If they'd rather show their readers the same thing they'd been promoting rather than somethine new, then oh well. And they're veering toward trad pub more now too. In that case I'll go along my merry way.

Plus they put KU authors in a very difficult position. Between them and Amazon, I'll side with Amazon.

« Last Edit: April 04, 2017, 02:57:54 PM by AlexaKang »

Offline benlovejoy

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Re: An important heads-up regarding Books Butterfly
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2017, 02:56:26 PM »
How long ago was this service recommended to you from here? Because just about everything I've read about them in the last four or more threads indicated there have been issues for a while (and not just here, but other writer forums).

Yeah, it was a while back. Ah well, lesson learned.

Offline SB James

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Re: An important heads-up regarding Books Butterfly
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2017, 03:26:49 PM »
Off topic - I don't really get why people "give up" on Bookbub. Once you have your books on their site, it takes about a minute to apply. Even if you are getting knockbacks, trend in reading change. A book that might not appeal to them a year ago might be exactly what they are looking for now.
This is my hope. They do encourage people to keep trying. I have yet to try, but I have heard this is true from others too.


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Offline Marseille, France or Bust

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Re: An important heads-up regarding Books Butterfly
« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2017, 03:49:42 PM »
Excellent! Thanks for posting.

This post appears to have resulted in an exceedingly rapid U-turn: the company has now refunded me ...

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Offline Marseille, France or Bust

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Re: An important heads-up regarding Books Butterfly
« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2017, 03:52:18 PM »
Books Butterfly or Book Bub?
BB has always honored their refund guarantee with me.

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Offline Annalise Clark

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Re: An important heads-up regarding Books Butterfly
« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2017, 03:56:59 PM »
This post appears to have resulted in an exceedingly rapid U-turn: the company has now refunded me ...

Funny how that works, isn't it?

I'm new here but I actually clicked on this thread because they were one of the promo companies in my list to research for a new book. Thanks for sharing your experience.

Offline benlovejoy

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Re: An important heads-up regarding Books Butterfly
« Reply #18 on: April 04, 2017, 04:34:52 PM »
I'm new here but I actually clicked on this thread because they were one of the promo companies in my list to research for a new book. Thanks for sharing your experience.

A pleasure.

Offline Stacy Claflin

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Re: An important heads-up regarding Books Butterfly
« Reply #19 on: April 04, 2017, 05:28:44 PM »
I gave up on BookBub after about a dozen attempts with no luck. I am registered for ads, though, so I will try that.

I had two dozen rejections before my first BookBub acceptance. Sometimes you need more reviews, a better cover, or a better blurb. Unfortunately, they don't tell you. But if you ask here, people will tell you!
 

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Re: An important heads-up regarding Books Butterfly
« Reply #20 on: April 05, 2017, 04:06:30 PM »
I had two dozen rejections before my first BookBub acceptance. Sometimes you need more reviews, a better cover, or a better blurb. Unfortunately, they don't tell you. But if you ask here, people will tell you!

I had a bunch of rejections before being accepted. One book I changed the cover on and its had two runs since then.

Definitely get more opinions if you keep getting rejected though. The things that are putting Bookbub off are probably putting a lot of readers off as well so it's only going to help.


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Re: An important heads-up regarding Books Butterfly
« Reply #21 on: April 05, 2017, 04:23:59 PM »
To avoid confusion, I recommend folks wanting to discuss BookBub, how to best secure a spot there, etc, start a different thread.  There has already been some confusion....

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Offline FFJ

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Re: An important heads-up regarding Books Butterfly
« Reply #22 on: April 05, 2017, 05:40:15 PM »
Thanks for sharing your experience.

I had Booksbutterfly on my promo company list. Mark Dawson also recommended it in is 101 course. I'm shocked to hear that yourself and others have had issues. Sadly, I'm going to take them off my list for now. I don't have the budget to take too many risks for my upcoming WIP.

Offline ireaderreview

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Re: An important heads-up regarding Books Butterfly
« Reply #23 on: April 16, 2017, 12:10:36 PM »
I'm from Books Butterfly - We always honor the guarantee and always do a prorated refund in store credit

We had forgotten that we agreed to do cash refund for this author. We work with thousands of authors and less than 10 authors have ever asked for cash refund before promotion. So it's not easy to remember. A case of left hand not knowing what the right hand agreed to. Our apologies for that mix-up! We did a refund in cash as soon as the author sent us the email where we had agreed.

Only 8% of book promotions at $0 or at $0.99 miss. By the nature of it we're optimized for the 92% that don't miss and there isn't really a proper process for 'What if author had requested before the promotion for prorated refund in cash, and what if we had agreed' etc. It's a process issue, and we'll be working to improve that process so that mix-ups like this one don't happen again. I hope everyone will keep the bottom line in mind: We always honor the guarantee.

Get 50 to 100 Sales for Your $1 Book! Get 2,000 to 5,000+ Downloads for your Free Run Books! Get 200 to 400+ Sales for Your $1 Box Set!

Books Butterfly | Free Book Promotion | Paid Book Promotion

Applies to Following Genres: Mysteries, Thrillers, Suspense, Romance, Christian, Non-Fiction, How To, Cookbooks, SciFi Thrillers, Memoirs, Romantic Erotica, Steamy Romance.
Please Note: We also promote in other genres.


Offline SC

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Re: An important heads-up regarding Books Butterfly
« Reply #24 on: April 16, 2017, 04:49:00 PM »
We had forgotten that we agreed to do cash refund for this author. We work with thousands of authors and less than 10 authors have ever asked for cash refund before promotion. So it's not easy to remember. A case of left hand not knowing what the right hand agreed to. Our apologies for that mix-up! We did a refund in cash as soon as the author sent us the email where we had agreed.

Only 8% of book promotions at $0 or at $0.99 miss. By the nature of it we're optimized for the 92% that don't miss and there isn't really a proper process for 'What if author had requested before the promotion for prorated refund in cash, and what if we had agreed' etc.

LOL. Their defense is "we're incompetent, we keep poor records of our business dealings, and we have a 'pics or it didn't happen' policy regarding any agreement we make with you."

Sorry, Books Butterfly, but the attitude you've displayed on this forum, in various threads, is more than enough to convince me to never use you. Your whole business comes across as so unprofessional.