Author Topic: My first BookBub, and now I have a plan!  (Read 1422 times)  

Offline Paul Kohler

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My first BookBub, and now I have a plan!
« on: November 28, 2016, 01:40:27 pm »
Yeah! I Have FINALLY been accepted for a BookBub deal ... after 15 consecutive rejections for the same book! Now, I'm nervous ... and have a million questions.

The book that has been accepted has just gone wide, having only come out of Select on the 23rd. It's now live on iBooks, B&N, Kobo, and a handful of others through D2D. It is a stand-alone book, but I have a few other full-length novels in my back-list, as well as a few anthologies of short stories. Now, I have multiple reasons for running the BookBub. First, to gain new readers. Second, to obviously make a little bit of money back on the ad expense.

First question: Should I drop the price to .99 cents for an entire week? It's currently $4.99, and because it's no longer part of Select, I can set the "sale" length for whatever I want. First thought, is to drop the price a few days before the ad week (if I elect to leave on special for that long) and then raise it back up a few days after that last ad run.

Second question: My plan is to buy a number of other ads during the week, and scatter them across the multiple days. If I do this, is it better to have the BookBub slot early or later in the week? Or, does it matter?  Obviously, I'd love to raise my ranking up as much as possible, and wonder of letting the smaller ad's run through the week as a buildup to the BookBub. If I can raise up my ranking to say, 10,000 or so, then run the BookBub, wouldn't it make sense that the ranking would build off of that number better?

Third question: Should I put my other novels on sale at the same time, in hopes of capitalizing on additional sales? I have two additional novels, one at $3.99 which published mid-2016, and one at $4.99 that published in December of 2015. I also have two anthologies: One that is a few years old, that's priced at $2.99 and one that is on Pre-Order for .99 cents. I'll come back to that second anthology in a moment. My initial thought was to drop all my full-length novels to .99 cents for that week, and then mention them in the description of the BookBub special. Both of those books are still in Select, so they would have to be a countdown deal inside KDP.

Now, back to the Pre-Order. It's currently on Pre-Order, with a publication date of December 27th. I gave myself a bit of time to get it all wrapped up, and it turns out that I don't need it. It's complete and already uploaded. I could release it early now if I could somehow capitalize with some kind of cross promotion with the BookBub deal.

I know I've asked a lot of questions, and posted a lot of info. I just want to make this the most it can be. I fear that I'll have to wait another 15 rejections before I get another chance! :)
« Last Edit: December 12, 2016, 03:49:27 pm by Paul Kohler »

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    Online GeneDoucette

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    Re: My first BookBub, and I've got questions!
    « Reply #1 on: November 28, 2016, 01:57:30 pm »
    I won't answer all of these, but my advice would be to NOT discount your other books. The money you should expect to make on buy-throughs to your other books will be significant, and there is no expectation of a discount for the entire library.

    Other strategies differ, but I've found a short promo period works fine. My most successful was a one day promotion on a discount to $0.99 from $5.99. I've run longer promos, but the sales on days following a bookbub don't tend to be substantial enough for it to make sense.

    But that's me.

    Offline CarolynVMurray

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    Re: My first BookBub, and I've got questions!
    « Reply #2 on: November 28, 2016, 02:13:35 pm »
    Because you don't write in series, it's much harder to give reliable advice. You might want to discount one of the other novels while the spotlight is on you. Otherwise, there's no next in series that compels readers to return to your work. A Kindle Countdown might be a useful ticking clock.

    FWIW - take a close look at your stories and see if any of them have potential to expand into a series.

    As for the anthologies -- the greatest likelihood is that these will never be big earners. Consider not publishing/unpublishing one of them and using it as a free reader magnet to develop an email list. (But it can't simultaneously be free on Amazon or anywhere else -- readers have to feel as if they got something extra.)

    And, just a thought --for the first anthology - you might consider editing and removing this story -- Amy - A toddlers independent adventure leads to a tragic and unexpected end. (I seriously don't want to read that story and a lot of other readers might feel the same.)
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    Offline TellNotShow

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    Re: My first BookBub, and I've got questions!
    « Reply #3 on: November 28, 2016, 03:11:55 pm »
    Congrats, Paul.

    I wouldn't drop the price too long before the Bookbub ad. If you decide to run other ads before it, maybe lower the price a day or two before the first one. If I were you I'd use one decent promo site each day for the few days leading up to it. (ENT, Butterfly, Booksends + eReaderIQ, Booksy, Robinreads) You'll need to book these asap.
    If it's too late to get into any one of those (it probably will be for some of them), try to replace it with two of the next best ones for that day (Manybooks, Choosy Bookworm, Books Basset, Awesome Gang, BKnights etc.)

    The difficulty here is that you don't write series. When you run a Bookbub, THAT will make a profit. The other ads will make a short term loss, most of them anyway. But overall, that doesn't matter if your advertised book is part of a series. It's a LOT less likely that people will go on to buy your other books if they're not part of a series. Running A LOT of other ads may see you end up making a loss overall - but you'll have lots of new readers, whether you run those or not. So if your financial situation means you don't NEED to make money right now, run lots of ads. But if money's tight, I'd just run the Bookbub. Only you can know what to do here.

    You asked about dropping prices of your other books. Again, it depends. If it was me, I might consider dropping them to 99 cents for THE BOOKBUB DAY ONLY. But then, I wouldn't put that at the top of your sales page blurb - because when Bookbub selected your book, that blurb was part of the reason. You go putting SALE SALE SALE right there, you changed that blurb a lot. I'd put it at the bottom.
    What I would do is put the other books at $2.99, and say THAT was for a limited time. But that's me. Aside from free series starters and 99 cent Bookbubs, I prefer never going below $2.99. If you're happy with 35 cents from each Amazon sale, and 60 to 70 cents from the other retailers, go 99 cents and see what sells - especially if you just want new readers. (Make sure you have mailing list signups at the end of EVERY book.)

    If I were you I'd leave the pre order as it is. If your Bookbub book is good, some of the readers will sign up to follow you on Bookbub's platform, and a day or three after you release the new book you notify Bookbub, and they email those readers. If some of them buy it, this may just help you with getting more Bookbub promo in future. Maybe. Hopefully. I hope you sell thousands of books. Being at most of the retailers now, you have many more chances of doing so.
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    Online GeneDoucette

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    Re: My first BookBub, and I've got questions!
    « Reply #4 on: November 28, 2016, 03:30:55 pm »
    To follow up, the bookbub promo I was talking about above was for a standalone book. I HAVE series books, but the most successful one of the four promos I've landed was for a one-off, and it boosted sales for all of my other books.

    Offline RMGauthier

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    Re: My first BookBub, and I've got questions!
    « Reply #5 on: November 28, 2016, 09:54:26 pm »
    Congrats Paul,

    Great to hear this news about BB. Hope everything goes well, and wishing you much success. I have no helpful hints for you, wish I did, but I've just published my debut novel and working out everything you are too.  ;D

    Good Luck!

    Offline alawston

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    Re: My first BookBub, and I've got questions!
    « Reply #6 on: November 29, 2016, 01:54:15 am »
    Brilliant stuff - I have my own first Bookbub coming up in a couple of weeks and these are all the questions I ought to have asked but didn't :)

    For the record, I'm dropping my price to $0.99 a couple of days early - simply through paranoia that Amazon may be slow to make the change and then I'll be stuffed. I'm still considering a nice low-outlay BKnights gig the day before the Bub goes out, just to maintain the ranking's cruising altitude, but I've decided against any other significant paid promos - my mailing list and Facebook audience will get a shout out, and that's about it.

    YMMV - not only do I not write series either, but my promoted book is an 18th Century French translation, so I'm anticipating particularly low cross-selling through the rest of my sole-authored books.


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    Offline lincolnjcole

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    Re: My first BookBub, and I've got questions!
    « Reply #7 on: November 29, 2016, 08:40:28 am »
    Congratulations! Still working to get my first of these, but hopeful it will work out someday!

    Offline Paul Kohler

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    Re: My first BookBub, and I've got questions!
    « Reply #8 on: November 30, 2016, 06:58:20 am »
    Thanks, everyone, for your advice! What I've decided to do is buy a number of other promo spots during the week before and after, and plan to drop the price a few days before the first ad run. Right now, I have a total of 8 spots books, and plan on supplementing that with a few Facebook ad runs throughout the two weeks of the sale.

    I've also decided to leave the anthology alone. It's on track for a December 27th publication, and it's at just .99 cents until then.

    As for my other two novels, I planning on putting them on a countdown special, beginning on the exact day of the BookBub deal. But, I'm not going to discount them as much as I am for the BookBub listing. I'm going to drop the $4.99 regular priced book to $2.99 and dropping the $3.99 regular priced book to $1.99.

    With all that, I'm hoping to at least break even on the $1000+ being spent on ads. Fingers crossed!

    Offline Vinny OHare

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    Re: My first BookBub, and I've got questions!
    « Reply #9 on: November 30, 2016, 07:57:08 am »
    Good luck! Sounds like you have a pretty good plan in place.

    Offline Paul Kohler

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    Re: My first BookBub, and now I have a plan!
    « Reply #10 on: December 20, 2016, 09:14:44 am »
    Well, my deal was on Sunday, and the results were great! I spent a total of $756 on various ads and broke even around noon on Sunday. Yesterday had satisfying numbers as well! Today, it has slowed off quite a bit, but I'm very happy all around. I have three more ads to go out, with Book Barbarian on Christmas day to wrap things up. Then, it's a push for my launch going out on December 27th! Woot!

    Offline KL_Phelps

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    Re: My first BookBub, and now I have a plan!
    « Reply #11 on: December 20, 2016, 09:22:46 am »
    Congrats on finally getting a bookbub (I'm still working on that) and sounds like you're off to a great start!

    Offline Taking my troll a$$ outta here

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    Re: My first BookBub, and now I have a plan!
    « Reply #12 on: December 20, 2016, 10:57:38 am »
    Yeah! I Have FINALLY been accepted for a BookBub deal ... after 15 consecutive rejections for the same book! Now, I'm nervous ... and have a million questions.

    Congrats! I bet you'll have a great run, your books are fabulous.  8)

    The book that has been accepted has just gone wide, having only come out of Select on the 23rd. It's now live on iBooks, B&N, Kobo, and a handful of others through D2D. It is a stand-alone book, but I have a few other full-length novels in my back-list, as well as a few anthologies of short stories. Now, I have multiple reasons for running the BookBub. First, to gain new readers. Second, to obviously make a little bit of money back on the ad expense.

    First question: Should I drop the price to .99 cents for an entire week? It's currently $4.99, and because it's no longer part of Select, I can set the "sale" length for whatever I want. First thought, is to drop the price a few days before the ad week (if I elect to leave on special for that long) and then raise it back up a few days after that last ad run.
    With being wide, it might be a good idea to put the price down to .99 a few days-week like you are thinking, but more for the potential of problem of Amazon messing with the price matching and not allowing your book to be marked down when your BB goes live. As for after the BB runs, it depends how strong your sales continue at. If you're seeing a nice strong tail, you might want to bump it up and take advantage of the better royalty. However, if the exposure is more important to you, keep it at $0.99 for sure.

    Second question: My plan is to buy a number of other ads during the week, and scatter them across the multiple days. If I do this, is it better to have the BookBub slot early or later in the week? Or, does it matter?  Obviously, I'd love to raise my ranking up as much as possible, and wonder of letting the smaller ad's run through the week as a buildup to the BookBub. If I can raise up my ranking to say, 10,000 or so, then run the BookBub, wouldn't it make sense that the ranking would build off of that number better?
    Early in the week with the Bookbub will shoot your book up in the ranks, and it will be easier to maintain the ranks with smaller performing ads in the wake of the BB. IMO.

    Third question: Should I put my other novels on sale at the same time, in hopes of capitalizing on additional sales? I have two additional novels, one at $3.99 which published mid-2016, and one at $4.99 that published in December of 2015. I also have two anthologies: One that is a few years old, that's priced at $2.99 and one that is on Pre-Order for .99 cents. I'll come back to that second anthology in a moment. My initial thought was to drop all my full-length novels to .99 cents for that week, and then mention them in the description of the BookBub special. Both of those books are still in Select, so they would have to be a countdown deal inside KDP.
    I've had very good results with doing this, especially with concurrent Countdown Deals.

    Now, back to the Pre-Order. It's currently on Pre-Order, with a publication date of December 27th. I gave myself a bit of time to get it all wrapped up, and it turns out that I don't need it. It's complete and already uploaded. I could release it early now if I could somehow capitalize with some kind of cross promotion with the BookBub deal.
    Personally, I would wait and make a big splash with the BB, then throw everything else at it to maintain the ranking/exposure, which will likely follow through to your backlist since you're a strong author with quality books.

    I know I've asked a lot of questions, and posted a lot of info. I just want to make this the most it can be. I fear that I'll have to wait another 15 rejections before I get another chance! :)
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    Offline Taking my troll a$$ outta here

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    Re: My first BookBub, and now I have a plan!
    « Reply #13 on: December 20, 2016, 10:58:52 am »
    Bahaha, disregard my last post, just saw this was an older thread. :-[ Congrats on the awesome run!!  8) 8)
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