Author Topic: Does Bookbub hold a grudge?  (Read 2150 times)  

Offline jez1982

  • Status: Madeleine L'Engle
  • **
  • Posts: 66
    • View Profile
    • Gerald Hansen's website
Does Bookbub hold a grudge?
« on: November 30, 2018, 07:49:26 am »
I decided to start this topic because of some advice given to the OP in the Bookbub Disaster thread. The OP had a very unsuccessful promo, and wondered what to do about that. Someone said he should tell Bookbub (and hopefully get a refund). Someone else said he should be careful about how he worded the message, as he could be blacklisted and someone else said. no, Bookbub was very open to comments and feedback.

I wonder if others here feel they have been blacklisted by Bookbub. I sure feel I have, though I still struggle to believe a successful company could be so easily offended.  I think it would be petty and childish for a company as powerful as Bookbub to have a blacklist because someone complained. How can a professional company be overly sensitive and hold a grudge? I've been wondering for four years, though...

Please tell me what you think, or if you've had a similar experience, I'd love to hear from you, as sometimes I feel maybe I'm the only one.

These are my Bookbub acceptance stats:
2014: Number of times applied: 4  Number of acceptances: 4

And then, on the fourth promo, I pointed out to them (very politely, and implying that the problem was mine, not theirs) that my book hadn't been added to Nook as I hoped it would. They wrote back and said they were sorry I was disappointed, but it was too late and there was nothing they could do about it. Since then,

2014--now: Number of times applied 70+  Number of acceptances: 0

As i said, it makes me wonder...

I wish I had never, ever written that email to them. I really can't imagine what else the problem might be. They accepted the same books, they accepted them with fewer reviews than they have now, they accepted the second book in a series, and the third. And now I have many more books, and most have, again, more reviews than the books they accepted at the time (and with higher ratings). And now by books are more expensive than they were back then, so a 99 cent or free promo is a better deal for their readers. And, just to see if I could get accepted again, last year I even went wide and didn't have promos on certain titles for six months at a time (really, all this just to secure another Bookbub). But, no. Nothing.

I wish they would just send me an email telling me, you're blacklisted, stop wasting your time applying for promos. And now that I've written this, I wonder if someone from Bookbub will read it and I will be even 'more' blacklisted, if that's possible! (and if they even have a blacklist)

Gerald Hansen | Website | Facebook

KBoards.com

  • Advertisement
  • ***

    Offline Amanda M. Lee

    • Status: Edgar Allan Poe
    • *******
    • Posts: 5958
    • Gender: Female
    • Listen to me, you will.
      • View Profile
    Re: Does Bookbub hold a grudge?
    « Reply #1 on: November 30, 2018, 08:01:59 am »
    Before 2015 the competition wasn't as fierce. You have the fact that you're in KU working against you now and five hundred times the competition.

    Amanda M. Lee

    Offline Marti talbott

    • Status: Arthur C Clarke
    • *****
    • Posts: 2578
    • Marti Talbott
      • View Profile
      • Marti Talbott's Books
    Re: Does Bookbub hold a grudge?
    « Reply #2 on: November 30, 2018, 08:13:46 am »
    I don't mean to hurt your feelings, but I would suspect it is your cover art. To me, it looks cartoonish while you're listing your books under serious categories:
    Literature & Fiction > British & Irish > Contemporary
     Literature & Fiction > Historical Fiction > Irish
    Literature & Fiction > Contemporary Fiction > British

    If your cover art is what you want it to be, then maybe you should change your categories. Also, more reviews will get better bookbub notice and that takes time. I get accepted with one of my books and rejected with others, which I suspect is because of some very old bad reviews that constantly show up on the main page. It's aggravating at best. But no, I don't think it's personal.
     
    Based on an actual event: The 1909 Dotsero Train Wreck https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B084H4Z23C/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p6_i5

    Author of over 50 novels   www.martitalbott.com

    Offline CassieL

    • Status: Arthur C Clarke
    • *****
    • Posts: 2396
      • View Profile
    Re: Does Bookbub hold a grudge?
    « Reply #3 on: November 30, 2018, 08:33:00 am »
    I'm with Amanda on this one, competition increased substantially from 2014 to now.

    As a counter to your example, I've had four Bookbubs over the last couple of years on the same title. The third time it ran they sent our their survey and it was a U.S. Bookbub so I'd actually seen the blurb they wrote. I told them that I didn't think it was a very representative blurb for the book and explained why. They wanted feedback and that was my reaction so I shared it. I was very polite about it, but that could have been perceived that as criticizing them. They still ran me again for that same book six months or so later. (Different category.) I will note that this is for a book that has covers done by someone who normally does trade-published fantasy covers and so that cover is pretty much indistinguishable from a trade-pub book. I also have a couple editorial reviews on it and a pretty high star rating.

    Under a different pen name that they don't know is also mine I have romances that they always reject. Maybe cover, maybe no editorial reviews, maybe star rating, maybe that's just an insanely competitive category.

    8 Pen Names. Genres: Non-fiction, Speculative Fiction, Romance.

    Offline Eskimo

    • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
    • ****
    • Posts: 893
    • Gender: Female
    • Anchorage, Alaska
    • Eskimo
      • View Profile
    Re: Does Bookbub hold a grudge?
    « Reply #4 on: November 30, 2018, 09:18:16 am »
    Before 2015 the competition wasn't as fierce. You have the fact that you're in KU working against you now and five hundred times the competition.

    I think the KU issue is important, too.

    From 2013-2015 I was in KU, and I was accepted regularly by BookBub. Then in 2016, things became much more difficult. I noticed most of their titles were wide, so in 2017, I chose to go wide as well, for that simple reason. And I began to get accepted into BookBub again -- although admittedly not as frequently as in the past.

    Yes, there is much more competition, not just from Traditionally Published authors, but from Indie authors like myself, who now have even more titles we are now trying to promote. In 2013 I read there were 3 million titles on Kindle. Today, I believe that figure is closer to 7 million.

    I also think it's important to take a good look at the titles BookBub features now. In 2013, many were free, and the paid ones were mostly $0.99. Indie authors comprised a large share of the featured deals. Today, the majority are paid titles, and many are $1.99 and $2.99 (and sometimes more!).  We are now seeing some extremely famous authors being promoted regularly on BookBub. While that's not so great for Indie authors, it does point to our needing to use whatever advantages we may have, which is to say flexibility in dates and pricing. So while Carl Hiassen and Dennis Lehane can price at at $2.99, I would never go above $0.99. It doesn't mean I'll get selected over a Dennis Lehane, but it does direct me in how best to apply for a featured deal.


    « Last Edit: November 30, 2018, 09:19:49 am by David Chill »

    Offline S.E. Gordon

    • Status: Jane Austen
    • ***
    • Posts: 306
    • Gender: Male
    • Virginia
      • View Profile
      • Fantasy Author S.E. Gordon
    Re: Does Bookbub hold a grudge?
    « Reply #5 on: November 30, 2018, 09:33:16 am »
    For what it's worth, I had a BookBub promotion that ran a few years back to the wide market that I royally screwed up. I thought for sure BookBub would never accept me again, but that wasn't the case.

    Flash forward to earlier this year. I couldn't get a BookBub ad to save my life. I submitted every major title that I had, and although it seemed that a few of them were close, nothing was accepted. This depressed me a bit, so I stayed away for several months. As a personal joke, I submitted one of my popular 99-cent books back in August...and they accepted!

    I was at a total loss for words. Several months ago, I'd submitted a couple dozen titles, and...NOTHING. Then, at the end of summer, the first title I submitted was accepted?!

    After an e-mail from Amazon let me know that I was receiving an All Star award for October, I decided to try my luck again. Bookbub's prices were a bit higher, and the collection that I submitted? Accepted! For the Christmas holidays, no less...

    Moral of the Story: If you've been accepted before, you owe it to yourself to try again. Take a look at your catalog, and as Konrath calls it, "tend your garden." The products I'm promoting are slightly better than in years past. Does it make a difference? Hopefully. Like the times, our products and strategies must evolve. And for some things, you must remain stubborn...

    Offline Crystal_

    • Status: Arthur C Clarke
    • *****
    • Posts: 2999
    • Gender: Female
    • Portland, OR
      • View Profile
    Re: Does Bookbub hold a grudge?
    « Reply #6 on: November 30, 2018, 10:15:50 am »
    IIRC BookBub does weigh past results into their acceptance. I had two dud BBs in a row and I still had a third about six months later.

    I don't get many now, because my category went from 60%+ KU books to 20% ish KU books and I'm in KU. FWIW, BBs aren't the instant cash they used to be. Ever since Amazon changed the pop list to not include BB, my tail has been less and less impressive. I still make a nice profit, but not OMG two books grossed an extra 10k together like back in 2016.

    It might still be awesome for wide books or other categories.

    Offline Jan Hurst-Nicholson

    • Status: Isaac Asimov
    • ********
    • Posts: 11615
    • Durban, South Africa
    • Don't let your emotions overpower your intellect
      • View Profile
      • www.just4kix.jimdo.com
    Re: Does Bookbub hold a grudge?
    « Reply #7 on: November 30, 2018, 11:13:04 am »
    I think the KU issue is important, too.

    I also think it's important to take a good look at the titles BookBub features now. In 2013, many were free, and the paid ones were mostly $0.99. Indie authors comprised a large share of the featured deals. Today, the majority are paid titles, and many are $1.99 and $2.99 (and sometimes more!).  We are now seeing some extremely famous authors being promoted regularly on BookBub. While that's not so great for Indie authors, it does point to our needing to use whatever advantages we may have, which is to say flexibility in dates and pricing. So while Carl Hiassen and Dennis Lehane can price at at $2.99, I would never go above $0.99. It doesn't mean I'll get selected over a Dennis Lehane, but it does direct me in how best to apply for a featured deal.



    But their submission guidelines suggest that free is the better option.

    Non-fiction, Fiction, family saga, humour, short stories, teen, children's
    Jan Hurst-Nicholson | author website

    Offline Glis Moriarty

    • Status: Lewis Carroll
    • **
    • Posts: 168
      • View Profile
    Re: Does Bookbub hold a grudge?
    « Reply #8 on: November 30, 2018, 11:51:36 am »
    your cover art. To me, it looks cartoonish while you're listing your books under serious categories:
    Literature & Fiction > British & Irish > Contemporary
     Literature & Fiction > Historical Fiction > Irish
    Literature & Fiction > Contemporary Fiction > British

    If your cover art is what you want it to be, then maybe you should change your categories.
    I'd agree that there seems to be a mismatch between these categories and the covers. But your readers presumably associate the style with your books and might be put off by a change in the covers.

    Offline jez1982

    • Status: Madeleine L'Engle
    • **
    • Posts: 66
      • View Profile
      • Gerald Hansen's website
    Re: Does Bookbub hold a grudge?
    « Reply #9 on: November 30, 2018, 02:51:56 pm »
    I'd agree that there seems to be a mismatch between these categories and the covers. But your readers presumably associate the style with your books and might be put off by a change in the covers.
    I think the mismatch is due to the fact that I changed the categories a few years ago, and maybe I shouldn't have. The covers, I know, work very well (and they are, after all, the same covers that Bookbub accepted four times). I need to switch the categories back to Humor/Dark Humor and Contemporary Women (I changed from Contemporary Women because it seemed most of the other books seemed steamy romance..?!??!)

    Gerald Hansen | Website | Facebook

    Offline jez1982

    • Status: Madeleine L'Engle
    • **
    • Posts: 66
      • View Profile
      • Gerald Hansen's website
    Re: Does Bookbub hold a grudge?
    « Reply #10 on: November 30, 2018, 02:59:20 pm »
    Ohhhh, thanks so, so much everybody for all this information!! Now I understand exactly what happened. Everything changed in 2015, and I didn't realize it. I was taking it personally, and shouldn't have. Really, thank you all so much for your wise words! Now I need to think about what to do. I wonder if I risk going wide in the new year for six months or more, just to see if I can get a Bookbub again. But, as someone stated (and, actually, it was quite interesting to hear...) Bookbub isn't quite as amazing as it once was, I wonder if it's worth all the bother. I make so much money out of KU page reads, I don't know if a few weeks tail is worth the hassle of going wide. Before reading all your (fantastic) comments today, I thought it was something personal. But now that I know it probably wasn't, getting a Bookbub that might not really be worth it doesn't seem a priority to me any more. Just like that, my mind has changed. (Together with, if you recall, the experience of the other poster in Bookbub Disaster that started all this off...) And, come to think of it, this year has been my best year EVER for sales and earnings. And that's been without Bookbub. It would be great to be accepted again, but if I don't, I"m doing fine by myself. Really, guys, you've helped me see things clearly, and now I can focus more on writing! Thanks so much everyone again!
    « Last Edit: November 30, 2018, 03:03:51 pm by jez1982 »

    Gerald Hansen | Website | Facebook

    Offline jb1111

    • Status: Scheherazade
    • *****
    • Posts: 1850
    • PNW US
      • View Profile
    Re: Does Bookbub hold a grudge?
    « Reply #11 on: November 30, 2018, 07:14:00 pm »
    I always hold as suspect any company that has a "maybe you can be one of us" sort of attitude.

    Offline Marti talbott

    • Status: Arthur C Clarke
    • *****
    • Posts: 2578
    • Marti Talbott
      • View Profile
      • Marti Talbott's Books
    Re: Does Bookbub hold a grudge?
    « Reply #12 on: November 30, 2018, 07:46:09 pm »
    If you're making money in KU, then I don't recommend you switch. It's hard to get traction when you first go wide. Could take a few months. Of course, you still have your Amazon sales. Just a thought.
    Based on an actual event: The 1909 Dotsero Train Wreck https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B084H4Z23C/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p6_i5

    Author of over 50 novels   www.martitalbott.com

    Offline PhoenixFromTheAshes

    • Status: Lewis Carroll
    • **
    • Posts: 106
    • Gender: Female
    • I'm an old KB soul reborn with 4300 previous posts
      • View Profile
    Re: Does Bookbub hold a grudge?
    « Reply #13 on: December 01, 2018, 08:03:52 am »
    Ever since Amazon changed the pop list to not include BB, my tail has been less and less impressive. I still make a nice profit, but not OMG two books grossed an extra 10k together like back in 2016.

    The pop list change happened in -- gosh, even I was going to say it was 2014, but I just checked and we did our original analysis on the exclusion way back in 2013. Other market (non)drivers seem to be at work here.

    Offline Carol (was Dara)

    • Status: Harvey Chute
    • *********
    • Posts: 12105
    • Gender: Female
      • View Profile
    Re: Does Bookbub hold a grudge?
    « Reply #14 on: December 01, 2018, 06:31:04 pm »
    I agree with what others have said. The competition is way stiffer now than it was a few years ago, not only in numbers but in quality. That means books that used to get easily accepted are naturally going to have a tougher time now.

    Offline Savannah

    • Status: Dr. Seuss
    • *
    • Posts: 14
      • View Profile
    Re: Does Bookbub hold a grudge?
    « Reply #15 on: December 01, 2018, 06:48:48 pm »
    I haven't read the BB Disasters thread, but I will add my own anecdote - I messed up a BookBub by not getting my book discounted in time and was panicking that with the level of competition for BB slots, I had essentially just kissed that marketing avenue goodbye. I sent them an apologetic explanation and received no response, they charged me for the slot even though the book didn't run (I was expecting that - it was an expensive lesson I will not forget!) and they DID accept a featured deal from me after that, so it didn't appear to have gone on my permanent record :)

    Offline Jan Hurst-Nicholson

    • Status: Isaac Asimov
    • ********
    • Posts: 11615
    • Durban, South Africa
    • Don't let your emotions overpower your intellect
      • View Profile
      • www.just4kix.jimdo.com
    Re: Does Bookbub hold a grudge?
    « Reply #16 on: December 01, 2018, 11:40:36 pm »
    I recently had a rejection for an MG book after 6 days (which had made me hopeful) but when I submitted a children's book the rejection came back after 1 day  :(

    Non-fiction, Fiction, family saga, humour, short stories, teen, children's
    Jan Hurst-Nicholson | author website

    Offline David VanDyke

    • Status: Arthur C Clarke
    • *****
    • Posts: 2434
      • View Profile
    Re: Does Bookbub hold a grudge?
    « Reply #17 on: December 19, 2018, 08:41:06 pm »
    I decided to start this topic because of some advice given to the OP in the Bookbub Disaster thread. The OP had a very unsuccessful promo,


    It wasn't a promo. It was a new release announcement at $6.99 (!!!).

    There is a huge difference.

    Huge.
    « Last Edit: December 19, 2018, 08:43:27 pm by David VanDyke »

    Offline jez1982

    • Status: Madeleine L'Engle
    • **
    • Posts: 66
      • View Profile
      • Gerald Hansen's website
    Re: Does Bookbub hold a grudge?
    « Reply #18 on: July 13, 2020, 08:08:09 pm »
    And believe it or not...one and a half years later...I finally just got accepted by Bookbub again! I really have to thank all of you who encouraged me on this post not to give up. It really is because of your comments that I kept applying (although I think I was still a bit disheartened and only applied once every few months or so). But it worked! Admittedly, it's only for international, but I've read here that if that goes well, there's a greater likelihood that I'll get accepted for a 'real' one in the future. Anyway, I'm over the moon! So for those of you who have been applying over and over again, don't give up! It'll happen! :) :)

    Gerald Hansen | Website | Facebook

    Offline Ted Cross

    • Status: Jane Austen
    • ***
    • Posts: 362
    • Gender: Male
    • Rome, Italy
      • View Profile
      • My Blog
    Re: Does Bookbub hold a grudge?
    « Reply #19 on: July 14, 2020, 03:12:25 am »
    I had a recent Bookbub for my fantasy novel, an International Only. I set the price discount way ahead of time to be certain there would be no problems with that. I feel that Bookbub didn't do the Nook ad, because I had zero Nook sales. I didn't make back my cost of the ad, though I came close. India had just 1 sale, total, and Australia was pretty low as well. I did the best in Canada and the UK. I had almost no tail, and I've so far had only a single review come out of it. The ad ran on June 13.
    « Last Edit: July 14, 2020, 03:16:30 am by Ted Cross »

    Ted Cross | blog | facebook

    Offline markpauloleksiw

    • Status: Lewis Carroll
    • **
    • Posts: 225
    • Gender: Male
    • Canada
      • View Profile
      • Mark Paul Oleksiw's Website
    Re: Does Bookbub hold a grudge?
    « Reply #20 on: July 14, 2020, 06:55:30 am »
    Bookbub like every other author service is evolving as is their demographics.

    A couple of years back they posted their demographics and have not done in a while. The marketplace is ultra-competitive and everyone is adopting the same marketing strategies  which really dilutes the space.

    I have started experimenting with Bookbub ads and it is a real chore (an expensive one) to try to get it down.

    Back to the original topic.  If you are not iN KU, Amazon supposedly docks your visibility. If you are in KU, it is harder to work within Bookbub.

    Mark

    KBoards.com

    • Advertisement
    • ***