Author Topic: How many Bookbub subscribers are really authors?  (Read 1314 times)  

Offline markpauloleksiw

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How many Bookbub subscribers are really authors?
« on: July 14, 2020, 10:43:00 am »
Recently, I started experimenting with Bookbub ads.

One of the recommended ways was to target the readers of specific comparable authors. In doing my research and click on authors and seeing how many followers they had I was struck/stunned by how many were actually..."authors".

Granted authors are potential book buyers....but here is my concern...does this not overstate the potential market on Bookbub. For example, to claim a Bookbub author profile you had register and state what genre you like.

So now when I pay for an ad for 1,000 impressions....how many of those 1,000 impressions are authors and how many are interested potential readers. Again, I am sure authors buy books...but more than likely they are there for other reason.

Added to this...in the last year I have seen many services...of "you follow me", "I follow you" being offered for Bookbub.

Mark




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    Online Gareth K Pengelly

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    Re: How many Bookbub subscribers are really authors?
    « Reply #1 on: July 14, 2020, 10:57:59 am »
    I'd be willing to bet a small fraction of Bookbub's subscribers are authors. A small fraction indeed.

    Look on Reddit. Look on various review sites where people talk about Bookbub. Almost all of them are readers talking about it from a reader's perspective.

    I'd say thoughts like what's occurred to you are more due to your own bias - you're an author, frequenting an author's forum filled with other author's.

    When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail, etc etc.

    Offline markpauloleksiw

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    Re: How many Bookbub subscribers are really authors?
    « Reply #2 on: July 14, 2020, 11:10:15 am »
    Hate to disagree.

    Do you your own research. Check out authors on Bookbub. You can see who follows them by clicking their "Followers" tab. These are the folks who get the email placements. When you scroll down the list...you will see a surprisingly high number of "authors"...and they are marked as such. Not saying they can't buy books...

    It is brilliant marketing if not more than a little misleading...

    Mark


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    Re: How many Bookbub subscribers are really authors?
    « Reply #3 on: July 14, 2020, 11:33:38 am »
    How is it misleading? Last time I checked, authors buy books, too, and at a higher rate than a lot of "normal" readers.

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    Offline Lydniz

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    Re: How many Bookbub subscribers are really authors?
    « Reply #4 on: July 14, 2020, 12:07:54 pm »
    How is it misleading? Last time I checked, authors buy books, too, and at a higher rate than a lot of "normal" readers.

    This. I'm an author, and I buy books via Bookbub.

    Offline markpauloleksiw

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    Re: How many Bookbub subscribers are really authors?
    « Reply #5 on: July 14, 2020, 12:24:09 pm »
    There was a great article (I will try to find it) about how the industry is creating authors and not readers.

    Yes. Authors buy books....but check out the ratio.


    Mark

    Offline A past poster

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    Re: How many Bookbub subscribers are really authors?
    « Reply #6 on: July 14, 2020, 01:44:28 pm »
    Authors do buy books, but I think it's a safe bet that the figures promo sites give for their email lists are skewed. Most authors who promote regularly subscribe to the lists they use, whether or not they are buyers.

    Online Gareth K Pengelly

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    Re: How many Bookbub subscribers are really authors?
    « Reply #7 on: July 14, 2020, 02:22:26 pm »
    Thing is, I get where Mark is coming from - there's bound to be a lot of authors on Bookbub's lists. Nature of the beast. Authors read, probably as much or more than anyone else.

    But I'm willing to bet the proportion is small. Larger than other snapshots of society, sure. I'd wager as a percentage there's more authors on a Bookbub list than there would be in any given Asda or Tesco (or Walmart for those of you on the other side of the pond).

    But the Crime Fiction list on Bookbub boasts 4 million people. How many of those would be authors? I very much doubt that, out of 4 million, many hundreds of thousands of them are authors.

    And if it's only a mere 'few' thousand, say ten thousand, that works out at 0.0025%. Which is hardly padding the figures out, is it?

    Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I'm drastically underestimating how many authors there are on their lists. Maybe 2 million of those 4 million subscribers are actually authors.

    But even if they were... as long as they buy our books, should we really mind, haha?

    Online Gareth K Pengelly

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    Re: How many Bookbub subscribers are really authors?
    « Reply #8 on: July 14, 2020, 03:20:30 pm »
    I've just had a quick check myself, just to do my own research, as you suggested Mark.

    It appears that Authors are weighted very highly towards the top of the follower lists. Possibly due to the fact that it reflects well if you're being followed by other successful authors. A nice little touch by Bookbub in their coding.

    If you click on Raymond E Feist, for example, who's on the front page with one of his books atm, he only has 4k-odd followers. Scrolling down through his followers, you go through two pages of authors, then about twenty pages of not authors.

    Same with a lot of authors that don't have masses of followers.

    If you click on authors that have many tens or hundreds of thousands of followers, however, you see a greater proportion of authors for the first however many pages. This, I'd imagine, is due to it having a limit of how many pages it can show you before it stops. Therefore those authors who are shunted to the top of the list (for credibility purposes) are all you can see.

    If you could scroll down further and further, I well imagine it'd stop showing authors, then show hundreds upon hundreds of pages of normal readers.

    Mystery (hopefully) solved. Huzzah!
    « Last Edit: July 14, 2020, 03:36:26 pm by Gareth K Pengelly »

    Offline Trioxin 245

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    Re: How many Bookbub subscribers are really authors?
    « Reply #9 on: July 15, 2020, 01:12:58 am »
    I take it someones ads did not perform well.

    Offline VisitasKeat

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    Re: How many Bookbub subscribers are really authors?
    « Reply #10 on: July 15, 2020, 02:28:07 am »
    Does it really matter? I mean, should an author only write and not read? Or, should a reader only read and not write? Is it a matter of pride if only "pure readers" buy your books? Most authors were readers once before the transformation took place but they still continue the good habit of reading voraciously. Similarly, authors who never read a single book but sold because of their storytelling and writing talents take to reading at a later stage as they get bored with their author voices. So, between the polarities of "pure readers" and "pure authors" it's only natural to have reader-author and author-reader categories. I don't understand why one needs to feel stigma or suffer from imposter syndrome because of the apparent existence of a mutual admiration society. In fact, one has to be thankful for the support received from fellow indie authors. Without their encouragement, you wouldn't even have a small presence on Amazon stores. Anyway, Bookbub REALLY has a large database of "pure readers" and a TERRIFIC presence on the internet, if that's what you want. Even kboards has an enviable database of "pure readers". Instead of discriminating as readers and writers, better consider subscribers as "book lovers". Oh, and don't forget the editors, cover designers, and others involved in the publishing industry. They are also "book lovers" even though you may see them as "pure readers".

    Offline Patty Jansen

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    Re: How many Bookbub subscribers are really authors?
    « Reply #11 on: July 15, 2020, 03:42:34 am »
    If you're talking about those Facebook [mutual admiration society] groups where every member is an author and you're just shouting in the void, I agree it is a concern, and you're probably wasting your time being in those groups, but Bookbub has a database of millions and a proven record that actually *moves* books. I'd say there are thousands of other things you'd need to worry about before worrying about how many authors there are on Bookbub. Their system works and they sell bucketloads of books.

    Offline kathrynoh

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    Re: How many Bookbub subscribers are really authors?
    « Reply #12 on: July 15, 2020, 04:09:45 am »
    With BB ads, I'd be less worried about your target authors having other author follow them and more concerned that authors with a large number of followers have got those followers though one of the 'bookbub follower' campaigns. You know, the kind of thing where you get a chance to win a Kindle or something other prize for following.

    Offline markpauloleksiw

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    Re: How many Bookbub subscribers are really authors?
    « Reply #13 on: July 15, 2020, 07:03:29 am »
    I think that is a great point. I got focused on the authors being followers but the larger issue is how many followers were added to the list because of some inducement. There are a few services out there promising to increase your Bookbub "follower" count.

    My overall concern is that many paid promotion places are not delivering perhaps as well as they used to.  And it may be that many of the "subsciber lists" are overlapping or not indicative of real interest in purchasing.

    I think we are ripe for a new and different model for authors to promote. The old ways seem to be getting saturated.

    Mark

    Offline Trioxin 245

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    Re: How many Bookbub subscribers are really authors?
    « Reply #14 on: July 15, 2020, 12:48:25 pm »

    I think we are ripe for a new and different model for authors to promote. The old ways seem to be getting saturated.

    Mark

    And what will happen when the new shiny is yelled from the rooftops? Every author and their granny will run to it.

    Based on your previous  post you are not happy with covers. Nor happy with ad services and who subscribes to them. A serious question. Have you considered why are you still writing? Just an observation, but you sound like someone who is burnt out. Maybe a break to refresh would be in order and consider what you would like to do.


    Offline baldricko

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    Re: How many Bookbub subscribers are really authors?
    « Reply #15 on: July 15, 2020, 02:25:08 pm »
    Authors do buy books, but I think it's a safe bet that the figures promo sites give for their email lists are skewed. Most authors who promote regularly subscribe to the lists they use, whether or not they are buyers.

    Yes, I too think this would be the case.

    Offline aimeeeasterling

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    Re: How many Bookbub subscribers are really authors?
    « Reply #16 on: July 16, 2020, 09:16:53 am »
    I suspect the ratio of author-doing-research-only to readers on Bookbub is much lower than on many of the other newsletter sites.










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    Re: How many Bookbub subscribers are really authors?
    « Reply #17 on: July 16, 2020, 09:27:44 am »
    If you're talking about those Facebook [mutual admiration society] groups where every member is an author and you're just shouting in the void, I agree it is a concern, and you're probably wasting your time being in those groups, but Bookbub has a database of millions and a proven record that actually *moves* books. I'd say there are thousands of other things you'd need to worry about before worrying about how many authors there are on Bookbub. Their system works and they sell bucketloads of books.

    This ^^^

    Plus, I don't subscribe to Bookbub, but I follow authors and routinely buy/borrow lots of their books! And I review them on BB, too, so then their books get sent to my followers.
     
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    Re: How many Bookbub subscribers are really authors?
    « Reply #18 on: July 16, 2020, 05:17:09 pm »
    I just got a Bookbub in True Crime. I'm not too worried about there being 10% authors in the email list. I've sold a minimum on 2k books in three days on every discounted book sale I've done. We'll see how this one pans out in a couple weeks. In the past, it was the very long tail that made it a great marketing program.


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    Offline notjohn

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    Re: How many Bookbub subscribers are really authors?
    « Reply #19 on: July 17, 2020, 08:12:33 am »
    >My overall concern is that many paid promotion places are not delivering perhaps as well as they used to.

    For me the KDP sales curve bent upward until January 2012 and has been downward ever since except for a revival in April, May, and June of this year as Amazon slow-walked physical books and pointed people to digital. That would be four golden years, which was also about the life of Google AdWords, Amazon Associates, and Facebook for me (four years of rising income, followed by a decline). Amazon Marketplace held up longer, but now that's pretty much played out. I suspect the same will be true of AMS ads.
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    Offline juliatheswede

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    Re: How many Bookbub subscribers are really authors?
    « Reply #20 on: July 17, 2020, 08:55:10 am »
    Recently, I started experimenting with Bookbub ads.

    One of the recommended ways was to target the readers of specific comparable authors. In doing my research and click on authors and seeing how many followers they had I was struck/stunned by how many were actually..."authors".

    Granted authors are potential book buyers....but here is my concern...does this not overstate the potential market on Bookbub. For example, to claim a Bookbub author profile you had register and state what genre you like.

    So now when I pay for an ad for 1,000 impressions....how many of those 1,000 impressions are authors and how many are interested potential readers. Again, I am sure authors buy books...but more than likely they are there for other reason.

    Added to this...in the last year I have seen many services...of "you follow me", "I follow you" being offered for Bookbub.

    Mark

    I'm also experimenting with Bookbub Ads now. I'm so glad I read The Bookbub Ads Expert by David Gaughran before doing it seriously. It's really good, highly informative. You should do the same and stop worrying about how many authors subscribe to the BB newsletter. I do and I buy books from it.

    Offline Marti talbott

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    Re: How many Bookbub subscribers are really authors?
    « Reply #21 on: July 17, 2020, 09:09:24 am »
    I have often wondered about that. Didn't know there was a way to find out for sure. It's a little deceptive, isn't it.
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    Offline markpauloleksiw

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    Re: How many Bookbub subscribers are really authors?
    « Reply #22 on: July 17, 2020, 11:07:32 am »
    I find it funny how defensive people become. Bookbub is there to make money first.  If it works for you great.

    I am only pointing out that if you are paying money to advertise, it is useful to know what your demographics are. Bookbub does work for certain genres...the stat they posted in 2017 was 38% of their readership prefered the mystery thriller category, 13% fantasy/sci fi, 11% romance/12% literary...so if you are not in those genres...it is a limit marketplace...teens and young adults...3%

    I have read Gaughran's book and it is very good. They key point in it is if you are not discounting your book heavily ($0,99 or free) than it is an upfill battle.

    It is clear that what worked 4-5 years ago, may not work any more. Authors just need to keep their wits about them. There is more competition, books are severely discounted now, etc...

    The stats I quote are from 2017...are there more updated one? Also, would love to know what the subsriber base dynamics are now compared to then.

    My novels are in the young adult/literary fiction space so I am limited by how I can scale in Bookbub.

    Mark

    Offline Trioxin 245

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    Re: How many Bookbub subscribers are really authors?
    « Reply #23 on: July 17, 2020, 02:21:51 pm »
    Boobub updates their stats (subscribers) every few weeks.  Young Adult has nearly 1.5 Million subscribers.

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    Re: How many Bookbub subscribers are really authors?
    « Reply #24 on: July 17, 2020, 02:44:43 pm »
    Teen and Young Adult   1,480,000+
    Literary Fiction   2,710,000+

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