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This morning I received a very nice turndown from Bookbub. My book, A Fairy's Guide to Disaster, wasn't a good fit for their YA list. They're right, but I thought I had to give it a shot anyway. They did tell me that they adding Middle Grade in the next few months and asked if I would like to be on their mailing list. I do indeed. So it's a bad news/good news kind of day.
 

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Awesome! That would be amazing, as I have 3 MG books I'd happily pay people to read, heehee.  :D I mean maybe come out $1 ahead, LOL.
 

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As my middle school son would say, "Epic!"  I just sent them an email to get on this "list," too.  Thanks! ;D
 

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I'm not that familiar with Bookbub....  looks like you have to join/be a member in order to contact them?
 

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By the end of this week we will have fourteen YA/middle grade books/collections for sale. By summer we will have sixty. And I'm afraid Palace in the Sky will not be doing any business now or in the future with Bookbub or organizations like them.

Bookbub is simply the most recent gatekeeper in a long line of gatekeepers who presume to dictate to us and our readers whom shall publish, whom shall be read and who will know about the books we publish and distribute. We have no interest in the "Bookbub Process." We are not interested in the opinion of their editorial team, nor are we interested in whether or not we "meet their guidelines." We have our own editorial team, process and guidelines. Thank you very much.

Who is Bookbub to tell us what is and is not "approved?" Further, by what towering ego's criteria do they go on to charge us money for the privilege of being rejected? Who are they to write a blurb about our books? Or to assemble creatives? (Assembling creatives without permission is called trademark infringement) Or to tell us how to price our products? Or to tell us when and how to run promotions? Or to tell us how many pages should be in our books? Or what our covers should look like? Or how many reviews we should have and what they should say?

Too bad for Bookbub. If we rotated our entire library through their service, it would add up to a tidy sum. But they can count on zero dollars from Palace in the Sky, because they aren't just promoting our books for us. They're trying to control everything while they do it.

Folks, this is what we all became self-publishers to escape. Bookbub wants control, just like every other gatekeeper. If after finally freeing yourselves from the servitude of being a publisher's sharecropper, you choose to do business with companies like Bookbub, you are simply fastening the shackles on your own hands and handing them the key.

Remember this: You are the factory. You are in control now. You did a courageous thing in taking control of your own business. Make sure you keep it.

By the way, just so it's clear that I'm not just writing to complain: Middle grade authors could set up their own cooperative service and promote new books. If such a service were to become established, and it wasn't an authoritarian nightmare like Bookbub, rest assured it will have Palace in the Sky's full support and very likely its patronage. :)
 

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HeavyCat, while I can understand your frustration, BookBub has way more books requesting slots than they have available, and they are wisely avoiding expansion by adding more books rather than keeping the offering small.

Those of us who knew about BookBub before they were "outed" as a great venue had zero trouble getting in. We indies overwhelmed them with requests once word spread. They had no choice but to start turning books down. As indies we have a choice to use them or not. They do not shackle us any more than Greg does by having to pick a couple hundred of the avalanche of books that apply for Book of the Day. There are simply only so many days.

I am thrilled that they reject rather than add too many books. KND went way overboard putting in too many advertising "opportunities" and now none of their ads work at all.

 

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HeavyCat, while I can understand your frustration
I'm not frustrated at all. We've never submitted to Bookbub. I have no interest in their service.

What does concern me is authors whose confidence might be affected by Bookbub's rejection campaign. Getting past the middleman was the entire point of self-publishing. Getting past the rote rejection letters from people who will never like your book no matter how well it is written is the reason we work so hard.

This is especially true for middle grade authors, who have a tough enough time without paying someone to shout them down. I think we can all agree this is an audience that needs better stories skillfully written by inspired authors. I see a number of those kinds of authors here, and yeah, it bothers me when someone comes along and shoves their books off the table on to the floor and says "sorry, not good enough." I don't like that, and I'm going to stand up and say something about it.

If you made it to the inner keep and you had dinner with the Bookbub prince, good for you. I'm glad it's working out for you.

But for those left out, if you're a middle grade author I'm here to say there is another way, and it doesn't involve inviting yourself into a cage where Bookbub's "editorial team" decides. You can do it yourself. You are the factory. You are already a success, and we're all going to do just fine together.
 
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