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First BookBub ad was it worth the money?

2610 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  ireaderreview
On my fifth try overall, first with this title I was accepted by BookBub. The title is discounted to $.99 from $3.49. Cost of the ad $120.00. I thought I would report and let my fellow Kboarders decide if it worth running the ad? I ran no other ads or promotions. I did not announce the sale price on twitter, facebook nor to my mailing list. I wanted to test just BookBub without any confounding factors. Here are the results.

Sunday morning before BB's email, Tiffy's Terrible Top Hat ranked 893,597 overall in the kindle store. By the end of the day it topped out at 1,809 overall. In it's primary subcategory the book made number one. In two other subcategories it climbed to number four. (three Lois Lowry THE GIVER books in one through three and a fourth Lois Lowry book in fifth spot)

All that seems great... However, this is MG fiction. Total sales for Sunday 153 copies. Sales so far today 14 copies. Currently ranked 2,225 overall. In the subcategories the book is still ranked one, five and six.

So was it worth it? 167 copies @ .35 per book $58.45 income. That gives a net loss of $61.55. I expect there are a few sales still to come, however, not enough to make up the difference.

Currently there are five other books in the series. Since this is my first BB ad I have no idea what the read through rate to my other books will be. I anticipate some read through and this will make up a portion of the current loss. Again, I don't know if it will be enough to make up the $61 difference.

Last, BB claims there are 369,000 plus subscribers on their MG fiction mailing list. If they have an open rate of 5% 18,450 people saw my book. That means on a cost per view basis it cost about 1/3 of a penny per view.

OR I could look at it as a cost of $.369 for each person to download the book. If one in seven purchase a book at full price, I break even.

I don't think I have enough information to determine if the BB ad was a financial success. I do think discoverability is the number one hurdle indie's have to overcome. With that in mind, I think trading $60.00 for the opportunity of having 360K readers view the book is a good deal.

After the month wait is up, I'll start re-applying to BB. This time for free book giveaways. I am interested to see the increase in free over 99 cent downloads. IF accepted, I'll post the results.

Anyone interested there is one day left on the $.99 deal. You can get the book at

Thoughts? Comments?
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I think MG does better with free promos than paid. But that doesn't mean you won't still enjoy a VERY nice bump in sales for the next 4-6 weeks. That's where I made my money, anyway, was in the sales for the next month or so. And since you've got more than one book (and a series!), you should see sell-through on those for sure. Don't gauge a BB ad on the first 24 hours--at least not with MG. I was beginning to have my doubts, too, but I recouped my money by day three (it was a free promo, so it may take 4-5 days for you) and after that it was all gravy. :)

Hope that helps!

Thanks Rue. I am glad to hear the mythical post BB bump works for MG books. As the wave plays out I'll update to let everyone know the outcome.
Just to be clear, the books are a series in the sense that The Twilight Zone or Goosebumps were a series. They are all in the Lady Jenniviere's  Quill series, however, they do not share characters or locations.
In my experience with BB 99c promos of my own books, about 1 in 1000 buy. Since I have no access to open rates and so on, that's my rule of thumb.

You experienced a rate that's half that. Many factors could come into play. But, I tried to put on my parent hat and look at your book as if I were the one buying the book for my child (a regression of 15-20 years or so, as my youngest is 20 and oldest, 30), and I noticed some things about it that might be inhibiting your sales.

Rather than air my critique here, feel free to PM me and I'll give it to you in private, if you want.

Otherwise, don't. ;)
I also ran a BB freebie for MG and got about 14,000 downloads. I don't have any follow on books, so for me it was just about exposure. I probably got around 30 new reviews and 200 email subscribers, plus a nice bump in sales/borrows for the next 3 weeks (though it's returned to normal now). I was happy with it.

Note: BB lists the MG genre as having 430,000 subscribers ( I'm guessing your 369,000 is an old figure?
Thanks for sharing the statistic. Very interesting.

A question

1) As David mentions, the conversion ratio at most promo sites is usually 1 in 1000 buy a paid deal. Any ideas why it's low?

Because for free, it's usually 1 in 40 (or in above case 1 in 30).

These are discounted books. So why are only 1 in 1000 buying the book at $1 when 1 in 30 are getting the free one. Is there really a difference of 33 times in intent to buy versus intent to free download?
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