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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Bookbub just e-mailed that they'd given me some free promo today because they had extra space in their newsletter, and suddenly my falling Amazon numbers have picked up again. I don't think I'd want to pay for this service--simply having my book go free (via price match) at Amazon has given me PLENTY of exposure (I've been in the top 40 for Kindle freebies, and as high as #10, for the past 4 days). But it does appear that Bookbub reaches a lot of people.

If anyone would like to share their experiences with the service, I'm all ears.
 

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I used them a few days ago targeting a Sci Fi audience. I am currently running a select promo. I thought they had a good writer who knew how to pitch a book. Her/his description of my novel was new and fresh. I'm not sure they are able to report on clicks/results yet...
 

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I've never used them for a free book before, but I used them when the first book in my series was reduced to 99 cents back in June, and got great results.

Their prices are based on what genre you write, because the emails are targeted to those who have asked to receive promotions for certain genres. Last time I checked, it looked like most of their subscribers are mystery/thriller readers, because that's the most expensive genre to advertise. When I did it, a YA ad only cost $30. Now I think it's up to $70.

I made back the cost of the ad (even with reducing the book to 99 cents) by about noon, and the sales bump continued even after the book went back to paid. In all, I think I sold 400 books that I can directly attribute to the ad, and the influx in sales made my ranking rise so I continued to sell (albeit not at that rate) for several weeks afterwards.
 

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Probably the best ad I've paid for, and yet I'm not going to book one again. Their price keeps going up and up and up. I made my money back, sorta, but didn't make any gains. It's still one of the better venues I've sampled.

Of course now that it's been mentioned on WC, nobody will be able to book an ad until 2015.  :D
 

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LOL, true.

I haven't heard how the results have been since the price went up for YA. Like I said, it was great when it was $30. Last I checked it was $70, but is probably more now. It was $175 for Mystery/Thriller back when it was $30 for YA.
 

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Their prices have jumped considerably. Romance is now $260 and Mystery/Thriller is over $300--almost $400. YA is $80.

Those are for paid books. It's cheaper to publicize a free book.

They go up weekly or so.
 

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I would love to promote there, but I refuse to pay that much for promotion. I don't think I'd pay anywhere near that, to be honest. If people were making their money back when prices were much lower, I can't imagine what the point would be at the higher price. Of course, the higher price means that they have more subscribers than they did before, but it's still too much of a risk in my opinion. That's also likely because the genres I'd have to advertise in are the most expensive ones.
 

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Amanda Brice said:
I'd be curious to know what the results have been since those huge price jumps. Nearly $400 is a LOT to spend on a one-shot ad.
We are in the wrong end of the business.
 

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Dalya said:
We are in the wrong end of the business.
Dude. No kidding. I'd like to charge $400 to post something on my website and send out some emails. (OK, yes, I know they built up that subscriber base and that took a lot of work.) And they have several books featured per day!
 

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I might be able to jump in here and add some value.

They took a risk. Plain and simple. The same exact risk everyone is now discussing.

I'm not associated with them in any shape or form but I watched them over the past 6+ months.

Long and short, they took a risk. A big one. They put a LOT of advertising dollars out there. A *LOT*. Like, a whole crapton and a half. They had google ads (beyond the typical facebook ads most of the free promotion sites do) and bing ads. And they put a lot of money into it.

How do I know? Because their ads never went away. And, one has to reasonably assume when you are bidding on high CPC (cost per click) terms such as "free kindle books", you will not only get lots of clicks, but, it's going to cost a lot of dough. In short, when you put google ads up, every time someone clicks.. that takes away from the amount of money that your campaign has available for the day. And to last all day long.. day after day... it was a big pot.

Did it pay off? I'd say so. They have a tremendous growth :

http://www.quantcast.com/bookbub.com

That's all from advertising.

If I were an author... would I think it was worth it? Hell, yes. To have an audience that is that targeted and large... I think they have a tremendous product.

But, first... I would ensure that every marketing aspect of your book page on Amazon/insert-your-seller-here was in the best light it could possibly be. THEN take up costly opportunities like this.
 

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Oh, absolutely. They most definitely put a crapton of money behind it. They're visible EVERYWHERE.

Like I said, I had a great experience with them when they had a much smaller subscriber base, so I'd hope it would be that much better now. Fortunately I'm in one of the less expensive ad categories. LOL

(But I don't have any freebies to advertise, just paid titles, and I know from my own experience with receiving the Bookbub emails, I rarely click the listings for the paid titles. The only paid titles I've clicked on there have been the very deeply discounted, like from $9.99 down to 99 cents, because these come in the same email with the freebies. So it scares me if my buying habits are at all similar to others.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks, everyone, for chiming in. Maybe these experiences will be useful to others here.

Since my book went free on Monday morning, it had risen to #10 and then dropped to around #26 on the Kindle Store's "Top 100 Free" list. I've done no promotion, so I guess I have this morning's Bookbub mention to thank for the fact that my book started moving up again, and is now sitting in the #9 spot.

I agree with Scott that Bookbub puts together a concise, well-written book summary.

Their e-mail says they sent the ad to 50,000 subscribers (the "religious" category). And again, I don't know what else would be driving my numbers up right now, so I'd say Bookbub can really deliver an audience.

 

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The smartest thing they've done is to not take anyone who tries to advertise. There's always going to be money in filtering and gatekeeping.

ETA: Arrrrgh I didn't mean that in response directly to them not having horror as a category. I just mean in general. I applied for an ad for one book and they turned me down. They turned down my attempt to give them money, which kinda made me respect them a bit. :) It was just a form rejection, and I think it was because I foolishly applied at the time the book was actually free, and they won't take an ad for a book that's recently had a better deal on it.
 

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Same story for me as the OP. Mine was not positioned nearly so well as hers (my book Alone was at about 550 in the free store when I checked this morning) but was at 430ish when I got their email and now it's at 87. Was kinda surprised at the number of downloads so far but I am not complaining. Nice work, Bookbub!
 

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For freebies, it's either 30k download or NOTHING.

Seriously. If the book doesn't rack up some big numbers, it's barely worth doing.
 

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Dalya said:
For freebies, it's either 30k download or NOTHING.

Seriously. If the book doesn't rack up some big numbers, it's barely worth doing.
Umm...depends. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to have a 30k download day, but since I've had my book Alone free (it went somewhere around the 1st of September) it's only been downloaded about 40,000 times total (over 4,000 of that just today), but because of subsequent sales of books 2 and 3 in the series as well as cross-sales to my other books, I've made close to ten grand, which is not an insubstantial bit of money for a month and a half, at least not for me. It's not Hugh Howey money or anything, but I'd say it was definitely worth doing.
 

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Oh, Lawd. I get bent when I have to poof out $50 for an ad. But $400 and they're still going up?  I give. Uncle.
 
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