Author Topic: A simple question, hopefully a simple response  (Read 599 times)

R. C.

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A simple question, hopefully a simple response
« on: August 21, 2023, 06:31:25 AM »
I am well aware of the variables in marketing. This is a question of opinion and efficacy.

Is the cost of a BookBub Featured Deal justified?

Of course, if the ROI is positive it is justified.

However, for those who have been fortunate enough to receive a featured deal, was it worth the cost?

R.C.

Jeff Tanyard

Re: A simple question, hopefully a simple response
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2023, 06:57:14 AM »

Is the cost of a BookBub Featured Deal justified?


US + International?  Absolutely.

International only?  Maybe, maybe not.  I don't know.


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Of course, if the ROI is positive it is justified.


I made the cost of the deal back on my Clouds of Venus promotion in about a week.  Keep in mind that the book is permafree and I was counting on sales of the other two books in the trilogy, so it took some time for those sales to trickle through.  If I recall correctly, the "tail" lasted about six weeks, so everything after that first week was gravy.

I would only apply for a deal for a free first book in a series, though, not a paid one, and certainly not for a standalone.  You want that five-figure number of downloads to do the heavy lifting for the rest of the series as well as for Amazon's algorithm, and you won't get anywhere near a five-figure number of sales for a non-free book.


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However, for those who have been fortunate enough to receive a featured deal, was it worth the cost?


It was for me.
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Genres: Science Fiction, Fantasy (some day) | Author Website
 
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LilyBLily

Re: A simple question, hopefully a simple response
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2023, 10:04:04 AM »
I've had multiple international only deals. They all were immediately profitable--except the one that happened on the day Queen Elizabeth died. (My main markets for the international deal were the UK, Canada, and Australia, so, of course.) If your ad date happens to coincide with the magnetic pulse or some other enthralling catastrophe, you risk not breaking even. Otherwise, the price of the ad is worth every penny because not only will you make a profit but you will sell books in stores you haven't sold books in before. 

The people who have had really amazing U.S. featured deals with huge profits six or more years ago say the ads do not produce as well as they did. However, compared to all other newsletter ads, BookBub still rules.

 
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alhawke

Re: A simple question, hopefully a simple response
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2023, 12:38:42 AM »
My most recent BB in June garnered me 1000 sales (wide) for a 99c starter book. That was the goal. It was actually poorer than in the past, paying out only $350 or so with royalties for a $750 fantasy promo. However, note this was the starter book. I actually broke even after audio and series sales. Tail was minimal this time and most subsequent sales were from ads.

Most of the time your book, at least ime, will break even. That's how BB comes up with their cost. But the power of these promos is diminishing and gone is the days where your career is made from a single promo.
However, for those who have been fortunate enough to receive a featured deal, was it worth the cost?
On average, as I said, you'll break even. You might do better. You might have a total bomb (particularly if you price your book higher than 99c). But for the continued advertisement of my books and brand, it is most definitely worth it.
 
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writeway

Re: A simple question, hopefully a simple response
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2023, 05:36:26 PM »
Is the price justified? Yes. If you are WIDE because for wide books Bookbub is the biggest game in town. If you are in KU there are many more places to promote than having to rely on Bookbub. So if you are wide the price is justified because it's one of few places that focus on wide books for advertisement. That's why to wide authors Bookbub is the "end all be all" and they spend their time trying to get them because they know it's one of the few ways they can get some traction at other retailers. Wide books are not easy to promote because a lot of sites and promotional things cater to Amazon and KU. Bookbub became big because wide authors didn't have anywhere else to promote (when it first came out) that delivered any decent results. So they all flocked to it and for many wide authors, it's a necessity if they intend to move any books at a consistent rate. I know plenty of wide authors whose "marketing plan" is just subbing to Bookbub 3 to 4 times a month, over and over. They do nothing else.

But KU authors don't need Bookbub. Some submit to it but most KU authors don't focus on it because there are so many places to promote books when you are in KU. It's easier to move KU books because people are attracted by being able to borrow the books for free. So even the smaller cheaper sites might work for a KU book if you target your genre.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2023, 05:47:19 PM by writeway »
 
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writeway

Re: A simple question, hopefully a simple response
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2023, 05:49:49 PM »
Oh, and I'll say for romance authors Zoebub AKA Stuff Your Kindle Day is much more effective than even Bookbub plus it's free. You just have to wait about 2 months between each one because it's not offered regularly. But it's AMAZING.
 
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LilyBLily

Re: A simple question, hopefully a simple response
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2023, 01:06:04 AM »
When your books are wide, you're competing against every trad pub that can pay to have its titles at the front of the store, a common practice at physical bookstores. Go to any of the wide online bookstores and most of what you see are the lead titles from the trad pubs, because chances are they're paying to be there, too. Regardless, it is not an equal system; it's weighted in favor of trad pub titles. A BookBub ad gives you visibility you can't otherwise afford to buy at those stores (assuming it even were offered to an indie). A Facebook ad might bring up your visibility if your rank rises, but it's by no means as sure a thing.
 
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Crystal

Re: A simple question, hopefully a simple response
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2023, 04:06:30 AM »
I think you need to readjust your attitude.

BookBub is an advertising service. You're not lucky to receive a deal. You are the one paying BookBub. A BookBub deal may have been a career maker in 2015, but it is not today. It will likely net you a lot of sales or downloads, but it may or may not make you money. No one can tell you that. Random authors in random genres certainly can't tell you that.

If you want a better answer, look at the deals in your genre, and find books similar to yours. How much do they sell? What is the sellthrough? Would they earn out?

What sort of sellthrough do you normally have? Do you have opportunities to make money on this deal? It is much harder to make a profit on a free sale on a standalone than a free sale on book 1 of 8.

IIRC, all of my BookBub deals have earned out. Back in the day, some made thousands. These days, it is pretty common I earn 1-2k on the first free BookBub deal in any given series. That is looking at the increase in sales over the next 30-60 days versus the previous 30-60 days. It is possible other factors increased those sales, but I attribute all to BookBub.

For the next free run (on that book or another), I typically earn about half that, if I rerun the deal on the same book or run the deal within the next 6-12 months. I often earn 1-2k if it has been 18+ months since my last free sale and I'm running a different book. It does depend on the length of the series and the average sellthrough within it though. And it also depends on how much BookBub readers like the book. The books that do best on BookBub are not necessarily the books that have sold the best overall or books that are most popular with my fans.

Occasionally, with a free run, on a popular book, in a long series, I earn 3-4k or more. But that is rarer these days.

For a .99 sale, I typically earn under 1k, so my net is likely a few hundred dollars.

(These are all books in KU).

I apply for BookBubs regularly and I get them regularly, but there are some books with BookBub simply does not want to promote, for one reason or another. I have books that get a BookBub every time and books that have never gotten a BookBub, and BookBub prefers certain sorts of covers and blurbs. They're readers are not necessarily aligned with FB, Instagram, or Amazon readers.

There is no such thing as a sure thing in publishing. You should always spend money ready to lose it. You will likely make money on a BookBub, but you might not.
 
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