As an indie author I try to stay up on each and every fad in marketing and advertising books. When I first started to hear about Book Bub from J.A. Konrath I was skeptical. Was he getting a cut from mentioning this site? Was it really worth it? Did people really pay $1000 dollars on a site to list a book for free?!! It sound crazy. But, then I heard it from a few more sources (like this one from Joanna Penn) and I decided it was a legitimate strategy, one I knew I had to try.
The premise of Book Bub is simple and not that different than many of the other free book subscription websites out there. Readers sign up to Book Bub and get notified of free and discounted ebooks. The nice thing about Book Bub is it's organized by category. Their mailing lists are huge (540,000 for Mysteries and 400,000 for Romance) and you can reach a ton of new readers in a very short amount of time. But, the price is a little steep. If your book is free, the price is more reasonable. I paid $40 dollars for a listing on the Teen and Young Adult list. However, if your book is 2.99 and you want to hit the mystery readers, get ready to shell out $1,200. That is a big chunk o' change no matter where you're sitting on a best sellers list.
For me $40 buckaroos was a safe gable. The Breeders had taken a bit of a slump and I needed a boost since my amazing agent was going to be taking it around to editors at BEA. So, I set up a free promo with Book Bub at the end of May and waited to see.
On the day of the promotion, the downloads started to roll in. At the last minute I decided to get on Author Marketing Club and try to list my book on several of those sites for free. I do not recommend waiting until the day of the promo to do this. Many sites will be booked up and will not list your book. Luckily, many made room for me on their free lists. I guess having some good reviews already listed under your book can help you get priority placement.
The results were amazing. As I watched my book climb the free list, my jaw dropped. Soon I was in the top 100 free. Thousands of readers were downloading. By the end of day one I hit number 15 on the free list. The first page! How amazing. By the end of the four day promo I had given away approximately 16,000 books. Um, yeah.
After the promo I waited to see the residual effects. So far, a week and a half out sales are good. My popularity rating on Amazon is higher. Sales are slightly better. And, now when you type "the breeders" into the general search engine on Amazon my book finally comes up first instead of the very awesome 1990s pop group with the same name. (Go ahead, try it. You'll see.) Overall, I think the $40 was totally worth it. Now, had I paid $1,000 I might have a different opinion. That return on investment would have to be much bigger to justify spending that kind of dough.
So, what about you? Have you tried Book Bub? How well did it work?
Book Marketing Part Seven - NetGalley