Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Does BookBub Sell Books? – Andrew Crofts




A couple of months ago I blogged about hiring Midas PR to garner a few reviews for my novella, “Secrets of the Italian Gardener”, concluding that the resulting reviews added a few more bricks to the wall of the book’s reputation, but were probably not going to result in many direct sales.

The next thought was to use the reviews to convince BookBub that they should feature the book in their recommendations.

My publisher – the utterly wonderful Clare Christian at RedDoor – made the approach to BookBub in September, but was turned down. In October she tried again, perseverance being the only weapon we authors and publishers ultimately have in our armoury, and they said okay.



If we were willing to drop the price of the book to 99 pence in the UK, $1.50 in Canada and 65 rupees in India they would try it out in those three markets for a few days. For that they would charge US$90.

On the first morning of the promotion the Canadian version went up from number 1,402,298 in the Amazon charts to number 27. India went from 397,840 to 605 and the UK from 198,000 to 618. There even seemed to be some knock-on effect in the US, with the book climbing from around two millionth place to 48,516.

These seemed like exciting figures as they came in but, as any dedicated watcher of Amazon charts will know, they did not indicate huge sales. The book had dropped in recent months to selling only one or two copies a day and, according to my agent, in the three days of the BookBub promotion we sold a little over 200 copies, albeit at very reduced prices.

So, an interesting exercise, (that has more or less paid for itself), and one more brick in that slowly rising wall. Next? An audio version, read by an experienced actor, set up through Amazon’s ACX platform. I will keep you posted on how the process goes.



8 comments:

Ted Cross said...

I think it depends in large part on the genre (and thus the audience for the book). With a cost of only $90 that means the audience wasn't huge. My recent Bookbub cost me $320, so it had a larger audience, and I sold about 1500 copies and hit #1 in Cyberpunk for three days.

JO said...

Thanks for this - it's really useful to know how other people get on with the mass marketing stuff.

Jan Needle said...

useful stuff. please keep up the work!

Bill Kirton said...

Thanks Andrew. These campaigns do seem to provoke varied responses and results.

Fran B said...

I've been thinking about converting one f my novels into audio. I love audiobooks myself so it seems like the next step and I read recently that they are the fastest growing market in the book world at the moment. Be very interested to hear how you get on. Good luck!

Fran B said...

I've been thinking about converting one f my novels into audio. I love audiobooks myself so it seems like the next step and I read recently that they are the fastest growing market in the book world at the moment. Be very interested to hear how you get on. Good luck!

Lydia Bennet said...

always interesting to see how different writers market their books and the different kinds of publisher that exist these days.

That Writer Chick said...

With the huge price increase that Bookbub just put in place, it will be interesting to see how indie authors respond. it now costs over $500 to promote a free book. The cheapest category is now horror, at a whopping $280. Romance will cost you $700.