If you missed Part 1 of my interview with BookBub’s Industry Marketing Manager–or if you have no idea what BookBub is–click HERE, then come back. Today I’ll wrap my two-part interview with BookBub’s Diana Urban.
But first… Something unexpected and fortuitous happened on the way to seeing this interview published. My publisher, Crown, decided to run a BookBub on my second novel, The Moon Sisters, and initiated a temporary price drop. That BookBub goes live today, so I orchestrated things here at WU so this post could go live today, too.
‘Show don’t tell,’ right?
Below is a screen capture of stats for The Moon Sisters on Amazon, taken on 9/17, the day before the BookBub. Just so you have all of the facts, my Amazon rank before the e-book was put on sale on 9/13 was 240,000. It dropped to about 6,000 after the sale began and I ran a BookSends promotion. I’ve also promoted over social media, but nothing too extravagant or repetitive.
This is where things stood on Barnes and Noble as of 9/17:
This is the second time Random House has run a BookBub for The Moon Sisters. The first time was very succesful–the eBook reached #10 in Nook books at Barnes and Noble, and #1 in the Mothers and Children fiction category on Amazon and #116 overall. If you’d like to follow along today, you’ll see for yourself what happens to a book’s numbers on the day of a BookBub; you can watch The Moon Sisters’ pages at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. BookBub’s daily email usually lands around 10-10:30 EST, and the effect is not immediate but, well, you’ll know it when you see it.
Numbers update (9/19), for interested followers:
Within 24 hours of the BookBub for The Moon Sisters, the book reached #61 in Kindle books on Amazon (an increase of over 22,000%). It was again #1 in the Mother’s and Children fiction category, #3 in Psychological Thrillers, #3 in Coming of Age fiction, and #5 in Family Life fiction. It reached #13 at Barnes & Noble in Nook books, #13 in Kobo, and #49 in iBooks.
Without further ado, the second part of my interview with Diana Urban. Enjoy!
The Writer Unboxed / BookBub Interview, Pt 2
TW – Q16: In terms of author sales following a BookBub, is there a point where a given book, series, or author starts to experience diminishing returns with BookBub promos, and if so how can that be avoided?
BB: Each genre has anywhere from hundreds of thousands to millions of subscribers. Books sent to these massive and highly engaged lists typically experience a significant spike in downloads and revenue within the span of a few days. This often leads to increased retailer rankings, better performance in recommendation algorithms, and even hits on major bestseller lists like The New York Times or USA Today. This increased visibility usually gives rise to even more downloads from readers who find the title through these other outlets. These extra sales beyond those generated by BookBub subscribers are what we call the “halo effect.”
Independent author Cheryl Kaye Tardiff is a great example of this. Here is a graph showing book sales of her thriller Submerged before and after her promotion. Her BookBub Featured Deal launched Submerged to Amazon’s Top 100 overall bestseller list, and her promotion had lasting effects after the promotion ended, instead of flatlining like before the promotion.
TW – Q17: Does a successful prior BookBub experience make it more likely an author will be promoted again? Conversely, does a less successful promo make it more likely the author won’t be picked up again?
BB: Yes, editors do look at past performance when considering a book that has run as a Featured Deal before. While authors and publishers may look at ROI, profit, unit sales, bestseller status, or any number of other metrics to evaluate the performance of their own promotions, we look primarily at each book’s results as they compare to other books in their respective categories. This helps us determine if a book was more or less appealing to our readers than other books in that category. If a title underperformed last time it was featured compared to other books in the category, it is less likely to be selected for another Featured Deal, and vice versa if it overperformed!
TW – Q18: What makes for a successful promo? Can you provide numbers, as an example? What is a good click-through? What is a disappointing click-through?
BB: We aim to ensure the majority of our partners achieve a positive return on investment (ROI) through their BookBub promotions. Aside from your profit, ROI is a great indicator of your campaign’s success. ROI is expressed as a percentage; it’s your profit minus the cost of your BookBub campaign, divided by the cost of your BookBub campaign — the higher your ROI percentage, the better your campaign performed.
In terms of the numbers, you can see the average number of downloads and sales in each category on our pricing page, so you can compare your individual results to these.
TW – Q19: Let’s say an author has been chosen to do a BookBub. What can s/he do to prepare for sales day, to maximize the success of the BookBub? [Read more…]