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BookBub for Authors: Everything You Need to Know

Picture 15 million people. Impossible, right? It’s an enormous number.

Now, try to picture 15 million readers. They’re motivated to find new books and happen to be active all on one website. As an author, I bet you want to be wherever those readers are.

BookBub, one of the most sought-after promotional options for authors, puts book deals in front of their – you guessed it – 15 million users. Founded in 2012, BookBub’s mission is to provide publishers, publicists, and authors with highly effective marketing tools. By offering an in-house ad system and newsletter promo options, BookBub is known for successfully bringing attention to eBooks and audiobooks alike.

Since readers are always looking for their next favorite read, BookBub takes the hard work out of their search and sends out emails with discounted book recommendations and notifications. Similar to other promotion sites, BookBub charges authors to appear in those emails to reach a high number of readers. By providing an interactive dashboard for readers, the platform takes their offering of book deals one step further.

BookBub for authors: reader dashboard
An example of Bookbub’s reader dashboard, with latest eBook recommendations front and center

For the authors reading, you may have previous experience with BookBub. If you’d like to improve your knowledge of the site, and learn new tips or tricks for increasing the likelihood of being accepted on BookBub, then you’ll want to keep reading.

This article will answer your top questions, including:

Should authors use BookBub?

If you’re an author with marketing dollars to spend on promoting your book, you should consider BookBub as one step in your promo stacking strategy. Running multiple coordinated promotions within a particular time frame can increase your chances of high book sales and help you move ranks on websites like Amazon.

In this article, we will discuss the different promotional options that BookBub offers its Partners. For the most part, our article will focus on one option called “Featured Deals.” This promotion sends book deals out in a daily email and is by far BookBub’s most popular advertising option. Curious about how these Featured Deals can pay off? Keep reading.

BookBub has proven results

As author Joanna Penn shows in a BookBub testimonial, her Featured Deal promotion resulted in high return on investment:

“In terms of ranking and visibility, (my BookBub promotion) was definitely great for moving Pentecost back up the charts. I made my money back, which was great, but the spike in the data was more important in the longer term.” – Joanna Penn

As with most marketing tactics, anything that can yield ROI has immediate appeal. Before you start using this platform, though, you’ll need to understand how to use BookBub. One of our top suggestions is to get familiar with the ins and outs of BookBub for authors to set yourself up for success.

“Is BookBub free for authors?”

As with most promo sites, BookBub isn’t going to be free. Ranging from $113 to $3,984 for Featured Deals, these ads can come at a hefty price – and for good reason. You get what you pay for.

Like similar book promotion sites, BookBub charges authors for their promo depending on how many subscribers are signed up to receive particular genres. For example, their Crime Fiction category has over 3.2 million readers. That’s why those promos cost $782.

Keep in mind that BookBub promotion costs also vary depending on the price of the book. Freebie promotions are going to be cheapest for authors, whereas books being promoted at $3 or higher can cost thousands for authors for a Featured Deal slot.

If you’re interested in learning more about the cost of Featured Deals and stats on average performance, check out this BookBub Partners page.

BookBub for authors: featured deals pricing
An example of Featured Deals pricing, which can be sorted by regions and currency

Does BookBub promote audiobooks?

Have an audiobook you want to promote on BookBub? You’re in luck. Chirp, their audiobook platform, provides listeners access to audiobooks that can be purchased directly through the Chirp website. Instead of directing audio fans to websites like Audible, Chirp sells audiobooks in-house with no subscription fees. These audiobook offerings are frequently discounted (usually between $0.99 and $5.99) for a limited time.

Currently, Chirp is only available to listeners in the US and Canada. You can find more information on the cost of promoting on Chirp, as well as fine print details, at this link.

BONUS TIP: At the moment, your audiobook does not have to be solely promoted on Chirp to be eligible for a promotion. This allows authors to pair Chirp with sales on Audible and other audiobook sites.

How do I sign up to be an author on BookBub?

Anyone who’s previously promoted their book on BookBub knows that securing a feature doesn’t always come easily. In fact, only 10-20% of eligible deals are selected for features. While this low number can be daunting for many authors, there are ways to set yourself up for success so that you can increase the likelihood of being approved for a Featured Deal. (FYI: Many of these criteria also apply to Chirp audiobook deals.)

How do you get selected for BookBub?

As seen on their website, there are listing requirements for turning a BookBub submission into an upcoming feature:

Tips for being accepted on BookBub

  • Your book must be enrolled in a current deal that’s considered a limited time offer. If you’re signing up for a Featured Deal on a freebie, ensure your book is set to free for a set period of time. Also, BookBub will not consider a book for promotion if it’s been promoted at a better price in the last 30 days – or if it’s being offered at a better price soon.
  • Your book should be error free and well-written. Keep professionalism top of mind.
  • Your book will need to abide by certain length requirements. For example, Cookbooks should be at least 70 pages. BookBub does not promote novellas or short stories. Remember, you are more likely to see success in book sales when readers feel they are getting the most bang for their buck. No one wants to pay $10 for a ten page short story.
  • BookBub features need to be widely available on at least one other major retailer in the US or the UK. Yes, your book can be enrolled in Kindle Unlimited and still featured on BookBub. It’s worth noting, though, that wide books (AKA books that are available on many retailers) tend to see higher success.
  • Books cannot be featured more than once every six months. Furthermore, the same author can’t be promoted through a feature more than once every 30 days.

Along the same vein, there are some common reasons for rejection on BookBub:

  • Poor reader experience. If there are many negative reviews stemming from grammatical errors or intentional cliffhangers, this can hurt the likelihood of being featured.
  • Unprofessional book cover. Professional book covers tend to perform more strongly on promotional sites. This is even more of a reason to create a best-selling cover.
  • Off-genre. Make sure you’re submitting your book for its most accurate category. For example, don’t send a Cozy Mystery in for a Steamy Romance feature.
  • There just wasn’t room. There are limited spaces in BookBub emails. Unfortunately, that means sometimes books are selected over others.

Now that you’re familiar with the do’s and don’ts for getting started on BookBub, you’re ready to sign up for a Partner account:

BookBub for authors signup 1
Answer some questions about yourself to get started as a BookBub Partner
  • Once you’ve signed up for a BookBub Partners account and gone through their initial questionnaire, you’ll be taken to this dashboard. From here, you can start running BookBub ads, submit a Featured Deals promotion, and more.
BookBub for authors signup 2
A sneak peek at BookBub’s Partners dashboard
  • Out of the many offerings on the BookBub Partners dashboard, one of the greatest tools at your disposal will be the Author Profile. Author Profiles are widely recommended as a method – much like Amazon Author Central pages – for helping readers discover your books. Claim your Author Profile under your unique author name and then start pushing alerts of new releases and deals to site users.
BookBub for authors signup 3
Use your dashboard for tools like your Author Profile

BONUS TIP: You can review books and leave recommendations on them in BookBub. From there, publish your recommendations on your Author Profile. Your fans will be able to engage with the books you’ve recommended. Think of this as being an awesome mix between Amazon Author Central and Goodreads.

How do I advertise my book on BookBub?

Congratulations – if you’ve followed our steps, you should be signed up for a BookBub for authors account! From here, you’re ready to prepare your book (or audiobook) for promotional submissions.

With a myriad of promotional offerings, authors certainly won’t be lacking in advertising options to try out. Keep in mind that it’s free to submit a book for a feature on BookBub. However, you can only do so once a month. If you get rejected from a BookBub promotion, you won’t be able to resubmit until the following month.

Through your BookBub Partners dashboard, you’ll see a few options for advertising on the site:

Methods for advertising on BookBub

  1. Featured Deals. As we’ve mentioned, this is BookBub’s most elusive and elite method for advertising. Your discounted eBook will go out in a daily email to readers based on genre preferences. Featured Deals can be wide or offered exclusively on Kindle Unlimited.
  2. New Releases For Less. This promotion is a weekly email featuring new releases, at a low price, in readers’ top genres.
  3. Chirp Audiobook Deals. Readers receive new, discounted audiobook deals by email each day. Audiobooks are purchased through BookBub’s site, so you aren’t using other platforms like Audible.
  4. BookBub Ads. This is a self-serve ad platform that enables authors to reach BookBub’s users across their entire site. Think of it as being similar to Amazon ads.
  5. New Release Alerts. These email alerts go out to BookBub readers when their favorite authors put out a new release. There are no price discounts needed to be included. The alerts are free to authors and are pushed automatically by BookBub when a book is confirmed as a new release. According to Selfpublishing.com, “73% of BookBub’s readers” are interested in being alerted when their favorite authors publish a new book, showing that these ads target highly motivated readers.
  6. Preorder Alerts. Similar to New Release Alerts, these dedicated emails are sent to readers when an author’s book is available for preorder. Preorders can be set at any price to be included. Note that this ad option is not free. Preorder Alerts ring in at $0.02 per eligible US member.

Is advertising on BookBub worth it?

When paying for book promotions, it’s important to weigh the pros and the cons to decide if a service is right for you.

As seen in Joanna Penn’s testimonial, BookBub can pay off for authors. Similar to reading sites like Goodreads or Amazon Kindle, your book will be directly in front of motivated readers. As an added plus, BookBub has gained a positive reputation since it was founded – meaning that you know you’re paying for a quality promotional service.

However, BookBub ads are one of the priciest promotional options out there. There is also a low percentage of submissions likely to be accepted. If you aren’t yet in a place to spend thousands of dollars on one promotional email, you may want to check out options other than BookBub for your marketing strategy. If you have the budget for it, though, this option can sky rocket your book to the top of the charts!

BookBub for authors: What’s next?

Say you’ve set up a Partner account and have sent your book off for submission… Only to get rejected for a BookBub Featured Deal. While you wait to apply for your next feature, you may want to consider other promotional websites that can get your book out in front of a new reader audience.

We recommend checking out our list of the best book promotion sites to tack on additional services to your marketing strategy. Freebooksy promos, for example, can result in book reviews and reader feedback. Strategically featuring your titles on other promotional sites can help you improve your book, increasing the likelihood of eventually being accepted for a BookBub promotion while gaining visibility on sites like Amazon or Goodreads.

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