Hello writers! Today I thought I'd share my experience with running my very first BookBub ad. If you're not familiar with BookBub, you should be. As a reader, you can sign up for free, and each day you'll receive an email listing 5-10 discounted or free books in the genres you pick. It's tailored to your reading preferences, which is nice. As a writer, it's become one of the hot places to advertise your book. Their email lists number in the hundred-thousands, which is remarkable. They're also very selective about whose books they take, which makes it tough to get an ad. They also aren't cheap, though many writers claim they make their money back in anywhere from a few hours to a few days.
I applied for an ad with them last year and was turned down. Last month, I tried again, with my novel The Promise of Paradise which has been free since the beginning of March (note: I had 33 reviews the 2nd time I applied, which I think helped them say yes). Because the ad to run a contemporary romance novel for free costs $290.00, I was nervous - even more so because I wouldn't be getting any sales money from this novel, since it's free, so any sales where I could recoup the ad $ would have to come from my other books.
It's now been just under 1 week since my ad ran, so I thought I'd share some early numbers:
On the morning of May 8, my ad day, these were my sales/downloads for the 3 books tied together in the Hometown Heroes series:
The Promise of Paradise (prequel) = 681 free downloads since May 1
The Promise of Paradise = 103 audio books total sales since June 2013
Beacon of Love (1st book in the series) = 2 sales since May 1
Inferno of Love (2nd book in the series) = 2 sales since May 1
BookBub gives a range of 11,400 - 34,300 downloads for free contemporary romance novels. Here are my numbers as of last night. (This is for Amazon only, not Barnes & Noble)
The Promise of Paradise = 55,089 downloads (and 4 paid sales)
The Promise of Paradise = 213 audio books total
Beacon of Love = 56 total sales this month
Inferno of Love = 34 total sales this month
I think I broke even on Sunday night, about 3 days after the ad ran. The Promise of Paradise also went to #1 on the entire Free Kindle List, for about 12 hours, and to #1 on Women's Fiction, Contemporary Romance, and New Adult & College. It's still in the Top 10 on all the genre lists, as well.
I would say that BookBub definitely delivered for me on this one! Now, I know many people say that 55K free downloads is a lot of lost royalty $$, and I certainly respect those authors who don't want to give away anything for free. For me, this is about getting name exposure and getting my book into the hands of people who hadn't read it or heard of me before. I have 8 new reviews and 3 new reviews on Barnes & Noble, all of them 4 or 5 stars. My books in the Hometown Heroes series continue to sell, stronger than before, so I'm happy with this outcome. I'll definitely apply for another ad with them, though I may run a $0.99 special next time and see what happens.
I'll keep you posted!