#BookBub Featured Deal – follow up

As I know many of you were interested to know about any lasting effects from the sales bonanza generated by my BookBub Featured Deal, I thought I’d do a follow-up post one month on, and here it is!

Obviously sales have been lower this month as I’ve not done much in terms of promotion, just ridden the wave of December’s expenditure. I do have a small number of constant, ongoing, Amazon and BookBub ads running in the background, and this month I spent $23.89 on Amazon, and Ā£3.70 on Bookbub. That’s about normal per month for me, so it’s safe to say the difference between this month’s sales and my normal numbers is still down to the tail from the Featured Deal.

So what are those differences?

Figures below relate to the 4 weeks after the month I reported following the Featured deal (so weeks 4-8).

My regular sales over the past year, before December, were around 30 books per month.

From January 6th – February 5th 2021, I sold 141 books.

Splitting it down a bit further, that’s:

  • Amazon 120 (plus 1 copy of DESPRITE MEASURES, which is a title I’ve ignored for a couple of years)
  • Apple 4
  • Barnes and Noble 14
  • Kobo 2

Of those, Book #1, THE PRINCE’S MAN (which is the only book I run promotions on), sold 51 copies:

  • Amazon 48
  • Apple 1
  • Barnes and Noble 2

With the other books in the series, #2 THE PRINCE’S SON and #3 THE PRINCE’S PROTEGE, selling 89 copies, split almost equally between them, that’s good confirmation of the high read-through for this series. My regular read-through for book #1 to book #2 is around 80%, although I don’t anticipate it being quite so high from a big promo such as this. At 99c during the promo period I expect a lot of people to buy the book and not read it, or at least, not immediately. When you run such a promo you also reach readers who are perhaps not your ideal customer, who maybe start the book but don’t finish.

Having said that, the ongoing sales of books #2 & #3 are pleasingly consistent. There’s no question, writing a series is an advantage.

Final figures, then, for weeks 4 – 8 after the Featured Deal with, of course, all books at full price:

$581.70

Whilst I am a professional writer, it is only one part of my work life. I have no intention of writing full time, but there’s no question, the extra income is welcome!

22 comments

  1. This HAS to be the year I start running some ads, Debby. Your experience has really made it clear to me that doing NOTHING but blogging “ain’t gonna feed the bulldog,” as we say down here. Thanks so much for taking the time to detail your results, and congratulations! It appears the BookBub ad was a great success! I’m going to work my way up to one, myself. šŸ™‚ ā¤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. All the other things we do, like blogging, building a community, social media etc. all helps, but there’s no substitute for advertising to get your books in front of large numbers of people.
      You do a great job with your ‘in person’ stuff, but again, its still limited. The authors making big bucks all invest in advertising, and often scary sized figures, but if the ROI is good then its worth it.
      Good luck with it, and regarding BookBub featured deals, don’t be discouraged when they turn you down, as they undoubtedly will. I must have applied close on 20 times before I got even a small one (what they call an ‘International’, which is all countries except the US)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the info and encouragement, Debby. I’ve always known this was what I needed to do, but somehow, just haven’t found the time to pull it together. That’s going to change in the next few weeks, as I finish formatting The Emissary Trilogy for print. (Just finished the eBook, which I’ll soon be announcing.) I love my blogging/sharing with friends and certainly love building my local readership, but I know it’s not a substitute for serious marketing. So happy to have read about your success, my friend. WELL deserved!! šŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Deb, thanks again for sharing your after promo activity. Your breakdown, once again goes to show that the majority of sales always seem to come from Amazon. And naturally, you should expect when so many copies were sold and downloaded during the promo that readers would be eager to keep the trickle down effect running for book 2 and 3. Now I do have to ask, what kind of ad did you get with Bookbub for $3.70? ā¤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the Amazon dominance is the same for most writers, although I do have one friend who sells more on Barnes and Noble.I haven’t gone into how to leverage the other markets which I know you can, but frankly I have quite enough on my plate with Amazon!
      Read through in a series is never a sure thing – mine is high compared to a lot of authors, which is very satisfying.
      Re the BookBub spend – these ads are similar to Amazon ads – you make a graphic and then decide on how much you want to spend on getting people to see it (bid) and an overall monthly spend you are willing to go to (budget). Your ad then competes with all the other ads for space on the bottom of the daily newsletter. They aren’t hugely profitable, but worth a go for a sale or two a month.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Once again I appreciate all the deets you share here. ā¤

        Liked by 1 person

      2. šŸ˜€ My pleasure

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Excellent news, Deborah. I’ve been doing so work to prepare for a try at Bookbub, mostly cancelling my exclusives with Amazon so I can distribute more widely (a plus when trying for a Bookbub deal). I’ve taken your experience to heart, obviously. I’m so thrilled that you had a wonderful experience. šŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great to hear you are going to have a go, Diana. Don’t be discouraged – it often takes many attempts to get your first ad, and the lack of feedback on why they turn you down is frustrating. However, provided your covers, blurbs and reviews are good, its usually down to straightforward competition with similar books, and you just have to keep going until one day, there isn’t another one like yours on the table.
      Many authors I know apply every month (that’s the most frequently you can apply). The other thing that can give you an edge is to be flexible on dates, as I mentioned in one of the earlier posts.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks. Yeah, I can be flexible. šŸ™‚ Hopefully I’ll start the monthly process soon. I’m also curious to see what happens as I move away from being exclusive on Amazon. Should be interesting.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s good to read the numbers on Amazon vs. Others. I’m mostly exclusive to Amazon, tried leaving KU for one book and sold nothing anywhere else! I went back so at least I’d get page turns.

    I really need to find more marketing options. Thanks for your ideas.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you get page reads from KU – when I tried it, I only got those during promos, and none at all the rest of the time, so for me it wasn’t worth staying exclusive.

      Like

  6. Your numbers were similar to mine when I was Featured in Dec. 2019. I haven’t tried Amazon or BookBub ads yet, but it’s on the to-do list. Thanks for sharing the info.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s good to hear, so many people have been reporting a drop off in the success of advertising platforms including BookBub. Thanks for sharing too!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My BookBub feature happened before COVID, so I’ve been wondering if it’s had an impact on sales. My other book promo deals were much more successful in June than they were in Nov., so yes, I’ve experienced a drop in sales too. I’ve been applying for another BookBub deal, although with some trepidation!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. From what I’ve read, COVID has had a big positive effect on the sales of ebooks as more people take up reading on devices because the physical bookstores are closed, and have lots of spare time to fill. Plus, ebooks are cheap! I wondered if that was a plus factor in my results from this promo, bit never having had a Featured Deal before, I have nothing to compare.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yes, I heard that too, and it’s probably quite true, but not for me in Nov. So, I’m really curious as to why so many authors are reporting fewer sales. Any theories?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Competition got hotter. Authors put more into marketing, knowing readers were out there looking for new books, so they slashed their prices to drum up new business. Free is very attractive to newbies to ebooks, and lots of people have done that to snag people into their series.
        I don’t know how it works in KU, because I’m not into that, but sales have definitely become cut-throat.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Ah, that makes sense. It might also mean that the competitiveness won’t fade away anytime soon. I’m not in KU either, but it will be interesting to see how ebook sales play out in 2021.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. From a reader perspective, I like Book Bub as a way to discriminate what I like to read by genre. I wonder , however, about how well the product is marketed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Going on their numbers, they are the best by far. Not to say it couldn’t be better, but then you could say that about almost anything, I think.

      Like

  8. Iā€™m kind of a data driven person myself. Analytics seem to work well in professional sports management for example, it seems.

    Liked by 1 person

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