SSA #009: How To Get A BookBub Featured DealMar 04, 2023
Read Time: 6 minutes
BookBub Featured Deals are perhaps one of, if not, the, best marketing investments you can make as an author.
Why, you ask?
– They almost always deliver a positive return on your investment
– Introduce your books to a wave of new readers (100's, if not 1000's) in just 24 hours
– Skyrocket your Amazon Bestseller Rank (often into the Top 1,000 on the Kindle Store)
– Become a bestseller in your category/categories
In short, nothing will sell as many copies of your book as a BookBub Featured Deal in a 24-hour period (unless you are lucky enough to appear on Oprah!)
Just to let you know, toward the end of this week's newsletter, I've got 10 top tips to help you score a BookBub Featured Deal.
Before that though...
What Are BookBub Featured Deals?
In BookBub's own words...
BookBub emails millions of readers each day with a curated list of discounted ebooks targeted by category. Our team of editors picks each day’s Featured Deals from hundreds of partner submissions, ensuring we only feature great deals on quality ebooks.
In my words...
Your book will be emailed to 100,000's (sometimes millions) of readers who have registered an interest with BookBub in being notified of discounted books in your genre.
Unlike many book promotion sites, BookBub doesn't cram 20-30+ books into a single email. They keep the number of books promoted in a single email to fewer than 10. This means more eyeballs on your book.
With the vast quantity of readers BookBub emails reach and the exclusivity of their emails, this does mean prices are much higher than other book promotion sites ($100-$1,000), but they are worth every penny.
If you can get one...
You're Unlikely To Be Accepted
BookBub Featured Deals are different from BookBub Ads, which are a self-serve platform that you can use to run Ads at any time (a topic for a future edition of the newsletter).
The chances of being accepted for a BookBub Featured Deal are less than 20%. If you're applying for a USA only BookBub Featured Deal, your chances reduce to around 5%.
So, if you are rejected, don't take it personally. BookBub receives a LOT of submissions and by keeping the number of books they promote in their newsletter so low, there are only so many books they can accept.
Their space is limited, and demand is high, which drives up prices.
You can apply for a BookBub Featured Deal and see the costs for your specific genre through your BookBub Partner Dashboard.
And if you don't get accepted the first time, you know what I'm going to say... apply again!
You can apply for a BookBub Featured Deal for the same book once every 30 days. So, if you have multiple books or multiple series', then you could apply regularly.
If you just have one book or one series, then apply, and if you get rejected, add a reminder in your calendar for 30 days' time to apply again. And again, and again.
It's also worth mentioning that you are less likely to be accepted if your books are enrolled in Kindle Unlimited. It's not impossible, it's just a little more difficult.
An exception to this "rule" is if you are submitting a 99¢ Box Set for a BookBub Featured Deal that is enrolled in Kindle Unlimited. These are more likely to be accepted than a single book in Kindle Unlimited because they offer so much value to readers.
The BookBub Featured Deal Case Study
Moving onto the case study...
This was a BookBub Featured Deal we got accepted for with Book 1 of my wife's series and was featured last Saturday (February 25th, 2023).
It was for an "International" deal, so was sent to readers in the UK, Canada, and Australia. Not the USA.
We reduced the price of the book from £2.99 to 99p in the UK and from $3.99 to 99¢ in Australia and Canada.
The UK is our second-best marketplace for Lori's books, after the USA.
Before the BookBub Featured Deal, Book 1 of the series was sitting around 1,100 in the UK Kindle Store.
On February 25th, the rank of Book 1 got down to 143 in the UK Kindle Store.
In Canada, Book 1 reached #21 in the Kindle Store and in Australia, we achieved #139.
The Canadian and Australian markets are much smaller than the UK and USA, so although these numbers might sound impressive, the number of Orders is nowhere near the numbers you'd achieve with that rank in the UK or the USA.
Speaking of orders...
In the UK, we sold 188 copies of Book 1 over the 25th and 26th of February.
In Canada, we sold 122 copies of Book 1 over the same two days (the 25th and 26th of February). And in Australia, 102 copies of Book 1 over those two days.
Now, I'm sure you're thinking about how all of that translated into Royalties.
Well, over the 2 days (February 25th and 26th), from just the Kindle version of Book 1, we earned just $177 from the UK, Australia and Canada only. (USA Royalites excluded).
This may not sound much, but keep in mind that at 99p/99¢, we are only earning around 35p/35¢ per sale. And this is excluding any readthrough to other books in the series.
If I include readthrough stats (and print sales) for the same time period, you'll see that the numbers look a little healthier.
And with people not reading Book 1 immediately, readthrough has continued to come over the past few days and will continue to do so as the days and weeks progress.
I didn't do much with the Facebook Ads or Amazon Ads at all in preparation for the Bookbub Featured Deal.
The only "scaling" tactic I implemented was to slightly increase the budget of the UK Facebook Ads. I didn't create any special 99p/99¢ Ad Creative and I did zero advertising in Australia or Canada.
Since the BookBub Featured Deal, we've seen good readthrough to Books 2, 3 and 4 in the UK, but very little readthrough in Canada or Australia.
We have also been enjoying increased sales and borrows in the UK across all books in the series due to the improved rank.
And that's the important thing to remember with any big promotion like this; it's not the day or days of the promotion that matter most; it's the days and weeks following the promotion that truly matter.
So that, in a nutshell, is how the BookBub Featured Deal performed for us.
Before I wrap up this week's newsletter though, I want to give you a few actionable takeaways and tips that will help when both applying for a BookBub Featured Deal for your books, and for making the most of this opportunity.
10 BookBub Featured Deal Top Tips
Tip #1: As previously mentioned, if you don't succeed when applying for a BookBub Featured Deal, add a reminder in your calendar for 30 days time to apply again.
Tip #2: International BookBub Featured Deals are "easier" to be accepted for than USA-only deals. So, if you aren't successful with a USA-only deal, apply for an International deal.
Tip #3: Books with a great cover and a compelling book description have a much higher chance of scoring a BookBub Featured Deal, than those with a poor cover and description.
So, make sure these are up to scratch before applying. Your books are looked at by a real human, not a computer!
Tip #4: If you continue to be turned down for a BookBub Featured Deal at 99¢/99p, try applying again, but this time, apply with your book being free rather than paid.
Tip #5: Unless you really need the BookBub Featured Deal to run on a specific date (i.e. as part of a launch or promo) when applying, BookBub will ask you if your date is flexible – say yes; it will give you a better chance of being accepted.
Tip #6: If you get accepted, set an end date of your discount 1-2 days after the date BookBub have selected (if it fits with any other marketing strategy you're implementing at the time).
This gives readers chance to pick up your book at the deal price if they don’t see the BookBub email on the day. The lower price also helps you bring in a few more organic sales from Amazon.
Tip #7: If your books are in Kindle Unlimited and you get accepted for a USA only BookBub Featured Deal (lucky you!), use a Kindle Countdown Deal to reduce the price of your book, if you can.
This way, you’ll receive 70% royalties, even when pricing your book to 99¢, which will make a big difference to your bottom line.
Then set the Kindle Countdown Deal to start the day before the BookBub Featured Deal and end it 1-2 days after.
Tip #8: If you're selected for an International BookBub Featured Deal, change the price of your book to 99p/99¢ 2-3 days before the BBFD.
It can take up to 72 hours for Amazon to review and approve the changes you make; the last thing you want is to be sweating the day before the BookBub Featured Deal and Amazon still hasn't updated the price of your book! If it isn’t changed in time, BookBub will cancel your Featured Deal and you won’t receive a refund.
Tip #9: If your books are usually priced at $2.99 - $9.99 (i.e. full price), you’ll need to change the Royalty Rate in KDP for the book that is being featured in the BookBub Featured Deal to 35% rather than 70%, before changing the price to 99p/99¢.
Just know that this will apply the 35% royalty rate to every marketplace, not just the marketplaces you're adjusting for the BookBub Featured Deal.
So, even if you’re still charging full price for your book on Amazon.com (e.g. $2.99), and your BookBub Featured Deal is for the UK, your royalty rate on the $2.99 will also be 35%, not the usual 70%.
Tip #10: If you want to give your book a boost in a country that isn’t part of the BookBub Featured Deal, you can change the price of the book in that country too.
For example, the BookBub Featured Deal for Lori’s book was only for the UK, Canada, and Australia.
But, we changed the price of the book in the USA to 99¢ too, which helped give the books a boost there through the Facebook Ads and Amazon Ads we were running anyway, as well as increasing the organic visibility, sales, and borrows.
That's going to wrap up this week's newsletter.
I hope this has given you a few pointers and tips you can take forward for your next attempt at scoring a BookBub Featured Deal!
And as I've mentioned, don't take it personally if your book isn't accepted. Don't give up. Keep on applying and one day, you'll be accepted.
To Your Success
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