I got freakin’ lucky. I submitted Kevin and the Three-Headed on a whim to Bookbub, the very exclusive book promoting website and mailing list, and to my shock they accepted the book. At that point I agreed to the $110 for the promo.
Currently Bookbub is one of the most powerful ways to promote a book in a short term blast. For the longest time Bookbub didn’t promote children’s books. The children’s market is definitely a smaller market than romance, thrillers, and science fiction. But I believe to be a growing market as school start buying iPads and Kindles for their classrooms. So for a long time there just wasn’t a way to really reach a lot of readers outside of your own platform.
$110 you say!? I was setting the book to a 99 cent Kindle Countdown sale. Meaning I would get about 70 cents per sale. So to me it was worth the investment. The days of having a bump from a free run, even a really good free run, seem to be over. So a 99 cent sale would keep the book visible on the sales charts and the Kindle countdown chart.
On the day of the of the promotion, Friday October 3rd, I kept an eye on sales as best I could. I was at school so I couldn’t check in that often on my phone, but I noticed that it sold a copy before the email went out. So someone had seen it on the website and purchase a copy then. The email blast went out about around noon. So the downloads began then. By the time school was over at 3:15 my ad with Bookbub was profitable. Let me say that again, three hours and profitable, I had the remaining five days of the promo to still run. Which is why I recommend when doing a Bookbub promo make it a 99 cent promo and not a free one.
Well that night the wife and I went to the movies. I was good and put the phone away. When when left the movies about 8:30 pm the book had just past 200 copies. After watching other books on Bookbub I noticed that children’s books were hitting the top 100 children’s list, and some were getting to around the 1,000 overall ranking and passing the 1,000 ranking. So my hope was the get somewhere near there. Since the book hadn’t sold in a couple of months. Yes, a couple of months. The ranking of the book was some where around 970,000.
So #970,000 was where the book started on Friday October 3.
It reached #575 sometime that night.
But even more enjoyable was seeing it hit #20 on the overall children’s list when I got out of the movies. There on my phone it was on the same page as Harry Potter and Wonder. Try as I might I couldn’t get a screen grab on my phone. Never mind the fact that my phone will take random screen grabs in my pocket. BUT THE ONE MOMENT I WANT A SCREEN GRAB. No go.
On Saturday it was still climbing the children’s list.
I took a screen grab on my laptop so I could fit on the screen with Harry. Silly me.
It was surreal, it peaked at #14.
- Getting into Bookbub once doesn’t guarantee a second time. I submitted the first Kevin book, Kevin and the Seven Lions, it has a lot more reviews than three-Headed Alien does, yet Bookbub turned it down.
- An author needs their own platform and email list so as not to be completely dependent on something like Bookbub.
- Sales lead to other sales-in a series. The promo helped the first Kevin book as well, but so far none of my other books.
- It is possible to make a living selling children’s books. There are several writers in the top 100 who are self-published and they have several books on the list. Marcus Emerson and Noah Child the authors of the Diary of a 6th Grade Ninja
Series have 8 books at $2.99 in the series. They are doing very well. A new series to me, My Monster Farts, is currently doing very well, even at 99 cents that’s good money.
So overall a very cool experience, if you’re an author and can get a Bookbub spot. Take it.
It would be very cool if you joined my Insider’s List. You get free stories and free books before I release them.