Tag Archives: Bookbub

Bookbub and Permafree

Some how I got a second Bookbub feature.  I am very thankful for that, as I know how difficult it can be to get a spot.

This is a powerful email to be in.

This is a powerful email to be in.


Kevin and the Seven Lions was a feature on May 11.  That day it gave away 9505 copies on Amazon and 1664 copies between Apple and Nook. Draft2digital doesn’t give me specific numbers in stores until the next month.

Yes.  That's free.  But still cool.

Yes. That’s free. But still cool.

My hope is that bump will be longer than the bump that came with the paid promo of Kevin and the Three-Headed Alien.  This promo added more email subscribers, and added a lot more reviews.  And most of the reviews are 4 and 5 star, so I am good with that.  I even sold a copy of the Audio book.  And that is great because the audio book has sold only a few copies.

But the best part was seeing it hit the #1 Children’s Book on the free list.

Hitting Number one in Children's free.  Yes.  It is free.  I will take it.

Hitting Number one in Children’s free. Yes. It is free. I will take it.

Amazon is a search engine, not a bookstore.  By hitting the number one spot my visibility increased big time.  Also more people downloaded the book then have visited this blog, think about that for moment.  Blogging is fun.  Blogging helps get my name out  But a permafree book on Amazon gets more downloads than an old fashion blog.  There is an SEO lesson there.

Here is my post from the first time I was on Bookbub.


The lasting effects so far of Bookbub

I am now over a month out from my Bookbub email blast and brief run at the best-seller’s list on Amazon’s Children’s List.  See that post here.

Here is a screen grab of Kevin and the Three-Headed Alien‘s raking:

Book Bub effect with text

I admit it was not a great for a long time.  In fact it hadn’t sold a single copy  in several months.

It now averages more than a sale a day.

I’m not quitting my day job on that news, but it is way better than before.

Lessons Learned:

Simply writing a great book and putting it up isn’t enough.

I know.  Most don’t want to hear that.  You’ve written a great piece of literature, therefore the world is going to beat down your door.  Nope.  Being recommended by others matters.

In this case the book was recommended by Bookbub, and that matters.

Build your own email list

At the time of the email Bookbub told me their children’s email went out to something like 330,000 people.

Off of that email and Bookbub website I had about 350 sales and Kindle borrows.

Let’s do that math.  That’s about one-ten of one-percent.  .1 of 1%

To be able to sell 350 copies from my own list, I wouldn’t need nearly that many subscribers.  If just 10% of an email list bought a new book, all I would need would be a list of 3,500 people.

Now, that isn’t easy.  But I figure my choice is to either focus on building my tribe through an email list or be completely dependent on Bookbub.  And I reapplied to Bookbub for the original Kevin book, which has 48 reviews on Amazon.  But they didn’t accept it.  Kevin and the Three-Headed Alien they did accept only has 12 reviews.  So I will focus on building my own list.

And if you’re a writer then that is what your marketing efforts should be on as well.  Building your own email list.

So Bookbub was wonderful!  If you can get your book accepted.  Take it!  But in the long run you should have your own email list to send a blast out too.

Hey look at that: http://eepurl.com/1EWcT

That’s the link where you can sign up my Insider’s List (my email list).  You get a couple of free short stories, some photographs I have taken, and you will get the chance to get new books for free before they are available on Amazon.  Plus I send out a lot of blog posts and other content on that list before I send it here, or on Facebook.

The amazing fun of a Bookbub promo and being on the same page as Harry Potter

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.

A very brief best-selling children's book.

A very brief best-selling children’s book.

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.

Yes. It was BIG seller before…

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.

Hey look! I am photobombing Harry!

Hey look! I am photobombing Harry!

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.

October 4 will be a day long remembered when Kevin got to hang with Harry and Greg.

October 4 will be a day long remembered when Kevin got to hang with Harry and Greg.

Lessons learned:

  • 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.