No doubt you’re reading this, hoping we’ll divulge the ultimate secret to getting accepted for a BookBub Featured Deal. And of course, we’re going to talk about it. But there’s far more to BookBub than just that.
1) Snag a BookBub Featured Deal
Well, we have to start with this one. Sadly, we can’t guarantee you a featured deal—we wish! But at least we can give you a few tips that may improve your chances.
A BookBub Featured Deal is the great white whale. BookBub has an enormous audience, and getting a featured deal could rocket your book, and quite possibly your career, to the next level. You could sell thousands of books and reach readers you couldn’t possibly have reached so quickly on your own. Seriously, if you can afford to do it—it is quite spendy—start applying.
Before you fill in the form for a deal, make sure your book is as appealing as possible with a great genre-focused cover, a polished blurb, and as many reviews as you can get your hands on. You’ll also need to either make your book free or offer a hefty discount. It’s not unheard of for people to get a featured deal when they’re in Kindle Unlimited, but BookBub wants to show off its recommendations to as many people as possible, so wide books do seem to have a better chance.
Then, it’s a case of flexibility and extreme persistence. You might get a deal on your first go, or you might still be trying after submitting every month for years, but don’t give up!
2) Bling Up Your Profile
Before we move on to the other types of alerts on BookBub, one thing that can help you get attention is to claim your author profile and fill it in fully, along with adding your books. You’ll get some free features straightaway, including the possibility of appearing in the suggested authors list for new signups who read your genre and in the recommended author emails that BookBub sends out.
You can add your books to BookBub’s database, and readers will be able to bookmark them and add a deal alert in case you run a discount or a freebie offer. Your bio and image will appear on each of your book pages, with a “Follow” button to encourage readers to sign up for your alerts, and on BookBub’s Discover Authors page (https://bookbub.com/discover-aiuthors).
3) Apply for “New Releases for Less” Alerts
This alert is different from a featured deal as your e-book doesn’t have to be discounted to qualify, so if you get accepted, you could make quite a nice sum with this one. BookBub will accept a range of different book types as long as it is a fiction book over 150 pages or a nonfiction book over 100 pages. For this alert, you need to apply like you would for a featured deal, and BookBub will select the books they feel are suitable. You can start applying six months before your book is due out, but this is another paid feature, so you will need a budget. What do they want to hear? According to BookBub’s website, “In order to help our editors know whether your new book might be a good fit for our readers, we’d recommend including links to early reviews from bloggers or readers, blurbs from authors, and any other information that may help our editors assess the content and early reception of your new book.”
4) Make use of “New Release” Alerts
We know, we know. It’s a little confusing, but this is a different alert, and it’s free. As long as you’ve added your e-book on the platform within seven days of its release—and your e-book fits their criteria—BookBub will send out a new release alert to all your US followers. Even better, the email will include your buy links, so you could well get some sales from this. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that the more followers you have, the more people get this email.
To qualify, your book needs to be over seventy pages if fiction or one hundred pages if nonfiction. BookBub will also consider other types of books, including cookbooks, box sets, and children’s picture books.
5) Use Chirp for Audiobook Deals
Chirp (https://chirpbooks.com/home) is an audiobook platform available to US listeners. It offers some great deals on audiobooks, and it is powered by none other than BookBub. If you have an audiobook on Findaway, you can apply for a Chirp audiobook deal via your BookBub account. As of the time of writing, it’s still free to apply for a Chirp deal, so what have you got to lose? It’s still relatively early days for Chirp, so you may not get huge results from your promo like you could with a BookBub Featured Deal, but who doesn’t like getting their books out there and reaching a new audience?
6) Opt for Preorder Alerts
BookBub’s preorder alerts cost only two cents per follower. If you have thousands of followers, you might be concerned about the total cost, but this alert only goes to US followers who have chosen to receive alerts from you, so it could be less than you think. Even so, this alert could give you a real boost on release day. If you get a lot of preorders via this alert, you might even have a bestseller on your hands. No guarantees, of course, but it’s most definitely worth trying.
7) Sign Up for BookBub Ads
BookBub ads show up at the bottom of the email when BookBub sends out its daily emails. This can get you great exposure and those all-important clicks and sales. As with Facebook ads, you set your budget and your target audience, so these ads can be specifically targeted to, for example, anyone who likes a particular author in your genre. David Gaughran has a post including insights from BookBub’s own Carlyn Robertson, which may help. Visit https://davidgaughran.com/clever-book-marketing-authors-bookbub-ads.
8) Use Recommendations
Sorry guys, but this is another US-only feature. If you’re in the US, you can write reviews and recommend books, which is a great way to market your own books too. If you recommend books in the same genre or genres as yours, not only can you build strong relationships with other authors (always a positive thing!), but you could attract the attention of readers who’ll look at your books too. And nothing is stopping you from arranging recommendation swaps with other authors to give all of you a boost.
9) Get Icons for Your Website
You definitely want people following you on BookBub as you’ll get the all-important preorder notifications (US only) once you hit a thousand followers. Encourage this by adding the BookBub icon on your website, along with your social media icons. Get the icon, including the HTML to add it straight into your website code if you’re the techie type, along with the instructions if you’re not, at https://insights.bookbub.com/bookbub-follow-bookmark-buttons-for-authors-websites.
10) Check Out the BookBub Blog
Find the latest info on BookBub right from the horse’s mouth, as they say. The platform’s blog includes information about book marketing, the latest trends, new BookBub features, and more. It includes a section with book marketing advice (https://insights.bookbub.com/category/book-marketing-ideas), and another one jammed full of self-publishing tips (https://insights.bookbub.com/category/publishing-tips).
Still want to learn more? Check out other resources for authors on how to master BookBub, such as David Gaughran’s BookBub Ads Expert: A Marketing Guide to Author Discovery, Monia Leonelle’s Get Your Book Selling with Bookbub, and BookBub Mastery: An Indie Author Mastery Guide by Nick Thacker.