So, during an email exchange with Joe Konrath, he told me that Bookbub was currently the key to successful promotion. The day of giving books away for free and getting a sales bump afterwards were over, he told me, and the way to go was 99c sales in conjunction with a paid Bookbub promotion. As Joe has never steered me wrong in the past (ever!), I decided to take the plunge.
As a horror writer, I benefited from being on one of Bookbub's lower tariffs. Taking advantage of their Horror subscribers list cost me $160, but other genres can cost up to 10x times that amount, so cost is a key factor in deciding whether to use their services or not. It is, after all, a bit of a gamble. Hopefully what I am about to share can lower the risk for those thinking whether or not to take the plunge.
Now, March and April are poor months for me, so I decided to centre my promotional activity around this time to avoid the seasonal lull in sales that I get. In the month of March I placed 4 books on Kindle Countdown deals (only available as a KDP Select member). Those books were Ravage, Sea Sick, The Final Winter, and The Housemates. I selected The Final Winter for a Bookbub promotion. It is my oldest book and sales have flagged recently, so I wanted to have a go at reinvigorating.
So, here are the results of the 4 promotions I did during March. One with a Bookbub promotion, and 3 without. Remember, The Final Winter was the one that Bookbub were paid to promote for me. Each promotion lasted five days. Sea Sick was on sale during the first week of the month, while the other three books were on sale concurrently at the end of the month (they all went on Countdown sales at the same time).
RESULTS (US sales only, as UK results saw no impact from the Bookbub promotion)
90 Copies sold - $122.10
368 copies sold - $226.94
309 copies sold - $199.51
THE FINAL WINTER (Bookbub promoted)
1697 copies sold - $1082.31!
So, as you can see, The Final Winter massively outsold the non-Bookbub promoted titles. If you consider what the non-promoted books made and assume that The Final Winter would have made the same without Bookbub, it made approximately $850 extra. Subtract what Bookbub charged me in fees and I made an additional $740 to what I would have made without using Bookbub. In simple terms, a gamble of $160 to Bookbub resulted in a return of $740. You can also assume that the reason Sea Sick performed worse than the other books was because it was on sale before the Bookbub promotion began. The Housemates and Ravage did better purely for being on sale at the same time that The Final Winter was on Bookbub promotion. Therefore, I would advise timing promotions together for maximum effect. During the last week of the month, I reached #4 in the Horror Author Charts (between Stephen King and Dean Koontz) and stayed there for a while. This, in itself, led to a sales increase across the board for all my titles.
If you are a Horror writer, then I would implore you to make use of Bookbub to advertise your Countdown promotions. It really works. If you have enough books out then you could potentially have promotions running regularly and seeing a healthy return. I don't want anyone to miss out on all those dollars.
As an additional note, I would add that my sales have increased since the Bookbub promotion ended and my bad period during March and April have been very successful this year, earning about three times what I did last year. There are a lot of people saying ebooks are declining, but it's a bunch of rubbish. So far this year I am heaps ahead of where I was this time last year. So keep going everyone. Success is out there. And Bookbub can help.
You can take a look at Bookbub here: www.bookbub.com/home