Bookbub is a great way to build an audience and to increase book sales, which is always the goal. For most authors, getting a Bookbub deal is a crowning achievement.
Bookbub deals not only increase exposure, but paid deals can also greatly increase your revenue, too. While a lot of authors like to do freebies, I like to experiment with paid deals instead. Half or more off of a book price can really help to significantly spike book sales!
But with so many books flooding the market now doing discount promotions, authors really have to get more innovative. Because while a Bookbub deal is a great thing, it will serve you even better if you maximize on it.
Testing it Out
Strategy testing is a big part of our work, which is how I came to try out this idea. By ‘strategy testing’ I mean that with approximately 4,500 books published each day, book marketing strategies change all the time and marketing people need to change with it. At the end of the day, we need to know what’s really going to sell more books.
So while I can typically use my own books for a lot of the strategy testing I do, I wanted to work with one of our existing authors this time around because she’s sitting in a very cluttered genre: contemporary romance.
If I can find a successful new book marketing strategy in a genre like romance, I can more easily replicate this with less cluttered genres as well.
Then and Now
It used to be that one single eBook ad or listing was sufficient to dramatically increase your visibility, but now all of that’s changed. If you’re really smart and organized, you can maximize on your discount days by using multiple channels and resources.
Many authors have already caught on to the strategy referred to as ‘ad stacking’, which very literally means getting multiple ads or listings for your book on the same day to promote your discount.
What We Did
But for a recent Bookbub deal I scored for the author in question, I tried ad stacking in a more creative way.
I wanted to see how long we could make that single day of promotion last.
The title was A Royal Affair Series, a three-book set, and I got a one-day deal day for $1.99. The regular retail price has it sitting at $5.99.
I let Bookbub select the date because the author has full control of her pricing. I planned to position everything around whatever date was chosen.
I’ll admit when I’m testing new book marketing strategies I like to leave them as open ended as possible, because in theory, it means they’ll potentially work for more authors.
The date the author was given from BookBub was August 30. I immediately started planning.
Secure Other Channels
Remember, I wanted to avoid doing things the “typical” way so we went out on a limb and started securing ads and listings to follow the primary Bookbub deal, and continue for five days in total.
There are lots to choose from that range in pricing, newsletter reach and social standing, so it takes a little research the first time but by now I have my personal favorites based on the budget I’m working with.
The general outline was this:
August 30: Bookbub deal
August 31: Promotion on site #2
September 1: Promotion on site #3…and so on. You get the idea.
Playing with Price Point
I opted to keep the $1.99 discount price point the same throughout the 5 days, but next time I’ll play with gradually increasing the price back to retail.
For the sake of full disclosure I did some small budget ads on the author’s social media, to her current network and fans, but aside from that I just let the extended ad stacking run its course and bring in new buyers, or at least I hoped!
The goal was to see what this extended ad stacking strategy could do on its own.
Most savvy authors have figured out by now that the Amazon algorithm perks up to pricing changes. This doesn’t mean I encourage my clients to change their pricing all the time, and it certainly doesn’t help if we don’t have a plan to draw attention to it.
Combine a price change with some sort of a book promotion that drives traffic to the Amazon page, like an eBook campaign. Big things can happen.
Why are We Doing This?
So the goal for an extended ad stacking strategy like this is to not only help your exposure, like a typical one-day deal will, it’s to also improve your sales rank on Amazon for multiple days to follow.
This screenshot shows where the book was on the day the Bookbub deal released.
August 30, 2017
And I was thrilled when the book retained it’s standing in the top ten paid list on Amazon!
August 31, 2017
September 7, 2017
The book remained in the top ten on Amazon for almost two full weeks, before it began to drop slightly. But even once it fell out of the top 10 it still held what I consider a great sales rank, 14,000 and better, which was still higher than it had been before the Bookbub deal.
I can honestly say the book benefited from this strategy well into late September and did not start to drop off considerably until October 5. Book sales increased significantly as well.
So What Do We Think?
The author and I were both really impressed, because remember, we intentionally did no other promotion during this period. It was hard, but it was a risk she was willing to take with me in order to really test this theory.
Extended ad stacking over a 5-day period following her Bookbub deal really paid off not only for this title. The author has a great big-picture attitude as well. She was pleased with all the exposure it no doubt brought to her other books.
If you’re going to pay big bucks to get a coveted BookBub deal, you should make the most of it. Ad stacking on top of the existing sale price works. Ad stacking to carry this book through a long sale period, worked even better.
Book sales enjoyed a strong initial spike, and then carried through for a longer period. This ultimately helped to spike the Amazon algorithm.
With the engagement of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, we’ll be attempting this again. The books main theme is that an average girl marries royalty. As you see opportunities arise either by coordinating an event or date with your promotion, I’d grab those opportunities, too. You’re essentially ‘stacking’ an event on top of your existing promotion. You’ll want to plan for those as well!
Sell more books this year. Contact us for your personalized assessment. Here’s wishing you great book marketing success!
This is very informative. A couple of questions since I am a total novice about advertising. In the section named “Secure Other Channels”, you talked about an ad on day 2 at site #2, then another ad on day 3 on site #3. Would site #2 be like Facebook and site #3 be like Amazon? If so, later in the article you talked about extending the ad stacking over 5 days… Would that be for two additional sites (and it escapes me what the other two sites after Amazon and Facebook would be.) or repeating on Facebook and Amazon?
Or am I venturing completely out in left field here?
Great article, though. I’m excited about trying it with some of my earlier books.
Great questions, let’s cover this in a coaching session!