If you know much about BookBub (known as the current holy grail of book promotions), you’ve probably realized by now that there IS no secret to success. Whether you’ve tried a million times without being accepted, or been accepted once only to be denied farther down the line (with more reviews than before), you’re probably cursing the fact that this game-changing promotion service is so fickle and, at times, unattainable.
Well, I decided to look deeper into the successes and failures of BookBub submissions, polling a number of authors on their experiences with gaining a promotion.
Today I’m going to give you a peek into their answers…and pry out a few genuine tips that will greatly increase your chances of success.
First of all, if there is a “secret” to getting your first BookBub promotion, it would have to be this:
One author applied for a promotion 13 times before landing it. Another tried four times.
So, if you’ve submitted once and been turned down, don’t give up! Keep submitting your book every month, and you might just get lucky.
Here are a few other strategies that have worked (or not!) for other authors
There are five main details BookBub looks at before accepting your book:
- The book’s category (one author landed a promotion for a book with just two reviews in a non-competitive category!)
- The cover (some authors are accepted immediately after changing their covers from self-made to professionally designed)
- The price (you’re more likely to be accepted for a free promotion than a 99-cent promotion)
- The number of reviews (oddly enough, this seems to matter less than I’d assumed! Some authors are landing promotions with under twenty reviews, while others have been rejected at 200 reviews. However, there does seem to be a higher acceptance rate once you move above 50 reviews.)
- How many books you’re competing against (back to the “persistence” factor–sometimes your category will be saturated, and sometimes it won’t. If you keep trying, it’s likely that you’ll eventually hit a less competitive window.)
Though BookBub asks you to list any high-profile reviews or endorsements, these don’t seem to play a huge role in whether your book is accepted or rejected.
Of course, the best way to maximize your chances is to play by BookBub’s rules.
In other words, your submission must be:
- Long enough (click here for the specifics for each genre)
- Discounted by at least 50% (in other words, though they consider permanently free titles, it can’t be permanently 99 cents)
- Not recently discounted (you won’t be chosen if your book has been cheaper than your discount price in the past 90 days)
One author suggested that having a book only available on Amazon is a mark against you, but while BookBub likes providing multiple purchase platforms to their subscribers, I haven’t seen any other evidence that this is the case.
Have you submitted your book to BookBub, with or without success? I’d love to hear from you!
Good luck with all of your publishing and marketing endeavors!