This entry is part 11 of 12 in the series Book Promotion

I often get questions about promoting and marketing books, and Bookbub is one of those tips I highly recommend. Here’s why.

If you have a book on the market, regardless of how you got it Out There, it’s up to you as the author to make sure it’s a success.

So what can you do?


Artwork by Mystic Art Design.

Book discounting might be something you’re fundamentally against. You bled onto every page of your book, you cried and you laughed and probably lost some hair. Now people expect you to give copies of all that for $0.99? It can feel like a slap in the face, for sure.

Bookbub is an ebook discounter, but it’s actually much more than that. Because of the way Bookbub structures its business, it’s becoming an influencer. As readers and writers, we cannot set these guys to the side.

So I’m going to explain to you how you can use a smart, temporary discount campaign to jumpstart your book sales and make more people aware that your book exists.

Get Your Book Known

That’s really the trick, you know – not just writing something great, but in making sure people actually know about your book.

Question: If a story is brilliant and nobody knows, does it still make a sound in the library (or forest)?

Answer: No. It really doesn’t.

Books only make a sound if people read them. When someone reads your book and laughs or cries or gasps, then it matters. When someone reads your storybook aloud to a child, then it matters.

When a story is read, it really exists.

That means marketing is a necessity, and you need to plan that to be a success. (Go HERE for the Book Marketing Checklist.)

If you have $100,000 to invest in a slick marketing campaign, trust me: your book will be a success. It’s a numbers game. The more people who know anything about you, the more copies you’ll sell.

Let’s face it: even lame books do well on the market. We see that all the time.

I’m not suggesting you sell lame books! Just suggesting that there’s a reason certain books hit it big even when they really shouldn’t.

But what if you don’t have any money to throw at a marketing campaign? What if your budget has just 1 zero? There are a couple of options.

Reduce Your Price Point

Only have a permanently free or under-a-dollar book if what you have to offer is either

  • a pamphlet, OR
  • a give-away to entice readers to join your list of subscribers. This is a tactic I’ve seen writers do to great success.

If you choose this route, just be clear about what it is you’re doing. Make it part of a clear plan, not a desperate shot in the dark.

Discount Your Book

When you discount your book, you’ll offer it at a sale price for a limited time only. At the end of that time (perhaps 3 days), the price will go back up to a normal book price.

There are several portals for effective book discounting, but for right now, I want to discuss Bookbub.

Introducing Bookbub

Bookbub is becoming the go-to website for readers who want to get discounted books. Do their readers only purchase books on a discount? No. They read so much that getting as many books at a discount as possible just makes sense.

Bookbub readers must subscribe to get access to quality reads on the cheap. The average Bookbub reader goes through 7 books a month. That’s the average. We’re talking voracious readers here – our heroes.

If you want to reach people who read, then this is a great platform for doing that. There are other platforms, naturally, and you should use those as well. But this is one that will boost your sales the most drastically.

How Bookbub Works

Not everyone can get into Bookbub. It isn’t enough to publish your book. The editors have standards and if your book doesn’t meet those standards, you will not be included on their list.

That’s right, you must apply to get on Bookbub. Go HERE for their Requirements.

So just getting on Bookbub is a huge boon. It means you pass muster there. In fact, Bookbub rejects over 80% of all books that get submitted to them for discounting with them.

The Bookbub Draw

Bookbub has over 4 million subscribers worldwide, with a focus on the US. Based in Boston, Massachusetts, Bookbub drives over 10 million ebook sales per year.

Most but not all the books listed on Bookbub are self published titles. The biggest successes are romance and crime novels, as these are the genres where you’ll find the hungriest readers, but all genres are represented there, and sold.

Getting included on Bookbub at all is going to boost your sales, but the one thing that will do even more for you is being a Featured title with Bookbub.

How to Get Featured on Bookbub

Being featured on Bookbub (included in their daily emails to subscribers who have asked for books in your genre) will mean a real explosion of your sales figures. It can translate to selling several thousand copies of your book in a single day.

Go HERE for Bookbub’s solid instructional on how to increase your chances of being one of their featured titles. These are exactly the same things I would generally recommend you do to publish your book successfully – with or without Bookbub, so check it out.

Sales Drop Plateau

Your book sales after the discount days will drop, of course. That’s only natural. But they won’t return to the pre-discount price. They’ll most likely slowly drizzle down to a level that’s higher than where your title started.

Why? In part because of word-of-mouth, but also because of Internet-based algorithms that will kick-in and start working for you. Anything on the Internet that has reached a certain plateau will get recognized as share-worthy.

Reach that plateau, and search engines will start sending more people to you and your book.

Keep Going

Bookbub isn’t the only platform for free and discounted books, but it is becoming the go-to resource for serious readers who have signed up because they do in fact spend money on books. It’s a good source, and if you can get in there, your credibility will skyrocket.

What about you? Have you been on Bookbub – or perhaps a different discount-book-portal? Write below, let me know – or, as ever, write me an email. You know I love getting those.

Keep creating, no matter what.



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K.C. Hill
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