Today’s ride can only be described as wild. Unexpected. Inspiring.
First, it was exciting to see one of my books listed right up top on the BookBub site under Latest Ebook Deals AND as the first book listed in Mysteries. It won’t be there for long, just a day. Everything I’ve read indicates being selected by BookBub is a big deal. Yes, I paid $250 to have my book included in their email list, but not all books get selected and even those that go out in the email don’t necessarily get put on the website.
I submitted both On The Buckle and Raver for consideration and picked a range of days in the middle of December to make the books free. The cheapest way to list with them is to make your book free. They have a sliding scale of rates based on how discounted your title is and which category it falls in. To be honest, I submitted On The Buckle in Suspense because that’s a lot cheaper than Mystery, which is the right category for it. BookBub has 770,000+ subscribers to their mystery list. That’s the highest number which equals the most expensive.
BookBub rejected Raver. I thought they would reject OTB, too, but they came back with an opening in the mystery list for a date in November. I had wanted to tie this promotion with the launch of my new Witting Woman novella, The Good Horse, The Bad Man & The Ugly Woman, but I knew I couldn’t have that ready by the date they proposed. So, I wrote back that I couldn’t be ready by then (plus, I really didn’t want to pay for the mystery listing).
In the meantime, my friend Tom Carpenter (he’s linked over in the left nav bar) had one of his books come out on BookBub and it shot up to the #1 spot in its category on Amazon. He said BookBub had been worth it every time he’d done it. So, I thought, if I’m going to pay, maybe I can earn the money back if I list the book for 99 cents. But I had already told BookBub I couldn’t do it on the date they proposed.
Then, I got another email from them that they had an opening for CyberMonday, December 2. I emailed back that I would like to do it for 99 cents. They replied I’d have to resubmit. They look at each book and the price it’s being offered at before considering it. It would cost twice as much to list it for 99 cents, but based on the potential number of downloads from the 750,000 subscribers, it seemed like it would be worth it.
My wise husband reminded me that my goal right now is to get the book into as many readers’ hands as possible, not make money. That sealed the deal for me. I said okay to BookBub.
In the meantime, I realized I couldn’t make my books free. Duh. That’s only if the title is enrolled in KDP Select. So, I took On the Buckle down from Barnes & Noble and Kobo (where I’ve had next to no sales anyway), enrolled it in KDP, and set it to be free on December 2 plus two more days, hoping the downloads would continue. At the same time, I reduced Raver and The Man, The Dog, His Owner & Her Lover to 99 cents hoping some of the interest in On the Buckle would spill over to those titles.
Here are On The Buckle’s stats:
Before the BookBub email went out, I couldn’t even find where the book ranked. It had a ranking before when it had a price, so maybe this is a feature of the KDP Select free promo–when it first starts out as free, it has no rank. I had sent out my own email and also announced the promo on Facebook at about 6:15 a.m. Central time.
6:55 a.m., 22 downloads. Not in the Top 100 Free list in any category
At this point, I double-checked the categories I had the book listed in. I remember having trouble getting all the categories I wanted to “stick” when I first set up the book. Sure enough, it’s still listed only in Humor. Oh, brother. I added mystery, but the chances of that being updated any time soon is nil.
My hope is there will be enough downloads to get it on the Top 100 Free list for all books. At the moment, the number 100 book on this list is Catching Fire. The number one book is a mystery I saw in my BookBub email on Sunday. THAT is a good sign.