Writing the Ride

Candace Carrabus Books


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Today’s Ride: Considering using BookBub? You should! Here’s why…

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.

7:30 a.m., 46 downloads. No change in any bestseller lists.

The BookBub email hasn’t gone out. I’ve noticed this arrives anywhere from 9:30 a.m. until as late as 12:30 p.m. My email has gone out. My Facebook post has been “seen” by only 5 people, and that includes me. Most of this must be coming from the BookBub website. So, wow. I’m impressed.

I vow to check stats only every 30 minutes. Yeah, right. I’m going to keep an eye on the Top 100 lists until I see when they change because they are updated hourly.

8:20 a.m., 102 downloads, not on any lists yet. No email yet.

Total reach on the FB post, 6.

9 a.m. 158 downloads.

Ranked at 11,565 on Free in Kindle store list. No email. FB post “seen” by 7.

11:45 a.m. 3,106 downloads.

#3,131 Free in Kindle Store and #15 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Humor & Satire > General Humor. #17 on the Humor & Satire list. Still no BookBub email and my FB post has been seen by only 10. Clearly, this is a result of being prominently featured on the BookBub site. Very nice.

1:12 p.m. 10,126 downloads.

#1,221 Free in Kindle Store. Still at #15 and #17 on the above lists. I received my BookBub email with On The Buckle listed at 1:14 p.m. I got the kindle book description updated to include Fiction–>Mystery–>Women Sleuths as a second category, but that isn’t showing up yet on the Amazon page, nor is the book showing up on any of those Top 100 Free lists.

1:45 up to #9 and #10 on the humor lists.

2:15 13,972 downloads

#534 in Kindle Free store and same on humor lists. Still not on the mystery lists.

OTBonTop2:45 15,319 downloads

#1 on both humor lists. #3 in Literature & Fiction.

Never gets old seeing a book with my name on it listed in the top 10.

At this point, my earlier FB post has been seen by 49.

3:15 17,318 downloads

#6 on the top 100 Kindle list–the overall list for all free kindle books in every category–fiction or non-fiction. Hot stuff!

7 p.m. 27,029 downloads. Wow.

#1 on Kindle ebooks. OF ALL BOOKS.

8:45 30,308 downloads

This exceeds the high end of the range provided by BookBub as what to expect. Still #1 in the Kindle store and have sold a few of my other titles as well. Mind blowing.

9:15 and time for bed! We’ve topped 31,000 (31,242) and are still #1. An amazing day. On the Buckle will continue to be free promo for two more days. It remains to be seen how sales continue after that. I’ve read that once you get into the top 100 of any list (let alone hit #1 overall), Amazon really gets behind promoting your book. I don’t know what that means or what the results will be, but I will let you know!

OTBatTheTopWhat a wild freaking ride!!

9:45 Okay, I stayed up a little longer. It’s pretty much irresistible at this point to check the numbers. 32,151 downloads. 

I will sleep well. On the Buckle never made it on to any of the mystery lists. I’m not sure this matters at this point. It’s still #1 overall. Tomorrow is another day, another book. Another deserving title will bump me out of first place. But it’s been more fun than I can say while it’s lasted.

10:20 Wow, who knew I was such a liar? Anyhoo, as I was brushing my teeth, it occurred to me I hadn’t checked the download stats of any of the foreign countries. There were a few in most for an additional 143 downloads, which, together with the current 32,902 downloads on Amazon.com puts the total over 33,000. Nothing short of remarkable.

Now, good night!

As with all things, your mileage may vary. As of  midday on the day following this, On the Buckle is still at #1 and has over 38,000 downloads worldwide. I am also seeing a slight uptick in purchases of my other titles.

Update added on Wednesday morning, December 4.

On the Buckle slipped from its #1 position on the Top 100 Free Kindle ebooks at around 5 p.m. with 40,184 downloads. It hung around #5 Tuesday night. It continues to be free through midnight tonight or whenever Amazon remembers to turn it off. Then, it will be 99 cents.

7:20 a.m., #11 overall. 42,490 downloads at Amazon.com with an additional 374 internationally with most of these being in the UK and Canada.

Literature & Fiction: #6.

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense: #3

Mystery: #2

Cozy: #1

Animal: #1

Women Sleuths: #2

Women’s Fiction: #2

Oh, yeah, the correct categories kicked in at about 1 p.m. on Tuesday. On the Buckle is still listed on the BookBub site in their “Latest eBook Deals” and “Mysteries” sections.

42 purchases of my other titles, mostly Raver. With the uptick in downloads of Raver, it got into the Top 100 paid Fiction–>Romance–>Fantasy at #73.

Two new 5-star reviews for On the Buckle including this one, which I really like. This is the exact result I would hope to see from this sort of promotion.

5.0 out of 5 stars A really nice surprise, December 3, 2013
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

I came across the book and decided to give it a shot since the storyline included horses and what appeared to be a potentially interesting plot line. I didn’t expect it to be full of interesting characters who were flawed, complex and some even endearing. This book was a breath of fresh air that didn’t tie into a pretty bow too soon or give out perfect love platitudes. I was drawn in and sorry when it ended. I only wish it was somehow a series.


I will continue to update this post as the dust settles. Thanks for reading!




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One Response to Today’s Ride: Considering using BookBub? You should! Here’s why…

  1. Pingback:Writing the Ride | f (5t +/- 1) I’ve Learned This Week About Book Promotion

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