Ashe and Riley’s Bookbub Journey

March 22

First of all, Bookbub is considered the “Holy Grail” of book promotion sites where you have your free or discounted book featured in their daily newsletter and sent to their subscribers. Many authors swear that their sales explode every time they run a Bookbub feature and that the “tail” is profitable, too. The “tail” would be the sales performance after the Bookbub feature is over.

I’d applied for a Bookbub for Loving Ashe back in 2016 and got rejected; the same thing happened with ESEW. Both features I applied for were for 99 cents sale which would have cost me a pretty penny – like $600 and up depending on the genre.

After seeing other authors get huge bumps in Amazon rankings during their Bookbubs, I decided to try again, this time offering Loving Ashe for free in preparation for the original release date of Loving Riley which had been set for March 30. A week after I applied, I got accepted and the date when Loving Ashe is going to be featured is tomorrow, March 23. That meant that I had to set the book free immediately and that happened last Thursday, March 16.

It stressed me out so much to set a book that was selling a decent number of copies daily was suddenly free, and it’s been a rough couple of days. But as of today, I seem to have recovered and am feeling better. After all, this is for the long game and so sometimes we have to have a loss leader in order to get some sales for the second book and in this case, that’s Loving Riley.

The not-so-smart part of this decision is that I have nothing for them to buy immediately after they get Loving Riley. Nothing at all until April 26 for Amazon and March 30 for everyone else. So I can only count that the freebies will translate to sales on other books like ESEW. And this is one of the reasons why I’m an emotional wreck. Sure, it’s great to finally get a Bookbub – not so great when you don’t have a lot of books in the series for people to buy immediately. So much for that tail…

Today, I finally sent a newsletter to my 7K+ subscribers announcing that the preorder was finally live for Loving Riley and that Loving Ashe was free. So far, these are the numbers:

FREE DOWNLOADS

PREORDERS AS OF 3/22 AT 5:31

Loving Riley actually made it to #6 in a subcategory today!

Loving Ashe made it to the top #1 spot on 2 categories; yesterday it was in 3 subcategories.  This would make a good priming for the Bookbub, I think, and I just hope there will be sell-through to Loving Riley and ESEW.

As of last night, Loving Riley was at 200K mark but with preorders today from my subscribers, it shot up in the rankings although I’m sure it will go down again tomorrow.

Another interesting thing with the newsletter orders is how this affected my Author Ranking as well:

But then TOMORROW IS BOOKBUB DAY so it will be interesting to see what will happen next…

MARCH 23

Today is unreal. I woke up to see that downloads for Loving Ashe hit 6K and then by 10:30, it was 8K, and finally, tonight, before I go to sleep, it’s 18K (or close).

Loving Ashe got as high as #7 in the overall free store.

And #1 in a few subcategories as well:

In the meantime, Loving Riley has had about 96 preorders today. It was 87 yesterday and it hit 100 close to midnight, and now its total number of preorders is 215. And that’s just Amazon. I don’t know what the numbers are for iBooks, Barnes and Noble and Kobo.

So far, Loving Riley hit #4 in a subcategory and also top new releases chart today.

I also may be making the biggest mistake ever by releasing two separate dates, literally one month apart from each other. It’s definitely going to piss Amazon off because I can see myself losing all those preorders to the other stores and Amazon won’t like that.

I guess I’ll find out.

One thing’s for sure: they sure aren’t kidding about the power of a Bookbub. I’m a believer.

March 30

Loving Ashe is still #1 in at least three subcategories but it’s about #134 in the overall free store. It stays free until 4/2 and on Monday it goes back to regular price. In the apple store, I thought it reached as high as #7 only because I only remembered to check a few days after the Bookbub promo but today I received an unsolicited email from a company seeking rights to ESEW for the iBookstore and in return, I’d get $500 advance, blah blah blah. Then an hour later, they sent me another email, this time with “proof” that they can get their authors high in the charts on Apple and in this case it’s the FREE charts. Who knows, they said, next week it could be me?

Um…

Look closely at who’s on #2.

These people are crazy. But at least, now I know how high I got and it wasn’t #7.  If I made it to #1, I had no idea but I’ll take #2. I mean, it’s still the FREE store, for crying out loud.

So far, as of 8:16 tonight, Loving Riley is at 416 preorders.

April 3

I suck at keeping track unlike most people. I hit my goals, whatever they happened to be because I can’t remember them exactly. But Loving Ashe is now back on sale (whew!) and at 200K ranking but I don’t care. It was a good run and Bookbub works.

But never stop advertising.

I probably would have done better if I had Loving Riley ready to go but either way, it was a success. Now I need to start writing again.

 

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