It’s time for our annual roundup of the best BookBub Ads campaigns of the year! Every December, we share a collection of top-performing ad campaigns to showcase the effective and inventive ways advertisers used this tool to promote their ebooks, audiobooks, preorders, new releases, and more over the past year.
The following campaigns represent a variety of successful advertising strategies for different genres, book prices, and marketing goals. We hope they spark ideas and inspiration for your own advertising in 2022!
Little, Brown and Company, The Sweetness of Water by Nathan Harris
After the release of The Sweetness of Water in June, Little, Brown created an ad campaign with the image on the left, highlighting an evocative Booklist quote and the Oprah Book Club selection. The campaign used both author and category targeting, limiting the audience to readers who were fans of one of 10 comparable authors and also subscribed to either Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, or Black Stories & Experiences.
After one month, they created a second campaign using identical targeting, but swapping out the image for the one on the right. Between the two campaigns, they served over 500k impressions and generated 3,800 clicks at an average rate of $0.66 per click. Even though the second campaign targeted the same audience of readers, the click-through rate increased from 0.7% to 1.0% when they switched to the second image.
Jayne Faith, Edge of Magic
This campaign makes extremely effective use of our in-form creative builder, including a clear description of the story’s core elements and using the call-to-action (CTA) button to emphasize the free offer on this first-in-series book. The advertiser created nine continuous campaigns using this image in September, each using a high CPM bid.
Seven of those campaigns targeted fans of a single author combined with Fantasy and Supernatural Suspense categories, six of which focused on Amazon US readers while one targeted Amazon US, UK, CA, and AU. The final two campaigns combined the same categories with multiple author targets to reach readers on Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Google, and Kobo in the US, UK, CA, and AU.
To date, each campaign has achieved a CTR above 6%, with the worldwide Amazon ad driving a 14.3% CTR. In total, the campaigns have generated 42k impressions and 4,400 clicks so far.
Michelle Cox, A Girl Like You (audiobook)
This ad for a historical mystery audiobook ran continuously from January through May, and highlights a limited-time deal price on the first book in a series. The advertiser used a CPC bid in the middle of our suggested range and targeted her own fans on Chirp, which includes any Chirp member who follows her or has clicked on one of her books on Chirp.
This highly targeted audience proved very effective — during the five months the ad ran, it generated 3,500 clicks at a 1.6% CTR. This led to 650 sales of A Girl Like You at $0.99, and 120 sales across the other four books in the series, which were priced between $4.99 and $12.99.
Tyndale, The Beirut Protocol by Joel C. Rosenberg
Tyndale created four campaigns to boost the launch of The Beirut Protocol in March, with each image tailored to the particular audience the ad was targeting. Three campaigns targeted a combination of categories and comparable authors, while one, using the image on the left, targeted author Joel C. Rosenberg’s own fans. Targeting an author with BookBub Ads reaches not only that author’s followers, but any BookBub members who have clicked on their books before, so it’s a very engaged audience for new releases!
The four campaigns had high CPC bids and ran for the 2.5 weeks following the book’s launch. They served over 98k impressions in total, over half of which were to the author’s existing fans. That particular campaign generated over 2,000 clicks at a 3.6% CTR and $0.50 eCPC.
Mozaika Publications, Hard Ware by Misha Bell
This rom-com ad speaks to a fairly specific audience, but over 5,600 dog lovers clicked during the 2.5 months the ad was live! This image design is straightforward but effective, using an ebook mockup, a consistent color scheme that pops, and ad copy that emphasizes the humor and heat readers can expect from the book.
The advertiser ran this continuous campaign to promote the new release Hard Ware in April, which was priced at $4.99. They used a high CPM bid, which helped them get massive exposure among the fans of their four author targets — the campaign served over 1.23 million impressions!
Andrew McDermott, The History of Ireland (audiobook)
This continuous audiobook ad began in February with a $5 daily budget, and is still going strong at the time of writing! The advertiser used one of our creative builder templates, and called out that this Irish history book is narrated by an Irishman. The campaign is targeting Chirp members subscribed to multiple nonfiction categories, and while we encourage author targeting for ebook campaigns targeting BookBub members, wider targeting can be effective for the smaller audience on Chirp.
To date, this campaign has served 1.38 million impressions in Chirp emails and generated 6,300 clicks at a 0.5% CTR. The ad took this book from just one sale on Chirp every few weeks to 50 sales in the first three days it went live, and has driven consistent daily sales since then — over 1,125 copies were sold between February and October.
Knopf, Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
This preorder campaign does everything right. The uncluttered image design lets this striking and memorable book cover shine. Knopf highlighted one of the author’s most popular titles in the ad copy, and included a clear CTA that made it obvious the book was an upcoming release. They also targeted a highly engaged audience, reaching author Kazuo Ishiguro’s fans on BookBub who were also subscribed to Literary Fiction.
This ad ran during the three weeks leading up to the book’s release date, serving nearly 65k impressions and driving 550 clicks at an $0.88 eCPC in that time.
Entangled, Follow Me series by Helen Hardt
For the launch of the third and final book in Helen Hardt’s Follow Me series, Entangled promoted both the new release and a limited-time free sale on the first book in the series. Both ads used a high CPC bid and targeted Helen’s own fans as well as those of nine comparable authors. The ad for the free series starter emphasized that the series was now complete, which can be a huge draw for readers hoping to binge the entire series at once!
During the three-week sale, that ad served 19k impressions at a 2.9% CTR. The ad focusing on the new release ran for six days after launch day, serving 67k impressions at a 1% CTR and generating 700 clicks in that window.
Willow Mason, Selective Spells (audiobook)
Including the book cover in an ad image is often the best way to signal the book’s genre, but this imagery and description of the main characters (as well as the supernatural problems they’re facing!) makes it abundantly clear that this ad is promoting a cozy paranormal mystery.
The advertiser created two campaigns for this Chirp audiobook running from mid-April through the end of May. The first used six author targets and the Supernatural Suspense category, serving 2,400 impressions with a 7.7% CTR and $0.08 eCPC. The second version swapped out the author targets for four others, driving 14k impressions at a 3.8% CTR and $0.14 eCPC.
Together, these campaigns generated 700 clicks and resulted in over 250 sales of the Chirp audiobook, which was discounted to $0.99 while the ads were live.
Kensington, An Earl, the Girl, and a Toddler by Vanessa Riley
This image for Vanessa Riley’s historical romance release checks so many boxes of our ad copy best practices! It features a quote from a well-known publication and gets a two-for-one comparison with a reference to Bridgerton — both Julia Quinn’s book series and Shonda Rhimes’s popular TV adaptation!
Kensington used 10 similar author targets and the Historical Romance category, targeting readers across all of our supported regions and retailers. The campaign used a high CPC bid, serving over 41k impressions at a 1.3% CTR in the week after this book launched.
Bookouture, Bring Him Home by Nicole Trope
In one of the most creative uses of BookBub Ads we saw this year, UK publisher Bookouture tested different combinations of titles and cover images in a series of campaigns that ultimately led to a new title for Nicole Trope’s novel. They created eight campaigns in February to test four different cover/title combinations for this March release.
Half of the ads targeted US readers and half targeted UK readers, but otherwise the campaigns used identical CPM bids, budgets, and author targeting in order to isolate the impact of the book cover on ad clicks. The image on the right, which features the original cover image with the new title, was the winning combo in both regions, driving a 2.5% CTR from the US audience and 3.4% CTR in the UK.
FFS Media, Magical Renaissance Faire Mysteries
This advertiser created 40 test campaigns using variations of the left-hand image during August and September, each targeting an individual author with high CPM bids and budgets of $5-30 per campaign. In October, they put these test results to use by creating six new campaigns using the right-hand image and the top two author targets from the batch of tests to promote a $0.99 sale across all three books in this multi-author series. Each of these ads targeted just one of the highest-performing author targets, and ran for a couple days with a $30 budget and high CPM bid.
Every campaign promoting the $0.99 sale had a CTR above 3%, with the best version hitting 8.2%. In total, the sale campaigns served 8,500 impressions and generated 450 clicks in four days.
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