Whether you’re new to BookBub Ads or an experienced advertiser, you may not realize all the different ways this tool can help you market your books. BookBub Ads allows you to reach millions of power readers any time to promote any title, and with all the customization options available for your campaigns, there are tons of possibilities.
In this post we’ll outline nine ways you can use BookBub Ads to support your marketing plans. We hope this gives you ideas and inspiration for your future campaigns!
1. Increase sales of a series
Promoting book one in a series can lead to an increase in sales across the whole series and is a fantastic way to hook new readers — especially if the first book is discounted. Make sure you link to the next book in the first book’s back matter so readers can easily know what comes next and buy it!
A big benefit of promoting a series with BookBub Ads is that it’s easier to run ROI-positive campaigns than if you’re promoting a standalone book. Because your goal is to increase sales of the whole series and not just one title, you can estimate sell-through rates and calculate your bid based on expected revenue across the series — this means you can afford to set a higher bid (which makes your ad more competitive in our auction) and still make a profit on your ads. We have a handy downloadable calculator that can help you with these calculations!
2. Drive exposure for a discounted book
95% of BookBub’s members have tried a new author because their book was discounted, so discounting a book and promoting it with BookBub Ads can be an excellent way to gain new readers. Ads for free and $0.99 books get higher average click-through rates than ads for higher-priced books, and because there’s no editorial review or selection process, anyone can take advantage of BookBub Ads to promote their ebook discounts to BookBub’s audience.
If you are running a Featured Deal to promote a discount, BookBub Ads can help you boost exposure for that deal. It’ll also let you continue promoting the discount for as long as it’s live (rather than just on the day of the feature). Author Andrew Watts hit the USA Today bestseller list by running BookBub Ads the week of his Featured Deal!
You can target all readers in specific categories for maximum exposure, but author targeting usually allows you to reach a more relevant audience, resulting in higher click-through rates and ROI-positive ad campaigns. You can also combine author and category targeting to reach the most relevant readers for your books.
3. After running a Featured Deal, promote the sequel
Running Featured Deals for books with sequels often drives sales of the sequel, especially if you promote the sequel in the back matter of the discounted book. BookBub Ads provides another way to accelerate sequel sales after a Featured Deal.
When you target an author on BookBub Ads, you reach any reader who has expressed interest in that author on BookBub, including clicking on their previous deals. If you run a BookBub Ads campaign targeting your own fans after a Featured Deal, you can promote the next book in the series to readers who may have just purchased book one!
4. Increase revenue for a full-priced book
While many BookBub readers love discounts, they aren’t just bargain buyers: 74% buy full-priced books in addition to discounted titles. BookBub Ads gives marketers a way to directly promote full-priced books to BookBub readers. To maximize clicks and drive the most revenue possible, we recommend targeting your campaign to the most relevant audience possible. Here are two targeting strategies partners have used to successfully promote higher-priced books with BookBub Ads:
- Target your own fans. Target readers who have expressed interest in you and your books by inputting your own name in the Refine by Author field (or the name of the promoted book’s author). This is especially useful for letting existing fans know about full-priced new releases.
- Target fans of similar authors. Target readers who have expressed interest in authors who write books similar to the one you’re promoting. Consider adding a comparison to or blurb from those authors, if you have one, in the ad creative.
Fine-tuning your audience and writing compelling ad copy will help you reach the readers most likely to be interested in the book, thereby driving the most efficient click-through rate possible and helping to net a positive ROI. Another way to manage costs when promoting a full-priced book is to bid on clicks (CPC bidding) instead of impressions (CPM bidding).
5. Drive awareness for an upcoming release
You can use BookBub Ads to promote an upcoming release and build buzz. There are several approaches you could take:
- Promote a preorder. Let readers know as soon as your upcoming release is available for preorder. Increasing visibility and awareness of upcoming books can build anticipation as well as drive early sales.
- Promote a free sample on retailer sites. Upload an excerpt — the first chapter or first few chapters of a book — as its own ebook with a separate product page. Make it clear in the title, description, and ad copy that this is just a sample to avoid disappointing readers. On the last page of the sample, include a link to preorder the full copy.
- Promote a free sample on your website. Create a page on your website to share the free sample text or a downloadable PDF. Include a link to preorder the book at the end of the sample. If you link readers to your website from a BookBub Ads campaign, make sure they don’t have to enter an email to get the content you’re promoting (that violates our advertising policies!).
6. Promote a new release
Launch week marketing efforts are critical for the success of new books, and many authors and marketers have made BookBub Ads part of their launch campaigns. You can use author targeting to let an author’s existing fans know about your new book, or target fans of similar authors to hook new readers. See how author CD Reiss used both of these approaches to promote a new release, and how author Jeana E. Mann sold over 10,000 copies of her new release while running BookBub Ads targeted by author interest!
If exposure and wide visibility are your main objectives for your launch, try using category targeting to reach a broader audience. When you target a broader audience, consider using CPC bidding to keep your costs down.
7. Run retailer-specific promotions
BookBub Ads is one of the only platforms that lets you target readers based on retailer preference. Our members purchase ebooks from Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, and Kobo, and you can tailor your campaign to reach readers who prefer one or all of these platforms.
To target readers on multiple retailers with a single ad campaign, simply add the links to all the retailers you want to include. We’ll automatically target our readers based on their retailer preferences and show them the version of your ad with the correct click-through link.
If you want to have more control over how much you spend on each retailer, you can also easily copy an ad to create separate campaigns for each retailer.
If your book or promotion is only available at a specific retailer, you can target just the readers who prefer that retailer. Consider including copy in your ad creative mentioning the retailer for each campaign, like these ads did:
8. A/B test marketing assets
BookBub Ads starts serving as soon as your campaigns are live and results update within an hour, which makes it a fantastic platform to quickly run tests and gain insights. Here are some ways authors have used the platform to gain marketing insights:
- Test marketing copy during the preorder period. Use your preorder period to figure out which blurbs and taglines resonate best with readers. When launch week arrives, you’ll already know which ad creative will drive the most clicks.
- Test author targets. Author R.J. Blain used a $0.99 Featured Deal as an opportunity to test out new author targets for the next book in her magical romantic comedy series. In addition to identifying effective targets and generating additional sales with these tests, R.J. also hit her goals of priming her audiences for a new release.
- Test book cover designs. Author Tricia O’Malley tested four different cover redesign options for her mystery series with BookBub Ads. By collecting data on which cover images her target audience of readers was most likely to click on, she was able to make an informed choice about which new cover design to choose!
9. Promote content that’s ineligible for Featured Deals
BookBub Ads also give you a way to promote content types that are not eligible for Featured Deals, including:
- Multi-author box sets
- Short stories
- Sales on multiple titles
- And more!
Results for different content types can vary widely across different audiences and genres, so be sure to start with small budgets and test your campaigns as you ramp them up.
What other ways do you plan on using BookBub Ads to accomplish your book marketing goals? Let us know in the comments below!
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This post was originally published June 16, 2016 and has been updated with new information and the latest best practices.