There are a lot of myths and misconceptions out there about how BookBub works — from how we select books to feature to what kind of behavior will get authors on a “blacklist” (this one baffles us!).
We wanted to put some of the rumors we hear about most often to rest. Below are 11 myths about BookBub, and the honest truth!
1. There is a BookBub “blacklist” – FALSE
Many authors think that if they do something “wrong” — such as cancel a Featured Deal, resubmit too many times, or encounter any issues setting up a discount — we’ll “blacklist” them and never select their books again.
We can assure you that no such list exists. We know that running price promotions can be complicated and unpredictable, and that your plans or circumstances may change, so we won’t penalize your future submissions for that! We just ask that you abide by our policies and notify us as soon as possible to any potential problems with upcoming features. Additionally, we have no problem with partners resubmitting a book again after four weeks.
The editorial selection process is absolutely not personal. Our editors rely on data from past promotions and their knowledge of our readers’ tastes to select the books that will be most appealing to our audience. Our selection criteria is influenced by a number of factors that can change over time, including the preferences of our readers and the volume and quality of other books being submitted to that category. If your books haven’t been getting selected, you can review some tips for optimizing your submission here. We’d also encourage you to check out the current deals in your book’s category on our website to get a sense of what types of themes, plots, and covers are appealing to our readers right now.
2. You need a minimum number of reviews to be selected for a Featured Deal – FALSE
Many authors think you have to have a certain number of reviews in order to even be considered for a Featured Deal — 50, or 100. The truth is, there’s no minimum number required to be considered or selected. Reader reviews are only one part of the editorial team’s selection process. Equally important, if not more so, is making sure that a book will be a good fit for our particular audience in each category. A book with fewer reviews that hits of all of our readers’ buttons might get selected for a feature over a book with hundreds of reviews about a topic our readers aren’t interested in.
While there is no minimum number required, reader reviews do allow our editorial team to get a better sense of your book’s quality and content, and we’ve seen that our readers respond well to well-reviewed books. For instance, if a book has at least 150 five-star reviews on Amazon or Goodreads, we’ve found that including the number of five-star reviews in a Featured Deal blurb results in an average 14.1% increase in clicks. So having lots of reviews can certainly help make your Featured Deal submission more competitive. You can find tips on how to get more reader reviews here.
3. The longer it takes to hear back from BookBub on your submission, the more likely it is that your book will be selected – FALSE
The truth — it’s random! The time it takes for us to get back to you can vary based on the particular time of day that you submitted your deal, the editorial team’s schedule on any given day or week, and the number of other submissions in our queue. We’ll do our best to get back to you within a few days, but please let us know if you haven’t heard back from us within a week of submitting.
4. If your book is not selected for a Featured Deal in one category, you can resubmit for a different category right away – FALSE
Our editors consider alternate categories during the selection process, and we’ll always let you know if they would like to select your book for a different category than the one you suggested on your submission form. The only time you can resubmit the same book without waiting four weeks is if you submit for a lower deal price than the one you first submitted for.
5. It’s bad to refuse or cancel a Featured Deal offer – FALSE
This is a fear we’ve heard from many authors, and it’s related to the mythical BookBub “blacklist.” However, we can assure you that there are no repercussions to canceling as long as you give us at least seven days notice before the date of your feature (but we appreciate you letting us know as early as possible!). If you do cancel a feature, you can resubmit the same book again at any point — no need to wait four weeks or six months — and it won’t affect the editorial team’s consideration of your future submissions. However, since our selection criteria is always evolving based on our readers’ ever-changing preferences and the other submissions we’ve received, being selected once doesn’t guarantee that your book will be selected again when you resubmit.
If you do resubmit a book you’ve cancelled a feature for, it’s helpful for us if you note that the book had been selected and explain your reasons for canceling in the comments. That way our editors won’t be surprised to see your book again so soon, and our partners team will recall any scheduling concerns you may have had the first time.
6. You have to accept the date we originally schedule your feature for – FALSE
If you’re not satisfied with the feature date we offer you for any reason at all, please don’t hesitate to let us know. While we can’t guarantee that we’ll have schedule space on the days you request, we’ll always do our best to accommodate your preferred promotion dates.
7. If one retailer isn’t discounted on the day of your Featured Deal, it will jeopardize your entire feature – FALSE
If one of your retailers isn’t discounted on the day of your feature, we’ll just leave that retailer out of the email — we won’t cancel your entire feature. However, we won’t be able to offer a refund, so you may see a slightly lower ROI if you don’t reach our whole audience in your category. In order to maximize your ROI for a Featured Deal, it’s best to include as many retailers as possible.
Most discounting issues our partners encounter are related to price matching or international pricing. You can learn how to make your book free here and how to avoid common international discounting errors here.
8. We prefer 2-D covers for all box sets – FALSE
There tends to be a lot of confusion around our rules for box sets, but particularly in regards to our guidelines for box set covers. You can read our complete box set and anthology guidelines here, but in a nutshell, we can feature single-author sets of full-length books (for most categories, over 150 pages). In addition, we can feature single-author or multi-author anthologies of short stories or novellas. Our cover guidelines for each type of collection are designed to make it clear to our readers what types of books they’ll be getting in the set.
Box sets of full-length books can have 3-D covers — in fact, we encourage it. A box set image that displays multiple book covers or spines makes it immediately clear to readers that they’re getting multiple full-length books in their purchase.
On the other hand, anthologies have to have a single, flat, 2-D cover image in order to be considered for a Featured Deal. We’re very careful not to mislead our readers about the lengths of the books they’re purchasing, so any collection of novellas or short stories that includes images of multiple book covers will not qualify.
9. You pay for BookBub readers who don’t even see your book due to email truncation – FALSE
While some email providers truncate long emails, truncation only affects a very small percentage of our subscribers (those who are signed up to a large number of categories). We don’t have evidence that truncation has a significant effect on either Featured Deal or Ads performance.
It’s important to note that BookBub partners aren’t paying for readers who don’t see their promotions due to truncation. Our Featured Deal pricing model is based on the expected results for each category, not just the number of subscribers you reach, so any impact on those results from email truncation would be accounted for in our fees. For BookBub Ads, advertisers are only charged for images that load in a reader’s email.
10. Only authors who have run Featured Deals can claim a BookBub Author Profile – FALSE
Author Profiles are actually open to any author with ebooks available on major retailers, regardless of whether you’ve worked with BookBub in the past or whether you’re traditionally or independently published. While we do require that authors “claim” their profile in order to edit it, any author can do this and will be approved if they are actually the author. Our claims process is simply meant to ensure that Author Profiles represent real authors, not spammers or imposters.
You can learn about the benefits of claiming and completing your Author Profile here.
11. You can add books written under a pen name to your Author Profile – FALSE
Claiming an Author Profile allows you to list all of your books on the BookBub website, but you have to claim a separate profile for each pen name you write with. To claim additional Author Profiles, you’ll need to create a new Partner Dashboard account here using a different email address. By associating each profile with a unique partner account, we can ensure that all of our book information is accurate for each author.
If you’d like our users to be able to discover books written under all of your pen names, you can link your profiles. If you’d like to link two of your profiles, just contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org letting us know the two or more pen names you would like to link.
We hope that this has cleared up some confusion about common myths and misconceptions about BookBub!
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