Getting more BookBub followers can help widen an author’s reach and ultimately increase book sales. The more followers an author has, the more people will receive dedicated emails from BookBub notifying them about the author’s new releases and price promotions. Plus, getting 1,000 followers unlocks the ability to send BookBub Preorder Alerts!
So how can an author get more followers? The first step is to claim and complete a BookBub Author Profile. Readers are more likely to follow if the author suggestions they see include a headshot, up-to-date books, and a bio. But there’s more authors can do to grow their following.
Authors, here are 14 ideas you can use to try to get more BookBub followers. You know your unique audience best — not all of these tactics will work for all audiences all of the time. But you can test these different strategies to see which will work for you! Publishers and agents, click here to email this post to your authors and help them get more followers.
1. Encourage follows in your books’ back matter
The back matter is the perfect place to promote the next book in a series, an upcoming release, or a backlist book. But it’s also a great spot to let readers know they can follow you on BookBub — and why they should. Encourage readers to follow you so they’re the first to know about preorder availability, new book launches, and limited-time discounts.
Here’s an example call-to-action template:
Be the first to know when [AUTHOR NAME]’s next book is available! Follow [HIM/HER/THEM] at http://bookbub.com/authors/[AUTHOR-NAME] to get an alert whenever [HE/SHE/THEY] has a new release, preorder, or discount!
Learn more about how to add links to an ebook’s back matter here.
2. Add a BookBub follow button to your website
Make it easy for website visitors to find you on BookBub by adding a follow button. You might already be linking to each of your social media profiles on your website, so you can simply add a BookBub button to your existing icon set.
If you want all of your social media icons to match, or for more icon sizes, download icon packs of the most popular social networks with matching BookBub follow icons here:
You can find complete instructions on how to add these buttons to your website here.
Note: When linking to your Author Profile, add ?follow=true to the end of your public profile URL so users who are signed in to BookBub will automatically follow you. (For example: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/james-patterson?follow=true.) If the user is not signed in to BookBub, they will simply land on your Author Profile without automatically following you.
Here are a few spots authors tend to place their BookBub follow button (and their other social media icons):
- The site header opposite the logo
- The left side of the website’s navigation bar (if space allows)
- The blog’s sidebar
- The site’s footer
She’s also included a larger version of these icons in her website’s footer.
3. Add a call-to-action to your newsletter
If people are already subscribed to your author newsletter, why not encourage them to follow you on BookBub, too?
Repetition is an effective advertising tactic that helps to make a product more memorable. Ever shop for a pair of shoes on Zappos and later see ads on Facebook for that same pair of shoes? Huge companies use these retargeting strategies because repetitive exposure — if it’s not done in an annoying, spammy way — can help close sales.
You already know your newsletter subscribers are interested in your content. If readers get a free BookBub New Release Alert and a reminder to purchase your new book via your newsletter, you can increase sales from readers who decide to purchase your book later and need that second reminder. Plus, the more followers you have on BookBub, the more exposure you’ll get to new readers on BookBub.
4. Recommend books on BookBub
Making a recommendation on BookBub boosts your visibility to the community of enthusiastic power readers visiting BookBub, giving you exposure to both current fans and potential new readers.
When you recommend a book, it will appear in your followers’ feeds on BookBub and in their weekly email roundup of recommendations from people they follow. This is a great way to stay top-of-mind with your existing fans. BookBub readers are eager to know which books their favorite authors suggest — 76% buy new books based on recommendations from authors they like, and they trust author recommendations as much as those from friends and family!
Your recommendations can also help you gain new followers. We want to encourage our readers to follow authors who are active on our platform, so we highlight notable recommendations by authors on our website, on our reader blog, and in weekly recommendation emails to our members. Also, authors who recommend are more likely to appear in our suggested author algorithms throughout BookBub’s platform. This exposure can introduce you to new readers, and if they enjoy your recommendations, they may follow you to learn more about both the books you’re reading and the books you write. You can now also easily share your recommendations on social media!
Author Kate Quinn started recommending books in June, and by August she appeared as the first author in her category’s “Top Recommenders” list. Kate doubled her followers during those two months, which means twice as many readers will now receive email updates about her books!
5. Invite your existing community to follow you
Promote your BookBub Author Profile through your web content and social media profiles. Here are some ideas:
- Publish a blog post announcing your presence on BookBub, and ask subscribers to follow you there.
- Share the link to your Author Profile every so often on Facebook and Twitter.
- Add a link to your LinkedIn profile leading to your BookBub Author Profile.
- Ask viewers of your YouTube and Facebook Live videos to follow you on BookBub.
- Include a link to your Author Profile in the bio of any guest content you contribute to blogs and online publications.
Whenever you’re promoting your BookBub Author Profile, let your audience know why they should follow you and what they would get out of it. Here’s a great example from Katherine Garbera:
You might also want to consider creating a custom graphic for these posts to catch readers’ eyes, like in this tweet from Katy Evans:
You can also consider timing your Author Profile promotion to coincide with a specific event, like a book release or discount, so there’s a more purposeful call-to-action than simply “follow me.” This is a great example (and a heartfelt message) from Jennifer S. Alderson:
Additionally, remember to stick to the 80/20 rule on social media to ensure you’re not being spammy:
- 80% of your posts should drive engagement. Publish interesting, fun, humorous, educational, or otherwise helpful content that your followers can enjoy.
- 20% of your posts can be self-promotional. This includes links to your books, your BookBub Author Profile, blog posts you’ve written, interviews you’re participated in, or retweets of others mentioning your books.
6. Run a contest to encourage BookBub follows
Many authors are already running contests to encourage fans to follow them on BookBub. Here are four great examples:
Rafflecopter in a blog post with email entry
Lauren Blakely ran giveaways to promote her BookBub presence via her newsletter, Facebook page, Facebook group, and Twitter. Within the first month she doubled her BookBub follower count from 2,500 to 5,000 — and now she has over 70,000 followers!
Lauren ran one of these giveaways via a Rafflecopter widget embedded in a blog post. She emailed subscribers letting them know they could win $100 by following her on BookBub, and linked to her blog post in her email. With the Rafflecopter widget, she collected an email address to confirm each entry, which meant she got both a new follower and a new newsletter subscriber!
Rafflecopter in a blog post with Twitter entry
Tawdra Kandle published a blog post titled “Follow Me on BookBub and Enter to Win!” By following Tawdra and confirming the follow via the Rafflecopter widget embedded in the post, readers were entered to win a $25 Amazon or iBooks gift card. Another way to enter the contest was to tweet a link to Tawdra’s Author Profile, further extending her reach.
Facebook flash giveaway
Joanne Rock posted a flash giveaway on her Facebook page. She included a photo of her BookBub Author Profile and the prize she was offering, and encouraged fans to comment to let her know they’d followed her on BookBub. She then cross-promoted this flash giveaway on her other social media channels. In total, over 80 people confirmed that they had followed her on BookBub!
K. Bromberg tweeted a giveaway to celebrate her new release, in which entrants needed to follow her on BookBub and reply to the tweet with a specific phrase. She included an eye-catching image, and this single tweet got over 100 interactions!
7. Run a joint giveaway with other authors
Some authors are choosing to run joint giveaways to cross-promote their profiles to each other’s audiences, which is a great way to widen their reach.
Ten science fiction and fantasy authors recently joined forces to run a Rafflecopter giveaway, offering a $50 gift card as the prize. Each follow was worth one entry, and each author promoted the giveaway on their blogs and via social media. You can see example blog posts from Andrew Q. Gordon here and J. Scott Coatsworth here. At the time this article was written, the contest had yielded more than 3,200 entries, and there were still nine days left in the promotion! Following every author unlocked a bonus entry that entrants could gain from tweeting about the contest.
This strategy generated many tweets, widening these authors’ exposure even more!
8. Show fan appreciation for readers’ BookBub recommendations
Being publicly grateful for your fans can make them even more excited to follow you! If fans are engaging with you and your books on BookBub, show them that you appreciate their support across the rest of your author platform. Cristin Harber turned one fan’s BookBub recommendation into an image quote, shared it on Instagram and Twitter, and linked to her book page on BookBub, where people could also follow her.
9. Run a BookBub Ads campaign to promote your profile
With BookBub Ads, authors can promote any book — or even their BookBub Author Profile — to BookBub’s millions of power readers. While this is a valuable audience of book buyers to begin with, BookBub Ads’ targeting options let you target fans of specific authors, so you can reach a narrow, relevant audience.
For example, you could target an ad promoting your Author Profile to an audience of readers who’ve expressed interest in similar authors. When you target an author on BookBub Ads, the audience will include any BookBub reader who has engaged with that author by following them on BookBub, clicking on a previous Featured Deal by that author, bookmarking their books, or otherwise expressing interest in the author. To target an author, simply enter the author’s name in the “Refine by Author” section of the Ads creator.
10. Add a link in your email signature
One easy way to spread the word about your Author Profile is via messages you’re already sending to your personal contacts. Add a link to your Author Profile in your email signature to spread the word in an unobtrusive manner. This will help those closest to you — friends, fans, family, and business contacts — learn about your profile and hopefully follow you there.
Rachel Shane added a link to her Author Profile in her email signature:
11. Add a link in your social media bios
On each social media platform, there is a space to add a bio in an “about” section. Consider adding a link to your BookBub Author Profile here!
Kate Willoughby added links to her mailing list and BookBub Author Profile in her Twitter bio, and then linked to her website homepage in the URL field.
12. Let new followers spread the word via ClickToTweet links
Add a ClickToTweet link to your Author Profile bio to make it easy for your biggest fans to share that they just followed you.
ClickToTweet is a free service that lets you add ready-made tweets to any online asset via a short URL. When a reader clicks the link, Twitter spins up a tweet using your copy, and the reader can customize the text before tweeting it out to the world. Click this link to see it work!
To create a new link, go to the ClickToTweet website. Simply paste in a tweet, uncheck the CAPTCHA box, and click Generate New Link.
Here’s a tweet template you can use:
I just followed one of my favorite authors [NAME or TWITTER HANDLE] on BookBub! Follow [HIM/HER/THEM] to get new release & discount alerts – http://bit.ly/[LINK]
Once you have a ClicktoTweet link, you can add this link to your BookBub Author Profile. Hopefully some of your new followers will be inclined to spread the word! Julianne MacLean added one of these ClicktoTweet links to her BookBub Author Profile.
And it has helped her gain some additional exposure on Twitter!
13. Reciprocate follows with comparable authors
In order to boost exposure on the BookBub platform, it can be helpful for authors to follow each other — especially if they share similar fan bases — so they’ll appear in the “Following” section of each others’ Author Profiles:
This will also help improve BookBub’s “who to follow” algorithms, which can have a meaningful long-term impact on follows from BookBub members!
14. Make the bio on your BookBub Author Profile enticing
Finally, make sure your author bio is enticing for anyone who clicks on any of these links. A well-crafted bio can help readers learn more about what makes you and your books so interesting. An intriguing bio can be the difference between a new follower and a click on the “back” button.
While there is no one-size-fits-all formula for writing an engaging author bio, you can find examples here of author bios we love so you can get some inspiration.
What other ideas do you have for getting more BookBub followers? Share yours in the comments below!
Want to share this post? Here are ready-made tweets:
Click to tweet: Authors, want to get more @BookBub followers? Here are some ideas! Which one will you try first? #pubtip http://bit.ly/24iWzbm
Click to tweet: How to get more @BookBub followers:
✅ Link to your Author Profile in your books’ back matter
✅ Add a follow button to your website
✅ Recommend books on BookBub
✅ Run a contest requiring a follow to enter
More ideas: http://bit.ly/24iWzbm
This post was originally published on August 23, 2017, and has been updated with new information and examples!