Are you gearing up for a book launch? It might seem like there’s an endless number of book marketing ideas you could incorporate into your promotional plan. But if you’re looking for proven ways to drive sales, BookBub offers a full suite of marketing tools that can help.
Whether you’re looking to boost preorder sales, have a successful launch week, or maintain the momentum after launch, we’ve got you covered — and we’ve helped thousands of authors and publishers successfully drive revenue and exposure for their new books.
How you incorporate any combination of these tools into a successful launch strategy will depend on your unique marketing goals, your audience, and the title you’re publishing. But we hope this serves as a handy guide you can refer to each time you’re building a marketing plan for a book launch.
Driving preorder sales can help build buzz and momentum for a new book, and could even help a book hit bestseller lists its first week on sale, as many retailers count all preorders as launch day sales. BookBub’s Preorder Alerts can help authors and publishers drive a higher volume of preorder sales. These are dedicated emails announcing that an author has a book available for preorder, with retailer links to purchase. They’re only sent to the author’s own BookBub followers in the US, so they’re highly targeted emails. And at only $0.02 per eligible follower, they’re a cost-effective way to promote a preorder.
How Preorder Alerts have helped authors sell new books:
- Author Carrie Ann Ryan sent a Preorder Alert for Inked Expressions to her 12K followers, generating an estimated 350 book sales. This $225 promotion helped drive at least $1,200 in revenue!
- Kathryn Le Veque ran a Preorder Alert for Warwolfe and hit the USA Today bestseller list during launch week. Read more.
- Cheryl Bradshaw ran a Preorder Alert for Gone Daddy Gone to generate early reviews and quickly build its platform. She then secured a BookBub Featured Deal only two months after launch and hit the USA Today bestseller list that week. Read more.
Once a book launches, remind your (or your author’s) fans that it’s now available for sale with New Release Alerts, a free feature available to all authors (and their publishers). These dedicated emails are sent to all of an author’s US BookBub followers, letting them know a new book is available from that author. Each email contains retailer links for readers to purchase, so it’s a great way to boost sales upon a book’s launch!
For each new title, our team ensures it meets our requirements, and if it does, we schedule the alert within the first two weeks the book is available for sale. And remember: The more followers an author has on BookBub, the more readers will get their alerts, and the more books they’ll sell.
To expand the visibility of a new release beyond an author’s followers, submit it for a Featured New Release. Our weekly Featured New Releases emails are curated lists of new books hand-selected by our editorial team and targeted by category, allowing you to reach an entire category of US BookBub subscribers. This means Featured New Releases can give a book exposure to millions of active book-buyers. Note that Featured New Releases don’t need to be discounted, and we don’t list book prices in the email. This means that the sales volume isn’t as high as Featured Deals, but we’re driving hundreds of full-priced new release sales each week in our top categories.
How Featured New Releases have helped authors sell new books:
- Erica Ridley submits every upcoming release for a Featured New Release. “My goal is both exposure and revenue, and my Featured New Releases have yielded a great ROI for both. For me, the promotion tends to ‘earn out’ within 1-2 days, meaning it takes less than 48 hours to recuperate the cost of the ad.” Read more.
- Brenda Novak ran a Featured New Release for Face Off to the Thrillers category. This promotion generated 2.3K clicks, and over 400 BookBub readers added Face Off to their wish list. And this book hit the USA Today bestseller list for its launch week! Read more.
Many authors and publishers successfully drive new release sales by coordinating a discount of a relevant backlist title and promoting it with a BookBub Featured Deal. This can help attract a high volume of new readers, many of whom will go on to purchase the new, full-priced book. After all, 95% of BookBub readers discover new authors via ebook discounts, and 77% of BookBub’s subscribers buy full-priced books in addition to discounted titles! This strategy has been extremely effective — 89% of BookBub partners who used a price promotion to market a new release sold more of their new book after the promotion of an older book.
How Featured Deals have helped authors sell new books:
- Glynnis Campbell saw 20x higher launch-week sales of her new release (book 3 in a series) than other books in the series, and increased overall book sales for this series 100x. Read more.
- Jules Barnard had a clever pricing strategy — she made her new release $0.99 for release week, and ran a Featured Deal for another book she made temporarily free. Using this strategy, her new book hit the USA Today bestseller list. Read more.
Read step-by-step instructions here. You’ll learn how to:
- Choose which backlist book to discount
- Choose a price point for your discount based on your goals
- Update the discounted book’s back matter to link to the new release
- Coordinate promotional elements for your discount, including the BookBub Featured Deal and other promo-stacking campaigns
- Discount the title across all available retailers
Stacking ads for a new book can help boost revenue and exposure during launch week and maintain momentum following a book’s release. Many authors and publishers use BookBub Ads as part of their new release marketing strategy. These ads appear in dedicated spaces at the bottom of BookBub’s daily emails and on BookBub’s website, and you can run BookBub Ads for any book without going through an editorial selection process. They offer ideal targeting options for advertisers — author interest, category interest, retailer preference, and region — to reach the most relevant power readers for your book.
How BookBub Ads have helped authors sell new books:
- Jeana E. Mann ran a series of ad campaigns after the launch of The Rebel Queen. She sold over 10K copies of the books in the series while her BookBub Ads were running, and had a positive return on investment. Read more.
- In the lead-up to the next release in her Royals series, Nana Malone ran ads for a $0.99 sale on the first book in the series to drive sell-through to the new book. Hundreds of new readers discovered the series through these ads. Read more.
- Read a step-by-step tutorial for running BookBub Ads (with a video!)
- Discover 9 ways to target readers using BookBub Ads
- Make sure you’re not making these common BookBub Ads mistakes
77% of BookBub’s readers buy books based on recommendations from authors they like. This free tool not only lets authors stay top-of-mind with their fans and engage with BookBub’s community, but it also lets authors help each other get their new books discovered.
Consider asking an author who loved your new book to post a recommendation on BookBub.com, which might encourage their fans to give it a whirl. If a fellow author recommends one of your books, consider paying it forward by posting a recommendation of your own for a book you love!
How recommendations have helped authors sell new books:
- Kristin Hannah recommended Lisa Gardner’s new book Look for Me, helping Kristin gain exposure to Lisa’s own audience of eager readers. This one recommendation reached 200K followers, got 1K likes, and netted Lisa an additional 70 preorders.
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This post was originally published on April 11, 2018 and has been updated with the latest best practices!