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 with ROI-positive results, 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 Preorder Alerts 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, so they’re highly targeted emails. And at only $0.02 per eligible follower, they’re a cost-effective way to promote a preorder. Author Carrie Ann Ryan sent a Preorder Alert for Inked Expressions to her 12K followers, generating an estimated 350 book sales. This $225 campaign helped drive at least $1,200 in revenue!
Preorder Alerts have also helped authors hit bestseller lists! Kathryn Le Veque ran a Preorder Alert for Warwolf and hit the USA Today bestseller list during launch week. And Cheryl Bradshaw ran a Preorder Alert for Gone Daddy Gone in order to generate early reviews and quickly build its platform. She was then able to secure a BookBub Featured Deal only two months after launch, and hit the USA Today bestseller list following this promotion.
Once a book launches, remind your (or your author’s) fans that it’s now available for sale! BookBub has a free feature available to all authors (and their publishers) called New Release Alerts. 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, and it’s totally free! Remember: The more followers an author has on BookBub, the more readers will get their alerts, and the more books they’ll sell.
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.
To expand the visibility of a new release beyond an author’s followers, submit it for a Featured New Release. Our Featured New Release emails are curated lists of new releases hand-selected by our editorial team and targeted by category. These emails are sent on a weekly basis and allow you to reach an entire category of US BookBub subscribers with your new book. This means Featured New Releases can give a book exposure to millions of active book-buyers, generating sales and driving books up retailer bestseller lists.
There are no pricing requirements for Featured New Releases, so you can submit full-price or discounted books to our editorial team for consideration. You can find additional submission guidelines here.
Many authors and publishers successfully drive new release sales by coordinating a discount of a relevant backlist title. Promoting that discount with a BookBub Featured Deal 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 bargain 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 for our partners — 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. Using this strategy, 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.
Sometimes a new release will even hit a bestseller list using this tactic! 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 step-by-step instructions here: How to Use Price Promotions to Market a New Book Release. In this post, 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. That’s where BookBub Ads can help! Unlike Featured Deals, you can run BookBub Ads for any book — including new releases and full-priced books — without going through an editorial selection process. These ads appear in the space at the bottom of BookBub’s daily emails and offer ideal targeting options for book marketers. Target by comparable authors in your genre, category interest, retailer preference, and region to reach the most relevant power readers for your title.
Many authors and publishers use BookBub Ads as part of their new release marketing strategy. In fact, Lauren Blakely hit the NYT, USAT, and WSJ bestseller lists after using BookBub Ads for her launch campaign. She targeted both her own fans and comparable authors’ fans. Here were a few of the designs she used:
If you’re looking to maximize exposure for your new book and ROI is less of a focus, we’d recommend using CPM (cost-per-thousand impressions) bidding. Choose a bid that’s at the high end or slightly above the suggested bid range to ensure you win as many impressions as possible.
If you’re looking to drive a positive ROI, we’d recommend using CPC (cost-per-click) bidding to ensure you’re only paying for actual clicks. Try using author targeting so your ad is shown to the most relevant readers who are most likely to click.
Regardless of your primary goal, we recommend testing your ads with small-budget campaigns first, so you can find the targeting and creative that most effectively achieves that goal. Once you find what works, you can increase the budgets on the variations that perform best. Learn more about how to A/B test BookBub Ads campaigns here.
Close to 50% of BookBub’s members say that getting recommendations from people they trust is one of the primary ways they find new books to buy. And readers love getting book recommendations from authors they love! With BookBub Recommendations, authors can suggest books to their US BookBub followers, who will see the post in their Recommendations feed on BookBub.com or via a weekly digest email.
This free tool not only lets authors stay top-of-mind with their fans and engage with BookBub’s community, but it also allows authors to help each other get 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!
For example, Tess Gerritsen recently recommended Lisa Gardner’s Look For Me, and Lisa paid it forward by recommending Kristin Hannah’s The Great Alone. Readers loved these recommendations, and each one got hundreds of likes.
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