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 you can send a second alert to drive more visibility. At only $0.02 per eligible follower, this tool is 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.
- Learn how and when to schedule two Preorder Alerts for a new release
- Get inspiration from more authors’ preorder marketing strategies
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 New Releases For Less feature. This editorially-curated weekly email features newly-released ebooks in readers’ favorite genres at prices that will entice them to purchase — usually around $6 or less. By highlighting the great prices of these releases directly in the email, we give our members a compelling reason to try a new book from an author they may not have heard of before.
New Releases For Less are targeted by book category, allowing selected books to reach millions of US BookBub subscribers. This tool provides an excellent way for authors and publishers with competitively-priced releases to achieve significant scale for their launch campaigns in the critical weeks after an ebook release.
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, so posting Recommendations on BookBub.com is a great way for books to get discovered. When an author recommends a book, it will appear in their followers’ feeds on BookBub.com, making it an easy way to drive more visibility for any title (including a new release!).
We’ll also email an author’s followers every time a book they’ve recommended has a live Featured Deal or Short List feature. If you have a live or upcoming feature on another title you’ve discounted to support your new release (see tip #4), consider asking other authors to post a Recommendation of that discounted book. This can increase the visibility — and the impact — of your discount! If a fellow author recommends one of your books, consider paying it forward by posting a recommendation of your own for a new release you love.
- Learn 7 surprising perks of recommending books on BookBub
- See 21 ways authors recommend books to their readers
Want to share this post? Here are ready-made tweets:
Click to tweet: Check out these #pubtips for promoting a book launch (and getting ROI-positive results) using @BookBub’s marketing tools! http://bit.ly/bbnewbook
Click to tweet: Authors! Are you looking for ways to promote a book launch (that are proven to drive actual sales)? Check out this helpful guide! http://bit.ly/bbnewbook
This post was originally published on April 11, 2018 and has been updated with the latest best practices!