When I found out my third book, a new adult romance called What the Heart Wants, had been chosen for an international BookBub Featured Deal, I was ecstatic. I knew almost as soon as I had published the novel in October 2020 that I wanted to try for a BookBub feature. I felt like it was my best written story to date, and if approved, it would perform well.
I had two reasons for wanting the feature. First and foremost, the unprecedented exposure that comes with a BookBub feature. I wanted to get my book into the hands of as many new readers as possible to build my readership and following. Secondly, I had high hopes of it becoming a bestseller. Every author hopes their books will do well and I’m no exception. I knew that a BookBub feature was my best shot at hitting a list.
But when I received the email stating my book had been approved for a feature, I knew my work was cut out for me to make the most of the opportunity. I contacted all my author friends, especially those who’ve been lucky enough to score a BookBub feature, asking for advice. I also scoured BookBub’s blog to find tips and tricks for promoting my book during the feature. I spent hours and hours getting my ducks in a row, and it was worth the effort — the results were fantastic. Here is exactly what I did to promote my international Featured Deal:
1. Ran a BookBub Ads campaign
What better way is there to promote a BookBub Featured Deal than to run a BookBub Ads campaign? It seemed like a no-brainer to me. I targeted authors in my genre who write similar stories and tropes. My book was discounted for seven days worldwide, so I ran the campaign for the duration and did not target my ads to specific regions, since I wanted as much exposure as possible. I am no expert when it comes to designing ads, but Book Brush makes the process seamless, and I was pleased with the end result. If you haven’t checked them out, I highly recommend it! They have been a valuable resource for me. This is the ad I created:
2. Sent a newsletter to my mailing list
I believe sending newsletters is a prerequisite for authors. I’m always shocked when another author tells me they don’t send out newsletters. I started building my subscriber list and sending newsletters as soon as my first book was published in 2015. It’s the best tool for building relationships with your readers and promoting your books. Whenever I am running a sale on one of my books, I promote it in my newsletter. My list grows daily, and not all of my subscribers have read all of my books. When they open my newsletter and see a book of mine that they haven’t yet read, it inspires them to make a purchase. The day my international BookBub feature went live I gave myself the #1 featured placement in my newsletter and received over a thousand unique clicks on my link.
3. Stacked other email promotions
I’ll be honest… I’m not a fan of paid promotion websites and newsletters. Most have proven to be a huge waste of time and money for me. But there are a few worth trying out. I write romance so all of these may not apply to everyone.
I originally wanted the following: The Fussy Librarian, ereader News Today, Robin Reads, Red Roses Romance, and Red Feather Romance. Out of all the paid newsletters I’ve tried in the past, I’ve done best with them. But of those, only Red Feather Romance had availability during my needed dates. I ended up going with them, Pretty-Hot, eBookSoda, and Book Cave. Book Cave had the best international reach for my promotion, but I had by far more sales with Red Feather Romance — I was, as I usually am, extremely pleased with their results.
4. Spread the word on social media
Another important strategy for authors is being active and visible on social media. I post regularly to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. It can be a juggling act at times, but so worth the effort. Not only do I reach potential readers this way, but I’ve made great friends with other authors and built a wonderful writer community. Those relationships are invaluable, and you will see why in the next section.
Here was my strategy: I posted daily to my social media throughout the promotion. I created different organic posts and ad creatives for each of my preferred social media sites. I also posted 5-star reviews for the book to garner interest. Here is an example of an ad I ran on both Facebook and Instagram — another ad I created using Book Brush:
5. Asked my author friends to spread the word on their social media
This is where having friends in the author community is vital. We must stop viewing one another as competition! I have many author friends in my genre, and we all support each other anytime there is a need. When I have a new release, they are my go-to for promotion and I do the same for them. When I reached out, every single one was happy to share my posts with their social media followers and promote my book in their newsletters during my promotion. We don’t have to go it alone! If you haven’t already, I suggest you get out there and find your people today. You can thank me later.
While it was a lot of work to promote my international BookBub Featured Deal, it was so worth it in the end. My results were fantastic! What the Heart Wants reached #9 in Canada, #15 in Australia, and #88 in the UK in the new adult romance genre on Amazon. It reached #99 in the entire Kindle Store in Canada!
What the Heart Wants stayed in good ranking for days after the feature. Sales of my other books picked up as well in the following days and weeks. To say I was pleased with the results is an understatement.
In closing, if you are considering applying for an international BookBub Featured Deal, I encourage you to do so. It is by far the best option for boosting your sales, reaching new readers, building your following, and maybe even hitting a bestseller list in these international regions! What could be better?
Want to share this post? Here are ready-made tweets:
Click to tweet: Authors, if you get selected for an international-only BookBub Featured Deal, here are some great ideas for how you can supplement your promotion. https://bit.ly/2Uxw18r
Click to tweet: Love these ideas on how you can supplement an international-only BookBub Featured Deal:
🎯 Run BookBub Ads campaign
✉️ Send a newsletter
💰 Stack email promos
📱 Spread the word on social media (organic & paid)
🥰 Ask author friends to help with promo