Targeting BookBub Ads by author interest is one of the best ways to reach a highly engaged audience. While other ad platforms have a limited number of authors available to target, BookBub Ads lets you reach the fans of any author with a following on BookBub.
But with thousands of potential authors to target, it can be hard to know where to start. In this post, we’ll share some of our top tips for improving your author targeting!
First, why use author targeting?
When you target your ad by author interest, you’re reaching readers who are fans of those particular authors. This means those readers have indicated their interest in that particular author by taking an action such as following them on BookBub, engaging with their deals, or wishlisting their books. Choosing the right author targets is key to getting your ad in front of a relevant, engaged audience of readers.
1. Know your audience before you start advertising
The most effective BookBub Ads campaigns reach the right readers with the right message at the right time. However, the exact who, what, and when of that statement varies from author to author. Before you set up your first ad campaign, do your research on the audience you want to reach and how best to engage them!
2. Avoid popular authors
Choosing the most popular authors in a genre can yield similar results to targeting by category alone — in both instances, the audiences are too big and too broad to deliver high engagement rates. In the past, we’ve seen that ads targeting individual authors with 25k or fewer targetable readers had nearly 2x higher average CTRs than ads targeting authors with larger audiences.
3. Look at your also-boughts
Many successful advertisers pay attention to their book’s “also bought” pages on retailers, as well as the “also bought” pages of the authors they’ve identified as potential targets. This can help surface ideas for author targets you may not have thought of.
4. Keep an eye on Featured Deals
Keeping an eye on the books we’re currently featuring is a fantastic source of targeting inspiration! One of the many ways a reader can indicate that they’re a fan of a particular author is by engaging with their BookBub Featured Deal. Targeting an author who writes in a similar niche to you soon after they run a Featured Deal can be a good way to reach readers who are actively looking for content like yours.
5. Check Related Authors on BookBub
The author targeting module of the ad creation form will surface Related Authors for you to consider. After you select at least one author target for a campaign, we’ll generate a list of other authors who share readers with the author(s) you’ve already selected. This can be a great way to find new authors with similar audiences to target!
6. Survey your readers
Your readers can be a great source of inspiration for author targeting ideas! Ask them for their recent favorite reads through your social media or newsletter to get a sense of which authors they’ve been enjoying and whose books remind them of your own.
7. Evaluate your targets
To make sure you’re choosing an effective target, keep these questions in mind:
- Does this author have a similar distribution strategy to me? For example, if you’re running ads for an ebook in Kindle Unlimited (KU), you may have better luck reaching KU subscribers by using other KU authors as targets rather than authors who distribute to all retailers.
- Does this author have an audience in the region I’m trying to advertise to? If you’re targeting your book to a UK audience, you may have better luck targeting authors who also perform well in the UK. To identify authors like this, try perusing your retailer “also boughts” on the international version of your retailer sites.
- Does this author write similar types of books? Are they writing in the same genre or subgenre? Do they use similar tropes and themes in their work? Do your cover designs align?
Then, test your author targets by creating multiple low-budget campaigns to run simultaneously, just like author R.J. Blain did! Her rigorous testing of different targets led to over 1.2 million ad impressions, over 10,000 clicks, and an estimated 2,400 sales during the 10 days she promoted a discounted book.
After you run your test campaigns, evaluate your results to decide which targets worked best! Ultimately, the goals you are trying to achieve will determine how to measure the success of your author target tests.
8. Decide whether you also need category targeting
Using both author and category targeting limits your audience to fans of those authors who are also subscribed to one of the categories you’ve selected. This is a great option to ensure you’re reaching only the most relevant readers if you or some of the authors you’re targeting write in multiple genres.
9. Save the top performers
Once you’ve identified your top-performing author targets, be sure to keep track of them! BookBub Ads now allows you to save groups of targets to quickly add or remove multiple author targets at once.
10. Refresh and reevaluate over time
Over time, you might see changes in your BookBub Ads results. Once a particular author’s audience has seen your ad a few times, you may need to refresh the image to re-engage those readers or catch the attention of new readers in that audience. Or it might be time to try out some new targets and run more A/B tests.
11. Don’t forget your own fans!
84% of BookBub readers purchase new books because they’re written by an author they already love, so remember to target yourself when setting up a BookBub Ads campaign. This can be a particularly powerful strategy after a Featured Deal or New Releases for Less promotion, since you’ll be able to retarget everyone who clicked on those books.
Want to share this post? Here are ready-made tweets:
Click to tweet: How to improve your author targeting for #BookBubAds:
🎯 Know your audience before you start advertising
🎯 Avoid popular authors
🎯 Look at your also-boughts
🎯 Keep an eye on Featured Deals
🎯 Check Related Authors on BookBub
More tips: https://bit.ly/3zwt9dO #pubtip
Click to tweet: BookBub sees more than 2x increases in engagement from ad campaigns that use author targeting vs. category targeting alone 🚀 Use these helpful tips to find authors to target: https://bit.ly/3zwt9dO #BookBubAds