BookBub Ads is a way for advertisers — authors, publishers, agents, and other publishing professionals — to reach millions of power readers via dedicated ad space in BookBub’s daily emails.
You can run a BookBub Ads campaign for any book at any time. When you create a campaign, you decide which readers you want to target, how much you’re willing to pay for impressions or clicks from those readers, how much you want to spend overall, and the length of your campaign. Once your ad is live, it competes with other ad campaigns in an auction. When a reader opens an email from BookBub or a page on bookbub.com, we serve the ad of the highest bidding advertiser targeting that reader at that moment.
This tutorial will walk you through all of the steps to set up a BookBub Ads campaign.
Step 1: Log in to your dashboard
Your partner dashboard is the place where you manage all of your BookBub promotions. You can find your dashboard at partners.bookbub.com.
Step 2: Create a new ad
Click the BookBub Ads tab in the side navigation, and then click the Create New Ad button.
At the top of the ad creation form, search for and choose the book you’ll be promoting. This step is optional, but it provides a couple benefits. First, it will pull in any data we have on file to help you fill out the form faster, and second, it will allow you to filter your ad campaigns by book title in your Ads dashboard.
Step 3: Design your ad creative
Next, you can choose whether to upload your own custom ad creative (a 300×250-pixel PNG, JPG, or JPEG image) or create an image with our in-form creative builder. This image is all that readers will see, so any text you want to include needs to be part of your ad creative.
If you want to use custom creative, you can work with a designer or use a free graphic design tool like Canva or Book Brush to create ad images yourself. If you upload a very large image, the size will be reduced, which can negatively affect the quality of the image, so please aim to upload at the 300×250 size.
If you’re using our creative builder, simply upload your book cover and type in your text. If you selected a book in the step above, we’ll automatically add your cover image. If you would like to use a different cover image — or if you didn’t select a book above — simply click Select file to upload a new image. When uploading a book cover, use a cover image that is 115 pixels wide to ensure the best possible image quality.
Step 4: Set the click-through link(s)
The click-through links determine where readers will be directed when they click on your ad. BookBub uses data on our readers’ preferred regions and retailers to automatically target them with the correct links. Because you can tailor your ad to only reach readers on a particular retailer or region — for example, Apple Books users in Australia — BookBub Ads a fantastic tool for region- or retailer-specific promotions.
If you selected a book for your ad in Step 2, BookBub will automatically pull in retailer links we have on file for that book. You can edit or add additional retailer links if necessary.
If you did not enter a book in Step 2, you will need to enter URLs. If you enter the URL for a region-specific product page on a specific retailer site, your ad will automatically target readers in that region who prefer that retailer. If you need help finding the retailer URLs for your book in different regions, click here.
If you enter a non-retailer-specific URL, you’ll need to set your own region and retailer targeting. For example, if you want to target Amazon Kindle readers in all available regions, you would need to select Amazon for each region.
Step 5: Set your audience targeting
You can choose to target your ad based on any combination of author interest and book categories.
Use author targeting to reach readers who have expressed interest in specific authors. You can select as many or as few authors as you’d like. If you include multiple authors in your targeting, any reader who is a fan of one of those authors is eligible to see your ad. Keep an eye on the audience dial on the right, which will update to indicate your estimated maximum daily reach based on your targeting. For tips on how to choose which authors to target, check out these suggestions from successful advertisers.
Use category targeting to reach all readers interested in particular book categories and genres.
Combining author and category targeting will limit your audience to readers who have expressed interest in both one of your selected authors and one of your selected categories. This is a particularly good strategy if you are targeting the fans of authors who write in multiple genres.
Step 6: Set a schedule and budget
Your schedule and budget determine when your ad will run and how much you are willing to spend on it.
- Set your schedule: You can either run your ad continuously or over a fixed period of time. If you run your ad continuously, it will serve until you manually turn it off. If you specify a fixed period of time, you can customize the pacing of your campaign.
- Set your pacing (fixed dates only): Spreading your budget across the entire length of your campaign will pace your spend evenly across your date range. This may also limit the number of impressions you’ll serve (the number of readers who see your ad) each day. Fulfilling your budget as quickly as possible means you’ll win all the impressions for which you’re the highest bidder, but your entire budget may be spent before your campaign’s end date.
- Set a budget: If you are running a campaign with fixed start and end dates, enter the amount you are willing to spend on your campaign in total. If you’re running a continuous campaign, enter the amount you are willing to spend per day. Remember that you can spend up to that amount every day until you pause your continuous campaign. The minimum total and daily budget for a BookBub Ads campaign is $1.
Step 7: Set your bid
Next, determine which bidding strategy you’d like to use: cost-per-click (CPC) or cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM). With both bidding options, you’re bidding against other advertisers on the platform who are trying to reach the same readers that you’ve targeted with your ad. The bid determines how competitive your ad is in the auction and the rate it will cost you to reach readers in your target audience.
- CPC bidding: Choose how much you’re willing to pay for each click you receive on your ad. CPC bidding is a lower-risk strategy for advertisers than CPM bidding. Instead of paying for impressions that might turn into clicks, you only pay for actual clicks. For that reason, CPC can be preferable to advertisers seeking a positive return on investment. The downside is that if your CPC ad has a low click-through rate, it will be less competitive in the auction and might not serve.
- CPM bidding: Choose how much you’re willing to pay per 1,000 impressions, where one impression is one opened email. You will win impressions for the audience you’re targeting if you are the highest bidder for that audience, and your ad’s click-through rate won’t affect the number of impressions you win. For that reason, CPM bidding can be preferable to advertisers looking to guarantee their reach or increase a book’s exposure to a specific audience (e.g. as part of a branding exercise).
How much you bid per click or per thousand impressions is entirely up to you. The higher you bid, the more clicks (CPC) or impressions (CPM) you are likely to win. To provide you with some guidance, when you set your bid, we will show you an average range of what other advertisers are bidding at that time:
Step 8: Name your ad
Lastly, give your ad a name! The ad name is only visible to you in your dashboard. It should help you distinguish between similar campaigns (e.g. if you’re running two ads targeting the same audience but with different ad creatives) and allow you to easily search for specific campaigns in your dashboard. An example naming convention could be: [Book Title] – [Retailer] – [Date].
Once you’re finished, you can save the ad as a draft to edit later or click Continue to enter your payment information and launch or schedule your ad. BookBub Ads update in near real time, so you can start an ad at any time. If you have any questions about BookBub Ads payment or billing, please refer to these FAQs.
Step 9: Monitor and edit your campaign
Return to the Manage Ads section of your dashboard to access ad reporting. You can search for ad names or filter by campaign status to view live, completed, or scheduled campaigns.
- Impressions served indicates the number of times a reader viewed your ad.
- The click-through rate (CTR) is the percentage of impressions that turned into clicks. It tells you the extent to which your target audience is engaging with your ad.
- The Effective CPM and Effective CPC calculate the rate you’re paying for each 1,000 impressions (eCPM) or for each click (eCPC) on your ad. These metrics can help you determine whether you ad is cost effective.
- Budget Spent lets you know how much you’ve spent in total on your campaign. Remaining Budget indicates how much more you could spend on this particular campaign based on the max budget you set in step 6. You can view the total amount you’ve spent on the BookBub Ads platform across all campaigns on the Aggregate Stats tab of your dashboard.
Your impression and click counts will update hourly. You can edit your campaigns whenever you’d like and create new ads at any time. Click on a campaign name or select “View Details” from the action dropdown to view the Ad Details, including a daily stats view to see how your results change over time.
Do you have any questions about running BookBub Ads? Let us know in the comments below or contact our team for help!
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This article was originally published on May 31st, 2016 and has been updated with the latest information.