BookBub has been called the latest and greatest thing in eBook advertising. The only problem is, they won’t accept my book. Maybe they won’t accept yours either. Here’s what I’ve learned in my first two attempts.
I initially read about BookBub in an article by Lindsay Buroker. For those of you that don’t know her, she’s a steampunk fantasy author who has been able to make writing her job. By most measures that’s a success in the world of indie ebook publishing. She writes about how BookBub does wonders for sale and recognition, but she also designates the service as a temporary wonder–much like I’ve read that KDP select used to be (I missed the boat on that so called “gold mine”). The reason it won’t last, she states, is because authors will catch on, too many will use it, and what has happened with Kindle Nation Daily will begin to happen to it: there will be a flood of content, sometimes at the expense of quality, because BookBub will want to clean up with massive profit. Fortunately, and unfortunately for me, that doesn’t seem to be the case just yet. Here’s the second refusal e-mail I received from BookBub in response to my request for them to promote the first book in my epic fantasy series Darkin to their 400,000 genuinely-interested-in-my-genre readers:
Thank you for placing an order with BookBub!
Unfortunately, we aren’t able to approve your listing at this time. In order to preserve a consistent experience for our subscribers, BookBub employs an editorial team to review all listing submissions and approve those they feel are the best fit for the daily deal email. They said that while your book may very well be fantastic, they just couldn’t find enough verifiable “critical acclaim” from the sources they check to be sure, and since they can’t read every book that is sent to us, they weren’t able to move forward with this listing.
I’m sorry about this, and I wish you luck with your promotion!
So there are some sources that they look to for verifiable critical acclaim. I assume that means the accumulation of Amazon reviews doesn’t really cut it. I am working quite hard to develop a following of readers, but it is by no means a quick or easy process. I’ve employed various methods of advertising, such as Kindle Nation Daily and Kindle Fire Department, YouTube, and Goodreads. Beyond those areas, I’ve been working on the social media front (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.), looking to find my audience. And it is slowly developing. I just hope BookBub maintains their high standards long enough for me to achieve the critical acclaim they desire, so that I may reap the reward of their service. I am always looking for novel ways to promote my book. Here is BookBub’s listed criteria for accepting a book:
BookBub Listing Guidelines
BookBub is an “advertorial” newsletter, which means that although it consists of paid advertisements, only those that our editorial team feels are the best deals for our subscribers are accepted and published.
The approval process can be a bit subjective, but our editorial team generally accepts digital book deals that best meet the following criteria:
Free or Deep Discounts:
BookBub promotes books that are free or at least 50% off their usual digital price. It’s rare for us to feature books with a deal price of more than $3.99, and the greater the discount, the more likely we are to accept a listing.
Top Quality Content:
BookBub promotes books or authors that have received critical acclaim, whether it be from respected reviewers, prestigious awards, or at the very least, a significant number of high-scoring reader reviews. The more renowned the book or author, the more likely we are to accept a listing.
Limited Time Offers:
BookBub promotes books that are discounted for a limited time, usually not much longer than a week. We generally do not accept listings for deals that are always available, nor do we typically accept a listing if a better deal was recently offered.
BookBub promotes books that have a high-quality cover design, are well formatted, and don’t elicit complaints from readers about technical issues, including excessive typos and grammatical errors.
BookBub promotes books that are full-length works, so we do not typically accept listings for works under 150 pages or roughly 50,000 words.
BookBub promotes books that fit into our member interest categories. Unfortunately, we don’t accept listings outside these selections, although we are continually adding new categories so we can feature a wider breadth of deals in the future.
In order to maintain a diverse member experience, BookBub will not feature the same book more than once a quarter. Nor will we feature the same author more than once a month. Books by different authors that fall into the same series may also be rejected if our editorial team believes they feel too similar.
And here’s their current pricing.
I would love to know if any of you have also had success or rejections by BookBub, and if you have succeeded, what were your sources of critical acclaim?