Oh, BookBub, why don’t you like me? What did I do wrong? (and how to market your FREE book elsewhere)

I’ve given you everything haven’t I? Don’t you want us to be exclusive? What did I do wrong? These are just a few of the questions going round in my head when I get this email. And trust me, I get this email a lot. In fact, I’m quite sure the people at BookBub have a special filter on their email, just to pick up my requests. They talk about me at staff parties, after work, in quiet bars, sipping their expensive wine… wine they haven’t bought with my money. Because they won’t take my money. Ever.

BookBub no

Every indie author screaming into the void about their book will know the importance of using BookBub to utilise those free KDP days to the max. Paying means your book is seen by their THOUSANDS of subscribers; all of whom wait with baited breath every day to add your free book to the hundreds of unread free books already in their Kindles.

Basically, as indie authors looking for ways to market our books, we want to be on that pile. So much so, that we will pay. Goddam it, if BookBub was a man I would wine him, iron his underpants, even cook him my best lasagne – with proper meat and not Safeway’s own-brand crap. I would do anything to feel the sweet embrace of his arms around me.

But no. BookBub is not a man. 

And me? I’m on the outside of a club I can’t get into. I’m the underage teen with no ID, watching her friends go party without her. I’m the small orphan child banging on the window in the snow, watching the happy family play with their toys in the firelight. I’m the jilted bride at the altar, the mistress ejected from the harem. Oh BookBub, why? WHY?

Well, I know why. It’s because my book only has 72 reviews on Amazon. And why is that? It’s because I’m not a big enough author yet… not enough people know or care about me. And why is that? Well, because BookBub keeps leaving me out in the cold. 

OK, it’s not all because of that. BookBub accepts only 20% of the books submitted to its sacred daily newsletter so chances are slim for us all quite frankly. But… I am in charge of my own book, MY OWN DESTINY. Right? I cannot be defeated. Like the orphan child peering in the window, I have to find the back door. I have to sneak into those charts another way.

Let’s exit this pity party and look at the alternatives. How else can I market and promote my free book when I run two free promo days later this month on KDP? 

Whereas BookBub have a super huge readership (1,010,000+ in the contemporary romance category), so too does…

  • BookSends.com – These guys, with 70,000 active readers, will probably take your money happily. To reach their 27,500 readers in the romance category costs $75. I checked out the Amazon rankings of every book in BookSends’ daily newsletter over the course of a week and all were in the Amazon charts. Some were number one in their categories. Not a bad result. Obviously, the authors blasted their book elsewhere, too. Putting it in one place only probably won’t work. Here’s where you can add yours, as well as BookSends.com…
  • Freebooksy.com – These guys boast that authors sell 4 times more books when they purchase a Freebooksy Feature ($100) and offer to put your book in front of 150,000+ readers. They’ll also post links to make your post go viral on social networks. Their sister site, BargainBooksy.com gives you the extra chance to “earn 140 Facebook fans or 65 Twitter followers per giveaway (for an extra $25). That’s a cost per Facebook fan of $0.18 and cost per Twitter follower of $0.38.” Worth it? You decide.
  • DigitalBookToday.com – This lot claim to list over 95% of submitted fiction books that meet their guidelines (18+ Amazon reviews & 4.0+ stars) for up to 4 days. Submission must be made 48 hours in advance of your free day.
  • Indies Unlimited – Thrifty Thursdays on this super site are for 99¢ e-books and free ebook promotions. They’re run every Thursday at 5 a.m. Indies Unlimited has two free self-service promo features and a hella-lotta readers. You can offer to write a guest post for extra exposure, too.
  • EbookBooster – I love this tool. There are several like this out there, which will blast the link across several sites, all designed to promote free books. This one sends your book to 50+ sites for $40. You could do it yourself of course, but if you’re lazy like me, this should cover it.

Are any of these methods of promotion as good as BookBub? They don’t promise to reach as many people, but think about this: readers who want free books are likely to find them, eventually. And if you as an author are willing to make the most of every other avenue; if you’ve been building relationships with readers, bloggers, friends and other authors… dammit, if you want to succeed as an author and a marketing pro, YOU WILL FIND A WAY.

Now… BookBub, if you do ever become a man, it’s your turn to take out the trash. You loveable swine, you. x


2 thoughts on “Oh, BookBub, why don’t you like me? What did I do wrong? (and how to market your FREE book elsewhere)

  1. I had no idea there were other options…

    If Bookbub was a man, he’d be the man some of us would give up on for a nice man that promises something out of the relationship 😉

    1. Exactly, J.C, he would never bring you flowers… never sing you love songs. Although, maybe one day he’d surprise you. 😉 (We live in hope!)

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