Amazon and Bookbub offer great marketing tools. And they’re free!
by Ruth Harris
Yeah, we know…
A BookBub feature will rocket your book skyward.
Stacked promos can help you tickle the algos and ride the tsunami.
A great launch strategy well executed can get your book a bestseller badge.
But all these options are pricey—especially a BookBub feature if you can even get one.
And they don’t all necessarily work or don’t work as well as you hoped.
What if your Book is a Dud?
What can you do if the book you’ve worked on had professionally edited, bought a great cover for, hired a pro blurb writer—is a wall flower? The lonely, overlooked guy or girl all primped and ready for the prom, but who just doesn’t get the love?
What if you keep submitting and your book just doesn’t click with BookBub?
What if you can’t afford a BookBub feature even if you could get one?
Or what if your book just isn’t a hot seller in a hot genre?
Do you give up?
Do you weep, wail, gnash your teeth and curse the fates?
Of course you do.
Or, after a bout of weepy, whiny self-indulgence, do you pull yourself together and search for other ways to get where you want to go?
Did You Know that Amazon Wants you to be Successful?
You’re kidding. Right?
No. Definitely not kidding. In fact, you’re wrong.
Of course Amazon wants your book to sell, because the more money you make, the more money they make.
But how do they do that? And how do you get in on the goodies?
Amazon provides every author with access to an exclusive book page whose content you control.
Yes, you probably have a website, but think of your Amazon author page as a website on steroids with two huge advantages.
The first advantage is that every one of your book pages on Amazon contains a clickable link that takes a reader directly to your Amazon author page. The more books, the more clickable links.
That clickable link takes a reader or a prospective buyer one click to find out more about you and all your books. One click ease leads directly to your author page where you can post photographs, videos, and blog posts, where they can view your complete catalog, come-hither covers, yummy blurbs, alluring bio, and reviews, the good, the bad and the not terrible but not-so-hot either.
The second significant advantage to your Amazon author page is that the author page has a big, clickable follow button when readers can sign up to received news about your new releases and pre-orders. Make the most of that follow button by using your email lists and social media to encourage your fans to follow you on Amazon.
The reason is that Amazon will send an announcement to everyone on your “follow” list whenever you have a new release.
Amazon with its powerful marketing muscle and tons of buyer data will send out an alert to each of your followers telling them you have a new book for sale for FREE.
So be sure to claim each new release on your Amazon Author Page and take the time to polish your author page to a high sparkle.
Here is Amazon’s own guide to what your Author Page can do for you.
Besides Amazon’s powerful Author Page and clear guidelines, they provide the responsive and helpful Author Central for any issues or glitches you might encounter along the way.
An email or call to Author Central can help:
- *Fix and update metadata
- *Clean up boo-boos
- *Untangle issues with the Series Manager
- *Remove scammy reviews because Amazon hates misuse of its review system as much as you do
- *Remove early, outdated editions of your ebooks (but not print editions)
This detailed, easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide by Dave Chesson will guide you through the process of setting up your Author Page in Author Central. There are pointers about how to make the most of your Author Page.
Tip: I have found that if your first attempt to resolve a glitch fizzles, giving Author Central a second chance can result in a different outcome—so don’t give up if the issue persists. Just try, try again.
BookBub is On Your Side, Too
BookBub, with 20 million followers, will also put its powerful marketing muscle to work for you and your books. At the BookBub subscriber sign up, readers indicate which genres they prefer and where they purchase their eBooks—at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Google.
Like Amazon, BookBub provides several tools for authors to get the word out about themselves and their books, and get their books in front of that large audience of readers. According to BookBub many of their subscribers are reading a couple of books every month. Some are reading a book a week, or even a book a day!
Bottom line: BookBub subscribers are avid readers and are always looking for new books.
FREE Bookbub Features
Along with its powerful, pricey, and hard-to-get Features, BookBub also provides authors with FREE ways to reach prospective readers whether or not you’re able to score a Feature.
Analogous to Amazon’s Author Page, BookBub offers an Author Profile Page with many of the same customizable features. Go to BookBub’s home page to find the Author Profile tab, and follow the instructions to set up your own Profile page. Any author — trad pubbed or self pubbed — can claim a BookBub Author Profile.
BookBub, like Amazon, will send out new book alerts to your followers and will help drive interest to your pre-orders.
BookBub’s own articles will step you through the process of setting up your author profile and offers tips about how to polish your bio with examples, and explanations of exactly what makes an author bio great. Plus a checklist to help keep you on track.
BookBub’s information-packed articles, like Amazon’s guidelines, offer specific help to step you through every part of the user process from setting up your account to the specifics of launching a new book.
BookBub’s savvy book marketing team also goes into the details of their New Releases For Less program, tips on pricing and discounting strategies, and tutorials on how to target readers via BookBub ads. You will find all this — and more!, as the pitchmen say — on the BookBub blog.
Dave Chesson lays out — in step-by-step detail — how to sign up for BookBub and how to use their book selling tools. https://kindlepreneur.com/
BookBub’s Support Team
If you run into trouble, BookBub’s support team is there to help with issues concerning adding books or data, the partner dashboard, pre-order alerts and more. Like Amazon’s Author Central, BookBub’s support team is efficient, responsive and always willing to help.
There’s an FAQ that will answer many questions, and, if you need more help, you will find their email form under the “Contact Us” tab.
Tip: I’ve found that to build your list of followers at BookBub, contribute brief but thoughtful reviews. It’s a slow build but, if you keep at it, over time you will add followers.
Amazon and BookBub: the strategic differences
Amazon knows who bought your book at full price and at a discoount.
BookBub, which focuses on discounted books, knows who bought your books at a discount.
Amazon knows who bought your books via Amazon.
BookBub knows who bought your books at Amazon, Kobo, Nook, iBooks, and Google Play.
Setting up your author page at Amazon and your author profile at BookBub will provide valuable platform-building FREE access to both sets of buyers.
All About Ads
Amazon and Bookbub also offer advertising possibilities.
Advertising gurus have spent time and money drilling down into the advertising specific nitty-gritty so you don’t have to. Courses from 101 beginner to Einstein-level, are available. A Google search will find what’s available so you can contrast and compare and make your decision.
For reliable ad savvy, here’s marketing ace, David Gaughram, with BookBub tips.
Nathan Bransford hosts David G for a discussion of marketing possibilities via Amazon and BookBub with a detour to FaceBook for those so inclined.
by Ruth Harris (@RuthHarrisBooks) July 25, 2021
What about you, scriveners? Have you taken advantage of Amazon and Bookbub? Are you aware of their helpful marketing tools? Do you update your Amazon author page regularly? For more on Bookbub’s free services for authors, see Anne’s post on Bookbub Reviews:
BOOK OF THE WEEK
The Big Six-Oh by Ruth Harris
“Loved it! One ex-cop who doesn’t want help solving a murder. One current wife whose help he needs to catch the killer. One couple meant for each other who fall in love all over again after decades of marriage. Funny, exciting and very romantic.” —Reader Review
Blake Weston, is a smart, savvy, no BS former fashion editor. Her handsome, sexy husband, Ralph Marino, is a très James Bond ex-cop and head of security for an international media company.
When Blake buys a faux Chanel bag from a sidewalk vendor, the danger starts—but doesn’t end—with a scary mugging in broad daylight. From there, it escalates to face-to-face encounters with a gun-toting jailbird, a lovelorn Afghan war lord, and a celeb chef in a red balconette bra.
Meanwhile, Ralph is about to hit the Big Six Oh! and he’s not happy about it. Not that Blake is exactly thrilled. Especially now that she suspects Ralph might be cheating on her. Again.
Right when Blake and Ralph are forced to work together by his über-neurotic boss to bring down a deadly global counterfeiting ring—and save Ralph’s job.
“Funny and charming and a delight to read! Really yummy. It is a rare author who can bring to the page such vivid and believable characters with so much sly wit and style.” —Reader Review
“Perfect for those of us not looking for bubble gum chick lit. The relationship between savvy Blake Weston and her ex-cop husband Ralph Marino is realistic and down to earth. And yet the extraordinary circumstances they find themselves in kept me flipping the pages well past my allotted reading time. If you’re looking for a wonderfully fast-paced read that will take your mind off whatever you’re stressing about, Harris’s The Big Six-Oh! will fit the bill.” —Reader Review
Find the Big Six-Oh at these retailers