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My BookBub Featured New Release Results
I don’t do big, fancy, heavily-coordinated launches, but as part of the launch of my latest book, Mind Management, Not Time Management, I at least ran a BookBub Featured New Release. Would I do it again?
What is a BookBub Featured New Release?
A BookBub Featured New Release is different from a BookBub Featured Deal. A BookBub Featured Deal requires a steep discount on your book. A BookBub Featured New Release, on the other hand gives you an opportunity to promote your new book at full price.
From BookBub’s requirements, to qualify for a Featured New Release, your book has to be:
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- New: Once your book is released, you’re no longer eligible to submit. You can start submitting 6 months before your release date.
- Full length: For fiction, that’s at least 150 pages, 100 for nonfiction, 70 for cookbooks. Middle-grade books need to be at least 100 pages, and children’s picture books at least 20.
- New (no, really): It has to be all new content. Even if it’s a box set, all that content has to be new.
BookBub Featured New Releases are curated
Even if your book meets all these requirements, you aren’t guaranteed a feature. Like the Featured Deal, the Featured New Release is curated by BookBub editors. But at the time of this writing, the Featured New Release isn’t nearly as competitive as a Featured Deal. (My book was rejected for a Featured Deal, before being accepted, fourteen times.)
My BookBub Featured New Release stats
As I reported in my October 2020 author income report:
- Date: November 3, 2020
- Subscribers: 600,000
- Cost: $330
- Day’s royalties: $871 on Amazon, $35 everywhere else = $906
- Copies sold: ebook: 68 @ $9.99; Paperback: 8
If I attribute all my sales to this promotion – not a far stretch, if you see the sales graph below – that’s a profit of $576.
My book launched on October 27th, and I was unable to get a slot for that day. But they accepted me for exactly one week later, November 3rd (It appears there are only new books announced each Tuesday, which is the industry-standard launch day anyway.)
I was disappointed I couldn’t get a deal for my launch date, but the plus side is I got to see the effects of my deal in action. I had no other promotions running that day, and the sales spike from sending the book to my email list the previous week had subsided. Here’s what my Amazon sales looked like during the promotion:
As you can see, sales spiked on November 3rd, and the lift continued through November 4th. Even my paperback sales got a lift.
Did my BookBub Featured New Release boost sales in my other books?
Here’s what my sales for another book – The Heart to Start – looked like during the week of my Featured New Release. A little spike in sales.
You can’t see the paperback sales, because they show up under a slightly different title, but there were a couple.
And here’s what sales of How to Write a Book looked like. A boost of a couple copies:
Mind Management, Not Time Management is the second book in a series. But it’s a nonfiction series – it’s not like a fiction series with a bunch of cliffhangers. Still, I did see a small boost in sales of other books the day of my Featured New Release. If your book is in a fiction series, I would expect to see bigger lifts in sales.
Why was my BookBub Featured New Release successful?
Your Mileage May Vary. I was reluctant to try the Featured New Release, because I had seen experience from other self-published authors in various forums saying their experience wasn’t great. But mine was clearly worth it. Why?
I think timing worked out for my book, and I had the right title at the right time. The day my Featured New Release email went out was an Election Day in the U.S. At first I thought that was not good. But it may have been good. On Election Day, 2020, 600,000 people got this email:
If you’re reading this at some point in the far-distant future, you may not get why my timing was good. The 2020 U.S. election was tremendously polarizing, and came in the midst of a global pandemic that is hopefully ancient history by the time you’re reading this. Add to that many people were working from home for the first time. On this day in particular, people probably felt they could use some mind management, and were sick of time management.
What regrets do I have?
While my deal was a success, there are a couple things I would change if I could do it again.
- Apply in advance: If you want flexibility on your date, it’s best to apply well in advance. I had to take what I could get. It’s a good thing I hadn’t been going for a bestseller list, as not being able to get my deal on my launch date would have thrown a wrench in those plans.
- Make sure your book is available everywhere: By the time my Featured New Release went out, my book was available on most BookBub platforms (Amazon, Apple Books, Google Play, Kobo). But since it was not yet available on Barnes & Noble NOOK, my book was not promoted to BookBub subscribers who preferred that platform. I use PublishDrive to publish my book to all non-Amazon outlets, and I was a couple days late in submitting. As a result, I missed out on a portion of sales.
How to apply for a BookBub Featured New Release
Once you’re signed in at partners.bookbub.com, click on “Featured New Releases” on the left-hand menu. Or, click on this link.