BookBub Features and Ads Update

EntropyI was rejected once again in my attempt to get a Featured slot on BookBub. The difference this time is that my book is now on lots of different stores, not just Amazon-exclusive. BookBub chooses very few Amazon-exclusive books, so I thought maybe my chances would be better this time. No such luck. I’ll keep trying.

Meanwhile, BookBub has allowed me into their advertising program. I wrote about this when they first announced it. I did a small test campaign to figure out how it compares to Twitter ads. I haven’t been able to use Twitter ads for a while because the election jacked up the CPC rates. When you have to compete like that to get impressions, the economics of advertising stop working.

My First BookBub Ad

My First BookBub Ad

That’s the ad. It looks a  little fuzzy because BookBub compresses the crap out of ad images. If you scroll to the bottom of your latest BookBub spam, you’ll see that whatever ad is there also has the crap beat out of it. I chose that text because it’s the heart of the tweet I have been most successful with on Twitter Ads.

I bid $3 CPM (I started at $2 and got no impressions, so I increased it), and because there’s an auction, I ended up paying $2.29 for a thousand impressions (that’s what CPM means: cost per mille [thousand]). I ran it for $9 worth, and got 4,229 impressions. That led to 29 clicks, which works out to a CTR (click through rate) of 0.7%. That’s almost identical to the CTR I get for Twitter ads.

So let’s compare pricing. Twitter charges me per click (CPC) and I can generally get impressions within my target audience (people who follow romance authors) with a bid of $0.10-$0.15. (Well, I could before the election; hopefully the rates will settle back down there now.) For BookBub, I have CPM=$2.30 generating 7 clicks per thousand impressions, so that’s a CPC of $0.32. About twice what I was paying for Twitter Ads.

However, the people clicking on BookBub ads are really well targeted. They signed up for a newsletter specifically to find out about books they can buy. So although these clicks cost twice as much, the conversion rate might just be twice as high.

As it turns out, the 29 clicks I got on my little test campaign resulted in no sales. But my book is full-price at $4.99 right now. My conversion rate at that price should be right about 0%, if you follow that chart in the post I linked. So we really don’t know about conversion yet. To do a fair test of that, I need to lower my prices.

I had my prices cranked up to $5 primarily to make a $0.99 deal look a lot better to the BookBub reviewers to get a featured deal. And that didn’t work. So here’s what I need to do:

  • Drop my price back down to $2.99 which is the optimal price for advertising-based customer acquisition.
  • Try another BookBub campaign, just like the one I did, but maybe only US/UK/CA, since that’s how I’ve been running Twitter campaigns.
  • Try Twitter Ads again and see whether the CPC rates have settled down, now that the politicians aren’t buying up all the ad space.

I’ll keep you posted!

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6 thoughts on “BookBub Features and Ads Update

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