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BookBub Now Selling CPM Ads in Its Deals Newsletters

bookbub-ads-example-the-nestBookbub has long charged authors and publishers fees in order to be accepted into one of its ebook deal newsletter, but it has always set a certain standard for quality (reviews) and editorial fit. Now it is setting aside those standards, and is going to start listing straight adverts in its newsletter.

On Wednesday Bookbub announced that publishers and authors no longer have to have a deal for readers in order to get their ebook listed in the Bookub newsletter:

BookBub Ads run in a dedicated space in BookBub’s daily emails. Advertisers — authors, publishers, agents, and other book marketing professionals — can use this space to promote full-priced books, discounted books, audiobooks, novellas, multi-author box sets, and much more.

Bookbub has also posted an FAQ.

The new ad units are CPM ads like you would find on most websites, and not fee-for-placement like the the rest of the email. Bookbub says that the price of an ad unit is determined by a competitive bidding process, with the high bidder obviously getting priority.

Bookbub has long been the king of the ebook discount newsletters, but over the past year has been pivoting more and more to  be a marketing service. One industry insider told me that "strategically speaking it seems to me they’re starting to compete with Amazon for the most important nuggets – the direct connection between author and customers", and they were right.

Bookbub had already expanded beyond just pitching deals. It also encourages authors to fill out their profile on Bookbub’s website so that readers can follow authors and get news about new releases.

This is similar to a service Amazon offers through author pages on its site, and it is only the the most obvious way that Bookbub competes with Amazon.

How long do you think it will take before they get stepped on?

Or even better, how long until Bookbub gets acquired?

A discount newsletter service has a short half-life in an ever shifting retail market landscape, but a marketing service would have real value to a publisher (or Rakuten, which might buy Bookbub and then pivot the company).

Thanks, Anthony!

Thanks, Irish!

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Mark Williams – The International Indie Author May 26, 2016 um 4:49 am

The logical next step would be for Amazon to buy Bookbub, use the data on sales to other retailers to cherrypick authors doing well elsewhere and make them offers they can’t refuse, and then make Bookbub an Amazon-only listing newsletter, removing the best chance authors have to promote the other retailers.

Greg Strandberg May 26, 2016 um 3:29 pm

I’ve never been accepted for a BookBub promo and I doubt I’d have the money to pony up for one of these ads. Hopefully we’ll get some authors telling us what their winning bid was. I bet it’ll be over $1,000 soon. I see that many slots in their historical fiction promos are going or $770 to $900 or more now. Nope, that service ain’t meant for me.

Maria (BearMountainBooks) May 28, 2016 um 1:48 pm

Bookbub has never been anything but ads and while they may have started out with an attempt at "quality control" that really only meant that the cover had to be professional (although at first I think they did check a sample for obvious content errors). I think the real issue is that the cookie jar is running empty. In the last year plus, they started advertising mostly trad books, which meant more expensive books–selling to an audience that was already pretty full of books. People are downloading less free books and going free to get a bookbub ad is no longer helping authors. Amazon no longer gives free books any kind of special visibility. There’s no ranking advantage. So an author has little incentive to spend 1000 dollars to advertise on Bookbub. Bookbub, in short, can no longer work its magic of selling thousands of books for a single ad. They are now looking to expand to other types of ads, because, like a lot of places, the real money is in ads. But these days, authors and publishers demand results or they go elsewhere.

I doubt Amazon would buy Bookbub. Any newsletter of this type runs its course and is eventually ignored by most of the subscribers. They wander off. Then authors and publishers stop paying the exorbitant prices because the ads don’t work. There will be a plateau and it’s at that point where the value has to be estimated. They probably aren’t there yet, but I suspect they are doing these ads to counter a downward trend. I can’t see anyone wanting to buy them, but stranger things have happened.

john May 28, 2016 um 4:36 pm

Everything Maria said

Nirmala May 29, 2016 um 11:30 am

We still always do much better than breaking even on Bookbub promotions, so it is still working for us. I would be willing to try this new ad system, but they said it was by invitation only and we have not received an invite yet.

Episode 143 – 2016: The Year in Review | Sell More Books Show December 28, 2016 um 6:01 am

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