Results on Bookbub Ads

Written By: Jackie Weger - Feb• 10•17

Talking about Bookbub, the indie author’s premier ebook promoter


eNovel Authors at Work...a group of indie authors sharing our experiences and ehow.

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Hello, and welcome back to eNovel Authors at Work.  Snagging a Bookbub slot appears to be getting more and more difficult. IMO, many of us who used to snag those slots are now being turned away. But recently we get those rejections with a plug to engage in a CPM ad on Bookbub.

I will tell you I have been on the fence with these ads. Mostly because I didn’t understand how they work, and I saw comments that one has to bid exorbitant amounts of $$$ to see traction and results per 1000 impressions.  Several of our members have engaged in Bookbub Ads and are sharing their experiences with you. First up is Amy Vansant . She’s engaged two of the CPM ads.

meme for bookbub ad pinapple port

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Amy ran a BookBub ad September 15, 2016 with audience “cozy mystery” AND 6-7 specific cozy authors. Over night she discovered only $5 of her $100 budget spent  with 175 books sold, including crossover sales.  Some readers also  bought the 1st/3rd book in the series which resulted in an  ROI of $170.  She complimented the ad with a newsletter to her 6K subscribers. Amy adjusted her ad to just “cozy mystery fans” and blew the rest of the budget in a few hours with fewer downloads. Amy’s take: Stick with promoting to like authors in your genre.  All best selling authors have had a Bookbub slots. Pop the author’s name in and up it comes. You may change the listing anytime during your ad.

Meme Kilty as charged

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The second ad was for a new release, priced FREE. Within a few minutes Amy saw above 200 downloads.  Budget for this ad was $200. Amy considers it well spent, but overall did not see an ROI.  Would she do it again?  Yes, because all of her books saw action and she had a rise in KENP. Plus reviews are being posted.

Snip Dim Sum 'Bookbub ad meme

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E.M. Kaplan [Emily] ran a Bookbub 99c ad campaign September 07 to September 30, 2016 on  Dim Sum, Dead Some. Emily’s budget for the month-long campaign was $500. The ad sold 718 books in September with a tail of 25 units sold at  full price of $2.99 in early October.  KENP for September/October  on these two units totaled 27372. Emily also saw 52 sales of the audio edition of  Dim Sum, Dead Some plus 89 crossover sales at $2.99 on The Bride Wore Dead. CPM or bid per 1000 impressions surfaced at $7.84. The last week in September she boosted the promo with slots on Book Gorilla~$50. ENT ~$50. Bargain Booksy~$50. The Books Machine~ $20.  Total spent: $670.   Emily estimates an ROI of $250. I’m not a math nerd, but I think she’s miscalculating her ROI too low.


In speaking with each of these authors, I heard the same lament: “We’re still learning how best to engage these ads for a return on investment.”  Bookbub ad promos do not have the tail of a regular promo slot on Bookbub. The CPM cost per 1000 impressions depends upon the category/genre of one’s book. That cost is higher for thrillers, cozy mysteries and romance novels. The better returns appear to use author targeting i.e. those who write in similar genres. Your ad is marketed to readers who either follow or show a strong interest in the authors you name. I call it piggy-backing on their popularity and fans. Notice we must create an ad meme. The better one’s meme, perhaps the better one’s results. For more comments, thoughts and results on Bookbub CPM Ads check out Nicholas Rossis‘ blog HERE.

While I’m considering a Bookbub ad, I’d make a rule not to budget more than a regular slot for a free or 99c book. I also notice that Bookbub prices have risen again. Check the cost of a slot for your book HERE.

I am rethinking and critiquing my promotions. As our market changes and matures we need to keep an open mind to new ways to engage book buyers and readers.  While the ROI reported above are not  spectacular, they are positive. All of the books garnered some exceptional visibility and improved their best seller stats. Two are finding their way onto the ‘also bought’ streams and one is tagged a best seller. That’s not at all shabby.

It cost Amy Vansant only $5 of her budget to sell 175 books. There isn’t a promoter on my lists who moves 175/99c units for $5. She’s the first to admit she then tweaked the ad, changing the target from authors to like category and lost momentum.  She could also have stopped the campaign and with $95 of her budget intact, scheduled another. It’s all a learning curve. We can always expand our basics. Bookbub is a known quality. That counts, because we are too often approached by promoters with no track record  or slammed by scams.  That’s it for today. Hope everyone along the Eastern Seaboard is safe and snug.

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@JackieWeger 2017. I’m Jackie Weger, Founder of eNovel Authors at Work. So happy to have you stop by. Comments welcome. Would love it if you briefly shared your own promo experience with us.

FOOTNOTE: eNovel Authors at Work has five membership slots open for romance authors. If interested in membership please contact Jackie Weger  with your full name and link to your Amazon Author page. 


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  1. jinxschwartz says:

    Thanks! I’ve been watching this one closely, as well. And thanks again for the tip on piggy-backing. If I run one of these critters (if they’ll take it! I’ll keep close tabs and report. So far I still get a regular BB every third try or so, but it is not a given as it used to be.

  2. Barbara Plum says:

    Congratulations to 3 savvy promoters … I appreciate their sharing the experience and your analysis, Jackie.

  3. Amy Vansant says:

    Great information – nice to see how it works across several authors

  4. Emily Kaplan says:

    Haha. I admit I can be math challenged. I’m also slightly pessimistic when it comes to promos and ROI. Take all results here with a grain of salt!

    Thanks for including me, Jackie!

  5. Valuable information – thanks!

  6. Thank you! I’m still trying to get the language down. Great article.

    • Jackie Weger says:

      Hello, Suzanne: Thanks for stopping by. I hear you about the language and especially the acronyms like CPM, CPC KU. I have to look every dang one up on Google to get a sense of what they mean and how they work. It seems new one pop up every day because we like to talk in shorthand. When i first got into the digital universe I was stumped by ‘blog’. A blog is a digital article. Now I blog and discover the word is both a noun and a verb. Confusion reigns. Hang in there. You’ll get it. Best, Jackie

  7. Thanks for posting this!

  8. Such useful info here. Thank you, Jackie and Amy.

  9. dalefurse says:

    Great info. Thanks for sharing Amy. I’d love to try the ads one day. 🙂

  10. Great info – I have had three ads, two not so good, and one a positive ROI. I targeted authors in all three.

  11. Many thanks for the great post, and the kind mention 🙂

  12. bevalex says:

    Thanks for this blog post. I’ve used Amazon Marketing ads with very little cost and can confirm that putting in specific author names gives more impressions.

    • Jackie Weger says:

      Thank you for commenting and adding to the discussion. Authors will be please to know using specific author names increases impressions. Thank you for sharing that.

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