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Answering your questions about writing, publishing, and marketing books

By Sarka-Jonae Miller

“I've got a Bookbub promo on Dec 5. I want to maximize this opportunity. Any advice? The promo is 99 cents for High Strung, the first book in my series. My main goal is to build readership for the next book in the series (which is already setup as pre-order on Amazon) and beyond. One thing I'm struggling with is the number of days to run the promo.”Janice Peacock

January 23, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- BookBub is far and away the most effective and most well-known book advertising service. The company sends email blasts to hundreds of thousands of subscribers who enjoy a particular genre, from chick lit to mystery and everything in-between – even non-fiction. Therefore, let me start off by saying congratulations on getting a promo with them at all, especially during the competitive holiday season. Other authors are turning Christmas tree green with envy.

Although you're almost guaranteed to see the best sales of your life the day of your BookBub feature, and for at least a day or two afterward, the momentum from most of these features drops off quickly whether you leave the price at 99 cents or raise it back up. Years ago a BookBub promo could launch a book into, if not overnight success, at least long-term sales well above its previous record. Those days are gone.

I recommend starting your 99 cents sale two days before your BookBub feature in case there's an Amazon glitch that takes 48 hours for a price change. I then recommend raising your price on the third day following your BookBub promo. Five days total is ideal. That doesn't mean you cannot drop the price again closer to Christmas to renew the momentum if needed.

If you want to see results for more than a few days, there are many things you can do. Request features of your 99 cents sale from other sites asap, including a mix of paid and free services, such as:

Bargain Booksy (free option)

The Fussy Librarian (only do multi-genre promotions)

Robin Reads

Read Freely

Book Sends (only if you have an Amazon Affiliate account)

The earlier you make your requests, the better. Some are limited to 30 days in advance. The more you can get promo dates on the above sites before and after your BookBub feature, the more likely your overall ranking will improve and Amazon's internal marketing will kick in.

During your 99 cents sale, post on your Facebook author page (not your timeline) and use other social media tools, such as Twitter and Pinterest, to announce your sale. You can do this in advance, but it works better when your book is actually discounted. There are Facebook groups dedicated to 99 cent sales and deals to post in as well, plus additional book-related groups that welcome self-promotion. You're welcome to visit my Facebook profile and join the groups I'm in.

What really seems to work, however, is sharing when your ranking spikes. BookBub will get you into the top 100 of best seller lists on Amazon, unless you only picked huge categories and used a very small BookBub genre.

Post pictures on social media sites of your book on best seller lists and talk about how excited you are. Don't make it a “buy my book on sale” thing but instead an “I'm so happy that my book is...” thing. People will still buy, but they won't feel pushed into it.

Use hashtags like #99cents, #99c, #bestseller, and #99p (for the UK). Since your feature is in December, milk that holiday angle. Post about your book being a great #gift or being on a #holiday sale.

Posts along the lines of, “Only 20 days 'til #Christmas. Treat yourself to #mystery novel High Strung for #99cents or give as a gift! Currently in the top 100 for cozy mysteries on Amazon. Second book now available for pre-order now.” Of course, make sure whatever you post is true and don't hesitate to add a screenshot of the ranking along with your cover image.

I hope this information helps and please leave a comment below if you have questions.


Got Questions?


Send them to Sarka-Jonae Miller through Twitter @sarkajonae, Facebook, or via her author website. Additionally, live events can be found on SJ's events page.


About Sarka-Jonae Miller

SJ is a local author, book marketing manager, publicist, and columnist who writes chick lit and steamy romance based in San Diego and Los Angeles. Her novels include the Between Boyfriends series and the All for You series. SJ also writes health and fitness articles for Align Life and Natural News.

Check out her Between Boyfriends blog for book reviews, author interviews, TV episode synopses, and giveaways. Follow @sarkajonae and @sjpublicity9 on Twitter for more writing tips, book recommendations, and industry news. Get health and exercise articles from @sjnews9.

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