About Me

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Bridgeport, Michigan, United States
In the beginning, Author Madison Johns, didn't have a clue what marketing was or even how to go about it, but she learned, and now... she wants to help you... the writers of the world whether traditionally published or indie.
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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Book Bub and Beyond

I'm so bad keeping up with writing tips and advice, but life has given me a serious kick in the teeth September 7, 2013. In the mean time I have done the one thing I've been hoping for, getting onto Book Bub.

I must first start out by telling you that Book Bub is expensive, but going ahead with my 2013 goals to invest in my books—it was not without some trepidation. I was ready to put my money where my mouth was, but even I had to scrimp and save. With limited funds available how was I able to do it you ask? For one I had a wonderful boyfriend with whom I lived so not all of my resources were needed to keep a roof over my head. I had consistently made almost enough for my car note every month and I had a low paying job. Yes, I totally went without. Unfortunately my boyfriend passed away September 7th, but by then I was doing well sales wise. September went on to be my best sales month—ever—or so to date. If only Chuck was around to see it. But all of that was before Book Bub.

When it comes to Book Bub they have a massive email list and gear toward bargain books. Their ad price depends on how much you lower the price to. For instance free is cheaper than $.99, but each price higher also costs more. At this point I had three books in my Agnes Barton series and I could afford to take the risk, or so I thought. I researched highly about how other authors did with their Book Bub ads, but I really didn't find out any useful information to determine how my books would fare. I also submitted to them four times before Armed and Outrageous was accepted. They have their editing team look over your book before they accept of reject your book. I was quite bummed in the beginning, but when I was finally accepted I felt like I had just won the lottery. They don't say you need a certain amount of reviews, but it's my personal feeling that it must be a lot. Armed and Outrageous had over 100 reviews at the time.

What did it cost me? Well, an ad price for the mystery category is $500 for an $.99 bargain book, which isn't cheap. I was really biting my nails over this one. I mean what if I couldn't make back my money? October 7th was my Book Bub ad and their email blast didn't go out until after 1 p.m. So from the get go I didn't expect many Amazon sales, and in fact, they came in at a much slower rate, but Barnes and Noble was right out the gate. Now remember, Barnes and noble is a hard place to accumulate sales on. Prior to this I hadn't sold more than 25 books a month. My ranking rose to the top at Barnes and Noble and made it to number 6 overall. Not bad for a self published author. Amazon ranks took awhile to start changing, but Armed and Outrageous made it to number 21 overall with a number one rank in the cozy mystery category. I forget if it made it to number one in humor. In the end I not only made my money back, but sold thousands and thousands of book, two thousand on Barnes and Noble alone. Not only that, but all of the books in my series also sold well. Remember now these are the books listed full price.

In November I once again had a book listed on Book Bub with similar results only that Senior Snoops made it to number 15 overall on Amazon and number three overall on Barnes and Noble. I submitted this time around thinking it wouldn't be accepted and I scrambled to come up with the money to pay for the ad.

Overall having an ad featured on Book Bub has changed my life and taken me further than I have ever dreamed possible. I must add that mystery is a one of the hugest categories on Book Bub, meaning they have more subscribers interested in mystery and thriller books. I do think my results are very genre specific and ads with another genre might not fare as well. I just want to put that out there. It's also the reason I think I have done well on Kindle Nation Daily, when many other haven't. Cozy mystery is a huge genre right now and I'm so happy I chose to write in that genre. This wasn't as planned out as many might think. I just entered the publishing arena at the right time in the genre, not that others can't get there. We all have to write what inspires us and in the genre that excites us. If not a book will never be finished. I know because I have so been there, but right now is the time to inspire you to think wisely about marketing. To date my sales on Barnes and Noble haven't been better.

I'm not a marketing genius by any means I just hope that by sharing my experience it may be helpful to you. Writing a series is a great thing to do and there is a point where you don't have to work as hard to get your books out there. I no longer post on groups on Facebook like I used to. But there are many more things I'm not doing that I should be, like blog tours. I just don't have the time and energy. I think they are a great marketing tool. I've tried a few Facebook book launch parties, but I just haven't made any real sales from it so I have abandoned doing them. There are so many other ways to give back to your readers.

My primary focus these days is on writing and publishing more books. After all, this is what my fans and readers want. Thanks to all of my readers—without you I'd be lost.

Have a great holiday season and I wish you much success in the coming year.  


Peggy Browning said...

Madison, I'm so happy for you that you are having good book sales! Congratulations on your efforts and your success! Good for you!

Madison Johns said...

Thanks Peggy. I wish you much success in the coming year!