Do you want to learn about BookBub pricing?
BookBub earned its position as an elite book marketing service by producing results.
Time and time again, BookBub delivers results and profit for the authors it chooses to feature.
While BookBub featuring your book is almost always worth it, it’s no easy task.
So is marketing your book with BookBub worth your while?
Read on to discover exactly how BookBub can promote your book, BookBub pricing for various promotional services, and how much profit you can expect to make by choosing BookBub for your promotional campaign.
Let’s get to it!
BookBub – An Overview
BookBub painstakingly cultivates lists of eager readers of various book genres. They serve both fiction and nonfiction fans. They let these readers know when books that are a good match for their interests are available at a discounted rate.
So what are the options for a book publisher interested in BookBub?
There are two types of BookBub marketing you can consider:
- A BookBub Featured Deal
- A BookBub Ad
What Are BookBub Featured Deals?
When authors praise BookBub, they are most likely talking about the featured deals on offer.
A featured deal is when BookBub mails its huge list of carefully chosen readers to let them know that your book is either available for free or at a cheaper price than usual.
So what are some key facts to know about BookBub featured deals and their pricing?
- BookBub offers featured deals in 42 different categories, both fiction and nonfiction
- BookBub pricing takes into account the size of the list. A larger list equals higher pricing.
- BookBub publishes full information about the 42 different featured deals, including the size of the lists, and the average sales generated by a featured deal
BookBub featured deals offer 5 different tiers of pricing, depending on the price of your book. The range shown is from the cheapest genre to the most expensive:
- If your book is offered for Free: $113 – $783
- If your book is offered at <$1: $164 – $1138
- If your book is offered at $1 – $2: $287 – $1970
- If your book is offered at $2 – $3: $410 – $2845
- If your book is offered at $3+: $574 – $3983
Getting accepted for a BookBub Featured Deal is far from easy. In fact, if you spend some time in author groups, you will soon see that getting accepted for a BookBub Featured Deal is almost a bucket list item for many authors!
We’ll cover what it takes to get accepted for a BookBub featured deal another time.
For now, let’s go deep into the financial aspect of BookBub featured deals.
BookBub Pricing – How Much Do BookBub Featured Deals Cost?
If you’re trying to find out how much a BookBub featured deal will cost, you have to delve deep into their official website.
Eventually, you will find a pricing table, but it is not interactive. Say, for example, you were considering applying for one of two potential Featured Deal categories. Using the information given by BookBub, there is no way to quickly manipulate the table data, and no worked examples are given.
This isn’t a knock on BookBub. If they feature you, your book is going to do well.
Our mission at Book Publishing Guide is to give you quality information you can use to inform your strategic success.
Because of this, we’ve taken the time to compile the BookBub pricing information into a useful table you can interact with.
|Book Category||Subscribers||Cost For Free Book||Cost For <$1 Book||Cost For $1-$2 Book||Cost For $2-$3 Book||Cost For $3+ Book||Average Free Downloads||Average Copies Sold|
|Biographies and Memoirs||2,550,000+||$650||$944||$1638||$2360||$3304||22800||2460|
|Advice and How-To||1,410,000+||$531||$772||$1326||$1930||$2702||21700||1890|
|Action and Adventure||2,420,000+||$516||$750||$1293||$1875||$2625||34200||2300|
|American Historical Romance||1,150,000+||$369||$536||$953||$1340||$1876||18000||1060|
|Religion and Spirituality||1,170,000+||$353||$512||$887||$1280||$1792||15500||1500|
|New Adult Romance||1,210,000+||$207||$300||$518||$750||$1050||18800||1110|
|Dark Romance & Erotica||530,000+||$183||$266||$460||$665||$931||13700||950|
|Teen and Young Adult||1,550,000+||$175||$254||$442||$635||$889||16000||980|
|Time Travel Romance||460,000+||$171||$248||$432||$620||$868||9800||920|
|Politics and Current Events||350,000+||$128||$186||$320||$465||$651||2,400||610|
|African American Interest||360,000+||$113||$164||$287||$410||$574||4100||490|
As you see from the above table, BookBub generates profit, on average, for every book it features.
But let’s delve a little deeper than that with a few worked examples.
BookBub Pricing – Featured Deals – Worked Examples
Let’s consider the financial implications of a BookBub deal using the ‘psychological thriller’ category as an example.
For the purpose of this example, we will assume the books are sold according to the standard Amazon payment terms, which offer a 70% royalty rate for books priced between $2.99 and $9.99.
For books offered free, the purpose of a BookBub featured deal is not so much profit as it is exposure and prestige.
So how does a BookBub featured deal for a psychological thriller look in practice?
We’ll consider two price points. A psychological thriller book offered for $2.99 and one offered for $7.
BookBub Pricing – Featured Deals – A Psychological Thriller Sold At $2.99
For many genres, $2.99 is the favored price point. It unlocks the higher tier of Amazon royalties but still represents excellent value for the customer.
So what are the financial facts about a BookBub Featured Deal for a psychological thriller sold at the discounted price of $2.99?
- If accepted, the author will pay $2270 for the featured deal
- On average, psychological thrillers showcased by a BookBub featured deal sell 2320 copies
- This would generate $6936.80 gross revenue, before factoring in Amazon’s cut and the cost of the BookBub Featured Deal
- Considering Amazon pays a 70% royalty rate for books sold at $2.99, the author would net $4855.76 after Amazon takes their 30% cut
- When you factor in the $2270 cost of the featured deal, the author is left with $2585.76 in profit after Amazon and BookBub’s cuts are factored in
Of course, BookBub show their average results. This means that there is still a lot of leeway to perform worse than average and still end up with a profit. The converse is also true. You stand a 50/50 chance, by definition, of making more than $2585.76 if your psychological thriller priced at $2.99 is featured by BookBub.
BookBub Pricing – Featured Deals – A Psychological Thriller Sold At $7
So how about a psychological thriller priced at $7?
This example price point has been chosen as it falls within the same Amazon royalty rate as the $2.99 book.
So how do the numbers stack up compared to the psychological thriller with the cheaper price point?
- Psychological thrillers priced in excess of $3 featured by BookBub as part of a featured deal cost the author $3178.
- The average number of copies sold remains at 2320, the same at with the $2.99 book. BookBub do not offer any differentiated data for books priced at different tiers. They only offer an average sales figure irregardless of the price the book is sold for.
- If a psychological thriller is priced at $7 retail, and sells the average quantity of 2320 copies, this generates $16,240 in revenue before Amazon or BookBub’s cut is factored in.
- A book priced at $7 is treated the same way as a $2.99 book by Amazon in terms of royalties, meaning that the author takes a 70% cut while Amazon takes 30%. This would result in $11368 for the author and $4872 for Amazon before BookBub is factored in.
- Having calculated the above, we can determine the author’s overall profit after BookBub and Amazon have been accounted for. We know that the author’s royalty rate is $11368. We know that BookBub charges $3178 for a featured deal in this situation. Therefore, after Amazon and BookBub’s cut is accounted for, the author is left with $8190 in these circumstances.
Now that we’ve considered a worked example of BookBub costs and profits, how do we use this data to make a decision?
BookBub Pricing – How To Make A Decision
You’ve seen two worked examples for a BookBub featured deal above. But how does this information help you make a pricing choice for your own book?
Like anything else in book marketing, there is no one universal answer. The best choice depends entirely upon circumstance and objective.
However, some general principles hold true which may help point you in the right direction:
- Unless you have a strategically sound reason for doing so, we advise pricing your book at one of two price points:
- Between $2.99 and $9.99
- Pricing your book at either of these points gives you a clear advantage:
- A free book coupled with the size of BookBub’s list will encourage Amazon’s (or another bookseller’s) promotional algorithm even after the price is raised or…
- A book priced between $2.99 and $9.99 will encounter the same royalty rate on Amazon, the most preferable rate of 70%
- Based on the above, if you qualify for a BookBub featured deal, price your book at:
THE PRICE POINT WHICH ENCOURAGES THE HIGHEST NUMBER OF SALES WITHOUT COMPROMISING YOUR ROYALTY RATE.
This is the golden rule for pricing a BookBub Featured Deal.
Now that we’ve taken a deep dive into BookBub featured deal pricing, let’s take a look at BookBub advertising.
BookBub Pricing – BookBub Advertising
The most popular and desired form of book promotion on BookBub is a featured deal.
However, BookBub also offer a form of paid advertising.
This paid BookBub advertising is similar in nature to Facebook or Google advertisements.
So how exactly does BookBub pricing work in the context of book publishing?
BookBub Pricing – BookBub Advertising
In addition to the prestigious BookBub Featured Deal, you can also promote your book via their paid advertising.
BookBub offers two forms of paid advertising:
- Cost Per Click (CPC)
- Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM)
Let’s answer the first question you have without delay – why is ‘cost per thousand impressions’ referred to as CPM?
The acronym CPM actually stands for the phrase ‘cost per mileage’. In simple terms, it refers to the number of people BookBub show your ad to, rather than the number of people who actually click your ad.
In practical terms, CPM actually refers to the cost per ‘1000 impressions’. An impression is simply defined as someone who is shown your ad by BookBub
What does this mean in practical terms?
- CPC incurs costs only when people take action and actually click your ad.
- CPM incurs costs when people are shown your ad, regardless of whether they decide to actually click it.
So how does this work in the cold, hard terms of finance?
BookBub Pricing – BookBub Advertising – BookBub Cost Per Click Explained
How much will you actually pay if you choose to advertise through BookBub on a cost per click (CPC) basis?
Basically, BookBub’s CPC system works on an auction system.
Let’s say you have a book that you wish to advertise using BookBub through the CPC system.
Advertising your book through BookBub using CPC will bring the following pricing paradigm into play:
- A situation occurs where your ad could potentially be displayed. This is based upon either a) specific authors you would like your book to appear alongside or b) specific book categories your book should be considered in relation to.
- Let’s consider an example. If two different authors wanted their books to be advertised alongside those of Stephen King, the following would occur…
- In our scenario, there are two authors. Let’s call them author A and author B. Author a is willing to pay $4 every time a Stephen King fan clicks on their ad. Author b is willing to pay $3.
- In the above scenario of two willing advertisers, the following will occur. The highest bidding advertiser will be displayed until their ad budget is depleted. For example, advertiser a (willing to pay $4) will be shown ahead of advertiser b (willing to pay $3) until advertiser a has spent their entire ad budget.
- Because advertiser a has stated they are willing to pay $4 per click as opposed to advertiser b’s $3 per click, does this mean that advertiser a pays $4 each and every time their advert is clicked? No.
- The way that BookBub pricing works means that the advertiser with the highest CPC bid, in this case advertiser a, will pay $0.01 more than their nearest competitor. In this case, that means advertiser a will pay $3.01 until their ad budget is depleted.
- After advertiser a has spent their entire ad budget, the ad shown will be awarded to the second highest bidder. In our example scenario of two advertisers bidding on a Stephen King placement, advertiser b will be shown by default at the cost of $3 per click provided that advertiser a’s budget is depleted.
- However, if advertiser c entered the fray, bidding $3.50 CPC, their ad would be shown ahead of advertiser b’s. They would be charged $3.01 CPC on the basis of the BookBub rule that the winning bidder is charged $0.01 more than the next closest bidder.
In a nutshell, the golden rule for BookBub pricing in terms of CPC is the highest bidder is charged $0.01 CPC more than the next highest bidder, until the time that their ad budget is fully depleted.
Now that you understand BookBub’s approach to CPC, how does CPM work?
BookBub Pricing – BookBub Advertising – BookBub Cost Per Mileage Explained
As stated, BookBub’s CPM advertising works on the basis of every 1000 impressions generated by your ad.
In theory, this means that BookBub could give your ad a million impressions. Even if no-one clicks your ad, you will still be charged 1000 x your CPM bid.
So how do we use this information to make intelligent book marketing decisions?
- BookBub don’t leave the guesswork to you. Thankfully, they publicly offer advice as to the underlying intents behind choosing CPC or CPM advertising.
- Basically, BookBub suggest running CPC ads for effective ads, and CPM ads for an exposure objective. If your main objective is to generate revenue, then CPC is probably the way to go. However, if you wish to expose your book to a particular audience, regardless of revenue, consider CPM.
So how does the practical side of BookBub pricing work in relation to CPM?
As stated, CPM stands for ‘cost per mileage’ and this is measured as ‘cost per 1000 impressions’. An impression is defined by BookBub as an email opened, regardless of whether the opener goes on to click or not.
Let’s consider a practical example to see how BookBub CPM works:
- Imagine that there are two book publishers bidding on the Contemporary Romance genre on a CPM basis. Advertiser a is willing to pay $5 per CPM whereas advertiser b is willing to pay $3.
- In the above scenario, advertiser a would pay $3.01 every time their ad is shown to 1000 Contemporary Romance fans. This is on the basis of paying $0.01 more than the next highest bidder, similarly to the way that BookBub’s CPC works.
- After advertiser a had depleted their budget, advertiser b would pay $3 per 1000 impressions on the basis of being the only bidder left in the auction. However, should advertiser c enter the scenario offering $4 per CPM, they would take precedence over advertiser b, paying $3.01 per CPM until their budget was depleted.
Does that make sense?
Basically, the fundamental principles behind BookBub advertising are as follows:
- CPC incurs costs only when someone clicks on your ad
- CPM incurs costs per 1000 impressions regardless of clicks
- The highest bidder wins the auction, paying $0.01 more than the next highest bidder
Hopefully you now have a better understanding of the advertising opportunities offered by BookBub and their pricing policy.
BookBub Pricing – Final Thoughts
Thanks for joining us through Book Publishing Guide’s deep dive into BookBub Pricing.
- BookBub offer two types of paid promotion – Featured Deals and Advertising
- A BookBub Featured Deal is hard to qualify for but offers a good rate of profit and prestige
- The profit generated by a BookBub Featured Deal depends on the royalty rate authors receive per sale, as well as whether their book performs better or worse than the BookBub average
- BookBub also offers advertising, similarly to Amazon, Facebook, or Google. This is offered on a CPC or CPM basis.
Do you have any questions about advertising on BookBub?
Do you have any helpful firsthand experiences to share with your fellow book publishers?
If so, please join us in the comments section to continue the discussion!