BookBub Pricing

BookBub Pricing

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:

  1. A BookBub Featured Deal
  2. 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:

  1. If your book is offered for Free: $113 – $783
  2. If your book is offered at <$1: $164 – $1138
  3. If your book is offered at $1 – $2: $287 – $1970
  4. If your book is offered at $2 – $3: $410 – $2845
  5. 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 CategorySubscribersCost For Free BookCost For <$1 BookCost For $1-$2 BookCost For $2-$3 BookCost For $3+ BookAverage Free DownloadsAverage Copies Sold
Crime Fiction3,840,000+$783$1138$1970$2845$3983488003600
Cozy Mysteries2,780,000+$707$1028$1791$2570$3598463002480
Historical Mysteries2,830,000+$705$1024$1,785$2,560$3584408002440
Women's Fiction1,900,000+$698$1014$1764$2535$3549406003640
Historical Fiction2,670,000+$692$1006$1750$2515$3521$298003550
Contemporary Romance2,220,000+$658$956$1679$2390$3346421003000
Biographies and Memoirs2,550,000+$650$944$1638$2360$3304228002460
Psychological Thrillers2,720,000+$625$908$1555$2270$3178362002320
Erotic Romance1,120,000+$545$792$1377$1980$2772288001950
Advice and How-To1,410,000+$531$772$1326$1930$2702217001890
Literary Fiction2,310,000+$529$768$1332$1920$2688218002370
Science Fiction1,810,000+$519$754$1310$1885$2639299002040
Action and Adventure2,420,000+$516$750$1293$1875$2625342002300
Historical Romance1,600,000+$476$692$1214$1730$2422246002380
Christian Nonfiction990,000+$430$624$1098$1560$2184154001530
General Nonfiction1,780,000+$421$612$1059$1530$2142175001890
Romantic Suspense1,660,000+$414$602$1052$1505$2107314002100
True Crime980,000+$375$544$938$1360$1904199001650
American Historical Romance1,150,000+$369$536$953$1340$1876180001060
Paranormal Romance900,000+$366$532$926$1330$1862216001580
Religion and Spirituality1,170,000+$353$512$887$1280$1792155001500
Christian Fiction810,000+$331$480$848$1200$1680215001590
Supernatural Suspense1,390,000+$329$478$825$1195$1673252001710
Chick Lit1,130,000+$265$384$660$960$1344147001210
New Adult Romance1,210,000+$207$300$518$750$1050188001110
Dark Romance & Erotica530,000+$183$266$460$665$93113700950
Teen and Young Adult1,550,000+$175$254$442$635$88916000980
Time Travel Romance460,000+$171$248$432$620$8689800920
Politics and Current Events350,000+$128$186$320$465$6512,400610
Middle Grade540,000+$122$176$305$440$6165400730
African American Interest360,000+$113$164$287$410$5744100490

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:
  1. Free
  2. Between $2.99 and $9.99
  • Pricing your book at either of these points gives you a clear advantage:
  1. 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…
  2. 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:


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:

  1. Cost Per Click (CPC)
  2. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. Let’s consider an example. If two different authors wanted their books to be advertised alongside those of Stephen King, the following would occur…
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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?

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

In summary:

  • 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!

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