Sizzling Book Sales? Hello, BookBub

Tips for getting your book accepted for a BookBub listing by bestselling novelist Christine Nolfi.Does your novel garner excellent reviews but have yet to find an audience? Perhaps it’s time for BookBub.

With 1.5 million subscribers and growing, BookBub offers deep discounts on acclaimed eBooks through alerts tailored to genre preferences. Every day a new batch of great reads at discount prices drops into a reader’s inbox. These curated offerings represent the best in targeted marketing, matching bibliophile and book with an astonishing efficiency that can start sales sizzling.

No wonder authors flock to the site.

In December of last year I scheduled a listing for Treasure Me, which posted as I flew to Ohio. While I attended my oldest daughter’s college graduation ceremony, my novel climbed the charts at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. It quickly dawned that I’d struck gold and, over the following months, I put more effort into each promotion. Goodreads event invitations went out, and friends shared across social media. Even the editorial team at BookBub helped by steering The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge onto their literary list—I’d planned to run the novel as a women’s fiction listing as I’d done with my other works.

Needless to say, each successive promotion increased the number of downloads I enjoyed. Tree reached #113 on the Amazon Paid Bestseller List and Second Chance Grill rose to #66. The next Treasure Me promotion and a listing for my latest release did equally well.

More importantly, readers began seeking me out on Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads. A group of women in a San Francisco book club became fast friends. A blogger in the UK asked to review my entire backlist then posted glowing reviews. Direct mail arrived from readers happy to announce they’d purchased all my novels—and had told their friends.

Now it’s your turn. A few tips:

Reviews Matter. BookBub’s editorial team delights in unearthing little known but great reads. Increase the odds of acceptance by securing a minimum of ten quality reviews for your novel. Write-ups from trusted editorial sources are your best bet.

Keep Trying. If your book is rejected on the first attempt, apply again in two week’s time. Rejection isn’t a judgment of your work but an indication of the sheer volume of applications BookBub receives daily.

Great Deal. The site won’t consider a book that has been offered at a better price within the last 90 days. For example, my books usually sell for $3.99 U.S. and I run BookBub weekend specials for 99 cents. The better the deal, the higher the odds your novel will be selected.

Length Matters. All novels must be at least 50,000 words. Presently the site does not consider novellas or short stories.

Polish Your Image. Ensure your retail page features error-free, compelling content. If you’re still wading through the world of independent publishing without a sparkling book description, professional author photo and crisp biography, clean up your act before submitting. BookBub listings blend the best Indie novels with traditionally published fare. You need a professional image every step of the way.

Genre Matters. My books list in women’s fiction and literary, categories that appear to perform well for the site. Even if your book is a cross-genre mix that has yet to catch BookBub’s attention, don’t give up. The site continues to expand and add new lists for its voracious readers.

BookBub Submission Tips

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About Christine Nolfi

I owned a small public relations firm in Cleveland, Ohio, but closed it fifteen years ago after I traveled to the Philippines and adopted a sibling group of four children. I've been writing novels fulltime since 2004. If you enjoyed this post today, please follow me and subscribe to my blog.


  1. Such good advice, Christine! We authors LOVE BookBub because it helps so many readers find us! Congratulations on the stellar results of your fabulous books!

    • Christine Nolfi says:

      Patricia, I’m astonished at how quickly the site is growing. Can’t help but wonder if they’ll surpass two million subscribers in 2014.

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