Bookbub Numbers

Meredith Bond

The word on the loops is that Bookbub listings don’t do as well as they used to. People have said that they used to get amazing results from running a listing with Bookbub, but don’t any more. Um… I’d like to tentatively raise my hand here and say “not quite, not necessarily.”

I ran a listing with Bookbub last Thursday and got amazing results!

So, maybe it’s true for some that they’re not doing as well as they have in the past (in complete disclosure here, this was the first Bookbub listing I’ve ever had), but it still works and works well.

Here are a few reasons why that may have been the case:

  • Placement in the list – I paged through page after page after page looking for my listing only to realize that it had been the very first one and I’d skipped right past it.
  • A professional cover.
  • A good book description — which also mentioned a great review from Publisher’s Weekly.
  • It was free–sadly, yes, free books do better than those listed for .99 cents.

Whatever it was, my book ( I will say it again, because I’m still rather stunned by it) got Amazing Results. Are you read to hear the number?



That’s how many people downloaded a copy of A Rake’s Reward on Thursday—across all book retailers. 22,000+ on Amazon alone!

It’s incredible! I was thinking before the ad ran that if I got 2000 it would be great, but 33,000? It’s crazy! 

So, if anyone says that Bookbub ads don’t work anymore… well, bull-dinkies (please excuse my language).

Along with that many downloads, enough of my other books sold to pay for the cost of the ad–it really doesn’t make sense to run a listing with Bookbub and not have other books for readers to purchase (at full price, unless you’re trying to build your author platform, but then that’s a really expensive way to do that). And oddly enough, not just my other Regency romances sold, but all of my books. Everything from a short story I’ve got for sale to my self-publishing non-fiction book and almost every single one of my novels sold at least one copy.

I was warned by Those-In-The-Know that my sales and downloads would drop off precipitously after the ad and within 2-3 days return to where there had been before the ad ever ran. Well, as you can see from the graph, that is absolutely—well… almost—true.Bookbub Sales

I certainly wouldn’t expect download numbers like those I saw to continue for more than one day, and indeed, the day after the ad, I “merely” had 8000 downloads of Rake and not so many sales of my others books, but still nothing to sneeze at. Each day the numbers go down significantly. The third day after the ad only 1500 books were downloaded (it was still free – I only put the price back up four days after the ad ran). Likewise, sales of my others books have dropped right along with the numbers of downloads. But if, after more people have had a chance to read the book they downloaded, even just a very tiny percentage of them go one to buy the other books in the series, I’ll be selling more books than I did before the ad. 

I’m keeping a close eye on this tail and we’ll see how long it takes for my sales to completely return to normal. I’m guessing a month or less, but I’m hoping to see those residual sales for a little while longer. And while it’s sad to see such astounding numbers of sales drop rapidly, I’m still basking in the numbers I had (and the shock on my husband’s face when he saw them too. My kids were thrilled as well, since the money I earn goes toward their graduate education bills and that’s less money they’ll have pay, so I get lots of support from my family).

The message here is that I strongly recommend applying for a Bookbub ad. And when you get turned down, try again. It helped my case that I had 25 reviews, plus one from Publisher’s Weekly, and that I was setting the book for free—free books are accepted more easily than .99 cent ones.

Have you run a Bookbub ad? Would you do so again?


Meredith Bond is an award-winning author of a series of traditionally published Regency romances and indie-published paranormal romances. Known for her characters “who slip readily into one’s heart,” Meredith’s heart belongs to her husband and two children. Meredith’s second favorite pastime is teaching others to write.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 2 comments
Sign up for Meredith's newsletter!