You betcha it is! Especially for the likes of Bookbub for whom it is all about the money, honey.
Founded in 2012 and privately owned, it employs 120 people. It is described as a book discovery service featuring free and discounted books, selected by its editorial team.
Largely, it was a channel for the major publishers and best sellers as reported in leading newspapers.
I say WAS, because the well must have run dry. They’ve discovered that advertising by authors desperate to get noticed is also potentially lucrative. Those same authors, like me, who are called INDIES are independent of the mainstream publishers and cannot attract conventional literary agents. These have been swamped with a backlist of previous authors whose books they cannot shift and are a barrier to emerging authors. I had the most helpful correspondence with one, who represented J K Rowling in her early days but had since retired and couldn’t help me incisively.
I suspect that Bookbub has exhausted its mainstream revenue because, in common with many other INDIES, the complaint was we didn’t stand a cat in hell’s chance of crossing Bookbub’s threshold whilst it continued.
By my calculations, it costs thousands in whatever currency to advertise, as a ‘partner’ with them, with scant chance of a decent return. This was confirmed on the 1st of October when one of their blurbs landed in my email inbox.
To quote: it gave an example of an author who combined BookBub Ads campaigns with a ‘Chirp’ Deal. He sold over 2,000 copies of the audiobooks in his science fiction series in a single month! 35% of those sales came directly from the ad campaigns. These combined promotions generated enough revenue for him to earn back more than half of what he invested to produce these three audiobooks.
The key here is 35% of what it COST him to advertise! Like with Amazon, Bookbub is the true winner when it comes to ‘investing’ in advertising.
During the Coronavirus epidemic, I gave away all my ebooks via Smashwords, to satisfy the demand from a new readership anxious to do something to fill their spare time. The ebook requests invariably started with one book being requested, then all the others I’ve written were ordered in quick succession. Even though, at the end of each book, I request an impartial review from the reader, not one ever materialized.
Despite my output being given really good reviews by the industry leaders like Kirkus (itself backed by leading publishers), Bookbub has consistently rejected my stories. Now, they want to generate extra revenue from another source, INDIES.
So why bother to write? The answer is it’s because I have stories to tell that I enjoy creating and are worth telling, to me at least.
Have any of you seen a film called The Spider’s Web – Britain’s Second Empire? It’s on YouTube and is an eye-opener on why the EU can never hope to follow the terrible example set by the UK and the USA. It forms part of my latest book about a future detective.
Bookbub and its ilk are, in my opinion, leeches to be removed with a lit fag end. The book publishing industry is full of bloodsuckers, so take care where you tread, if you follow this path.The illiterate vultures are on the lookout to fleece the gullible literate.