Results from my International Only Bookbub

My urban fantasy novel, Chasing Shadows, was a 99 cent International-Only Bookbub Featured Deal on December 14, 2019. An international-only deal promotes your book to subscribers in Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and India. Notably, it excludes the United States, which is where I live and the world’s largest book market. Below are my results.

My Sales vs Bookbub Fantasy Average

 

Total Orders

209

Bookbub Fantasy Average: 480
(for international-only deals)
Source

 

Orders by Country

* = Not an official part of promotion but generated orders nonetheless.

Return on Investment*

Cost of Ad

$188 USD

Revenue

$107 USD*

ROI

-43.09%

 

* = Revenue is for December 14th only and includes orders + KU page reads.

Highest Amazon Sales Ranks Attained*

Country Overall Kindle Store Urban Fantasy Category
UK 373 6
Australia 114 2
Canada 193 2
India No sales No sales

* = My book is in Kindle Unlimited, so rankings were boosted by borrows.

 

A Mistake I Made

I missed a golden opportunity to earn follow-up sales by not adding a listing of my other books (including the next book in this series) in the backmatter. I never considered this a worthwhile practice since Kindle devices automatically recommend my other books after the last page swipe. I didn’t realize how big a mistake this was until I started getting reviews and emails asking when I will write another book.

 

Thoughts and Conclusions

While my first Bookbub was not the springboard I anticipated or remotely close to the spectacular results I’ve seen other authors post, I still consider it a success for the following reasons:

  • I now have a truly international readership. Before the Bookbub ad, my sales and page reads were 93% from the US. Now, on any given day, my UK sales exceed my US sales and my page reads are spread among 4-7 countries. I also occasionally wake up to a raft of overnight sales or page reads from Australia. I’m thrilled about the warm reception from international readers.
  • My Kindle Unlimited page reads have skyrocketed and, as of this writing, mostly stayed that way. (Update: My KU page reads collapsed back to normal levels the middle of the following month. I had irrationally hoped those record highs would behave like that Keith Sweat song and make it last forever, but alas, they left me faster than a gold digger on the steps of Bankruptcy Court. Oh well, on to the next book.)
  • I received a number of positive reviews and mailing list signups from Bookbub subscribers.

Something that now piques my curiosity is where Bookbub sources its average sales numbers and, tangentially, how dated they are. Other than the generic, automated survey request, no one from Bookbub asked me for my results. I would imagine most authors would be happy to provide anonymous data in the satisfying afterglow of a Featured Deal.

I hope this data is helpful to someone out there. If, like me, you came across this page after scouring the Web for international-only results upon receiving your acceptance email, then I wish you tons of success and sales. Take a screenshot of your No.1 category ranking and refer back to it on the difficult days.