Last weekend, my publisher ran a $0.99 cent sale on Artificial Absolutes and publicized it via an ad in BookBub, a website that sends subscribers daily deals on ebooks. With thousands and thousands of subscribers in each genre, it's bound to get you some attention. Most of the sales they advertise are freebie and $0.99 runs, although sometimes they advertise sales for $1.99 or $2.99 as well (the sale has to be at least 90% off the paperback price).
Now, BookBub doesn't accept every application for an ad. The reason they have so many loyal fans is because they screen the applications to make sure the books they advertise are of good quality - properly edited and such. Call it quality control. They also write their own blurbs based on the book's description and sometimes its reviews.
Now, BookBub ads aren't exactly cheap, I've had a few people ask me, "So, how did it go? Was it worth it?" In terms of monetary returns, the jury is still out. At $0.99, with Amazon taking about 70%, not a lot of money is going to be made unless you get really, insanely lucky. Of course, if you're doing a freebie run, you're not going to make any money at all. The idea behind these steep discounts is to get the book into the hands of as many people as possible. Hopefully, some of them will like it and leave a review, maybe even recommend it to a friend.
And, of course, it's great for visibility. Artificial Absolutes made the top 100 lists for both Sci-Fi Adventure and Space Opera, peaking at #20 in the former and #5 in the latter (there are over 17,000 books in Adventure, so that's quite something!). Unfortunately, I didn't get a screenshot because this peak occurred in the middle of the night, while I was asleep. But I caught the next best thing - #6 in Space Opera (I also have a screenshot of #22 in Adventure, but adding that would clutter up this post with pictures). The sale also landed my book on the Also Bought lists of other space adventures, which will, in theory, help readers interested in the genre find it.
The effects of the ad will outlast the actual sale. It's going to take time for readers who downloaded the book to get through it. Here's hoping they like it! It was certainly a thrill to see Artificial Absolutes shoot up the rankings, even if it was just for a few days. And let it be known - Amazon takes ages to catch up. As of 5pm on the day of the sale, my book's ranking was still pretty low, and I was starting to worry that the ad wasn't working. By 6:30pm, it was on the bestseller lists of Space Opera and Sci-Fi Adventure. :-D