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Timing a book discount for maximum impact
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The IPG
Posted by IPG
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Annie Stone of IPG Annual Spring Conference sponsor BookBub on ways to make the most of your ebook promotion
Discounting an ebook can help publishers drive up sales, increase revenue and build a buzz. And advertising that discount via services like BookBub can expose the book to millions of readers eager for a good deal. But when is the best time to discount one of your books?
The answer will depend on the type of book you want to promote and your marketing goals—but here are a few strategies that can make an impact.

When you’re launching a new series book

When you launch a new book in a series, discounting the first book in the series can drive sales for that new release. The lower price point will attract new readers who hopefully will want to know what happens next in the series. And they are often willing to pay more for follow-up books—in fact, 81% of BookBub’s readers in the UK buy full-priced books in addition to discounted titles. Partners can see a five-fold increase in sales of the other books in a series when the first book is discounted against any other book in the series.
Our partners also much more likely to see an increase in the sales of other books in the series if links are included in the back matter of the discounted book. Be sure to promote the subsequent book in the first book’s back matter so readers can easily find out which book comes next.

When you’re releasing a new standalone book from an author with backlist titles

If you are releasing a new standalone book that is not part of a series, discounting one of the author’s backlist titles can still be an effective way to boost exposure for the new release. 63% of BookBub's readers have purchased other books by an author they discovered as part of a price promotion. Choose one of the author’s most popular backlist titles that has garnered a solid platform and a lot of reviews. We see a 15% increase in sales when a book we feature has at least 150 Amazon or Goodreads reviews going into the promotion, and this in turn exposes more new potential readers to the new release.
Again, make sure you promote the new release in the back matter of the book you are discounting. Because readers may not be already hooked on the concept or characters featured in the new release, include a short excerpt or the first chapter from the new book as a teaser. Authors who include an excerpt in their back matter see a higher increase in sales of their promoted book than authors who don’t.
If the new release is a work of fiction, make sure this excerpt ends on a cliffhanger so readers are intrigued enough to purchase the new book.

When your book is related to current events

Is there a specific season, event or pop culture news story that relates to one of your titles? If so, consider timing a discount of that book to coincide with it. For example, if you are promoting a romance, consider discounting the book on Valentine’s Day, or promote funny chick lit as a summer beach read. Compare Victorian historical fiction to a hit new Victorian-era TV show, and target fans of that show with a discount at the beginning of the next season. Or if you have a new book featuring athletes overcoming great obstacles, discount it during the Olympics or other relevant sporting events.

Does day of the week matter?

Our partners often ask which day of the week is best for running a price promotion. So we reviewed our historical data… and found that the response rates of BookBub subscribers are roughly the same regardless of the day! Instead of worrying about day of the week, think about optimizing your promotional timing throughout the year, based on your marketing goals and publishing schedule.
Annie Stone is international account manager at BookBub. For more about BookBub’s services, talk to its team at the IPG’s Annual Spring Conference, click here or email partners@bookbub.com.

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