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16.12.2014
Halli: We often receive over 100 submissions per day, of which we select about 20% for listing. Christine: How you maintain your astonishing efficiency of matching bibliophile to book while growing so fast? We always try to put ourselves in the shoes of our subscribers and ask, “Will our readers be excited about this deal?” We also take price into account to ensure that the readers really are getting bargains. Most importantly, we ask, “Is this the best possible book for our audience at this time?” We review data on our past titles to better understand our readers’ evolving tastes. Submissions that meet these basic requirements go to the editorial team member responsible for each book’s category.
Christine: What are the most important factors you consider, and how can authors make their listings more competitive? This means that when we do select a book, we have confidence that it will appeal to our readers and will likely be a worthwhile investment for our authors.
Halli: They bring experience from across the industry, previously having worked at large publishing houses, tiny presses, literary agencies, and as published authors. During our listing discussions, we also ask people from other departments to weigh in and give their perspective. Halli: We’re constantly thinking about the readers we aren’t reaching, and listening to feedback on how we can make our service better. Any time we add more books or new categories, we have to think about how that will affect the results of each individual book.
When we see performance trends continue over time, they usually lead us to adjust our categories or policies. Halli: We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to the indie author community, and we spend every day figuring out how to grow so that we can continue to reward their loyalty and support with the best BookBub experience possible! Award-winning author Christine Nolfi provides readers with heartwarming and inspiring fiction. Subscribe to our advice blog to get great self-publishing advice almost daily, all year round.
Regardless of whether you have a 3 bedroom apartment home or a studio, your place will get dirty. Remember that people trust real address workplaces more than online ventures because contact with the business is more real. You can choose your own timings and above all, you can choose how much work you want to take up.
I can only hope the next time I submit a book for a BookBub ad that it will meet their criteria at the time and do even half as well.


As I’m sure most of you will know, Amazon does offer the option to have free or discounted periods. A word of warning: Amazon will not list your regular price until all other publishing platforms have also increased the price.
In today’s slightly ironic mental health news, scientists at the University of New Brunswick just discovered that self-help mantras can lower self-esteem instead of elevating it. Psychologists suggested that for someone feeling distressed or negative, positive thoughts can provoke contradictory thoughts, something we’re all familiar with.
One of these, the free subscription service BookBub, sends readers a free daily email of recommended reads, discounted and tailored to suit each subscriber’s personal reading preferences. We want to make sure our members are delighted by the books they receive so they keep coming back for more. If we only have a few sources of information, it’s much harder for us to evaluate a listing. That’s how we make sure our authors are reaching an audience of engaged subscribers likely to click on their title. For example, if horror stories about evil unicorns have been consistently under-performing, we might conclude that our Horror subscribers weren’t looking for that kind of content at the moment. More importantly, they are ardent readers and book lovers – the kind of kids who stayed up late with a flashlight, reading under the covers. Authors want to find readers who will fall in love with their story and characters the way they have. We have business school grads, entrepreneurs, creative marketers, and brilliant programmers who all bring a different dimension to our decisions.
For example, one thing we hear consistently from our readers and authors is that they want even more targeting capabilities.
It’s important that we reach new readers, rather than just diluting our list and decreasing the effectiveness of a BookBub listing, which is why we can’t just add as many books to the email as we want. For example, we noticed recently that books we ran for a second time after only four months weren’t performing as well the second time. Do you try to strike a balance between the two, or do you favor one publishing medium over the other? One of the great things about publishing right now is how diverse it is. At BookBub, we want to reflect that diversity.
To give you an idea of how explosive, on June 17 of this year, the BookBub ad ran for the 3rd edition of my first novel.
During a BookBub promotion, I drop the price for the listed book to 99 cents on all three platforms.


Kobo appears to take the longest amount of time to revert to regular price so I return to $3.99 there first. Use of the web site constitues acceptance of the Defy Media Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.
ALLi author member Christine Nolfi, who uses BookBub very successfully to promote her novels, interviewed the company’s Editorial Operations Director Halli Melnitksy. We are also constantly adjusting our standards based on how many listing orders we’ve received and how many open spots we have. We’d then move away from accepting evil unicorn stories for a while, even if a particular evil unicorn book was exceptional in other ways, because that listing ultimately wouldn’t be successful for our author partner or our readers. Of course, that’s just a hypothetical example, not a judgment on unicorns — evil or otherwise!
But by closely analyzing each listing’s results, we can make better predictions in the future about what kind of books our readers prefer on each list. We now feature the same book only once every six months to ensure that it has the best chance of performing well the second time around. Excellent authors were submitting very strong books, but we knew from prior results that their listings weren’t a perfect fit for either our Romance or Thriller readers, so we launched a separate category to address demand from both authors and subscribers.
When a subscriber opens our email, they can’t see whether a book we’re running is from an indie author or a big house.
The Midwest Book Review lists her books as “highly recommended” and her novels have enjoyed bestseller status. On the other hand, we make sure positive feedback isn’t coming from biased, artificial, or paid sources. The team doesn’t vote on listings, but rather we reach the selection decision by consensus — considering and deliberating together until we all agree. So while we originally only had one Romance list, we now have six sub-categories, and we plan to do more of this as time goes on. They are making purchasing decisions based on how appealing the book looks, whether it sounds interesting, and if the price seems like a good deal. This month, the second book in my series was listed in the new, smaller romantic suspense category (which costs a lot less than romance did) and performed well, but not nearly as spectacularly as the one in May. Regardless of where they come from, we’ll take any book that we think our readers will enjoy, and we hope to always maintain that diversity.



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