Rejected by BookBub? Two Ways To Turn That Negative into a Positive

If you’re one of the many authors whose books are rejected by BookBub, don’t wallow in despair. You can turn that negative into a positive, by bucking up and trying again to get accepted by the book marketing giant by beefing up your reviews and generating more activity on your online book sales pages.

Only 10-20% of books submitted to BookBub are accepted. So why should you set yourself up for another rejection? The truth is that BookBub bases its selection criteria on best-practice marketing benchmarks. In my two previous articles, I’ve explained why not to fret about being rejected by BookBub and how to use the rejection to jump-start your marketing efforts. In this article, I’ll dig into the reasons why modifying your book’s presentation to appeal to BookBub can help sell your book. Even if these tactics don’t help you get chosen for a BookBub promotion, simply by spurring positive online store activities you’ll benefit for your book sales.

Go For It Again Tactic 1: Reviews!

Reviews are key for online sales. Readers use them to decide if your book is right for them. Online store algorithms use them to determine rankings and other digital merchandising. And BookBub itself looks to see how many customer reviews your book has in its online stores when determining whether to choose your book for promotion.

Why? Customer reviews reflect customer interest. Customer interest is a bellwether of sales. A book with a large number of reviews will be perceived as a legitimate, well-read title, something other readers want to find out about for themselves. A lot of reviews is an indication that the book is popular. A paucity of reviews indicated that a book may lack relevance. Frequently reviewed books are trendy, and trendy books acts as magnets for curious book shoppers.

When soliciting reviews, don’t ask just anyone! You want 4- or 5-star reviews. And the only people who will give you glowing reviews are those in your target audience. So define your niche market before you reach out. The more highly targeted your book is, the more fervently it may be adored. One wonderful thing about publishing your own book is that it can cater to its own unique audience. Understand that audience. Get the word out to that small, quirky group first.  Don’t worry about the mass market. The enthusiasm of your niche fans will spur others.

Many authors wonder how to ask for reviews without feeling pushy? Some ways to generate reviews are to add a page at the end of your book asking your readers to review your boo.. Another way is to ask for reviews when you do readings or whenever you have a chance encounter with people who’ve read your book. Make it a natural part of the conversation, but do be confident and firm, telling your readers that their honest opinion really does make a difference. If they liked your book, they’ll feel good about supporting you.

Go For It Again Tactic 2: Increase Activity On Your Online Sales Page

The more reviews your book receives on its online sales pages, the more activity it generates, the more likely it will be perceived as a book of interest in the stores’ algorithms. That means more clicks on your sales page and, you guessed it, more sales. More online activity is always a good thing for your title.

I know that sounds silly, but the fact is, in online book sales, success breeds success. Once your title gains consistent sales, it will attract the the attention of the algorithms in an online store. Once the algorithms kick in, your book may, for example, be eligible to benefit from cross-promotions such as follow-up emails, remarketing ads. (“Remarketing” is the term for ads that follow you around the internet after you’ve left something in your shopping cart without purchasing). Other algorithm-based promos include sales page listings such as banners  that assert “customers who bought this item also bought…”

These automated cross-promotions have the potential to  help sell books without any additional effort on your part. It’s difficult, expensive, and time consuming to market your book. Anything that nudges an online store to help advertise for you is a victory.

Get moving

The reality is that It’s difficult for a book to be accepted by BookBub. But an even harsher reality is that if you don’t get double-digit customer reviews and don’t encourage activity on your sales page, you’re not giving your book the marketing boost it deserves. So go out there and generate action around your book and get your book sales moving!

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Beth Bacon

About Beth Bacon

Beth Bacon has an MFA in Writing For Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She helps organizations large and small define their brands and has a special expertise in helping authors market their books. Beth has won the The Candlewick Award for Picture Book Writing, the Marion Dane Bauer Award for Middle Grade Writing, and is a PSAMA PULSE Award Finalist for marketing.