This week’s guest post is from Kayla Tirrell, contemporary YA romance author (and the very first guest on the podcast!). She recently attempted to replicate the results of the nearly impossible to book BookBub promotions and was generous enough to share her very impressive results. Thanks Kayla!



A silly name for an amazing service. As a reader, if the best place to find deals on books. As a writer, it is the holy grail of paid newsletters. Everyone wants a place in their newsletter. Some spots cost over $200 and authors are lining up around the block, so to speak, to pay this insane amount of money.

That said, for most of us, BookBub is a dream that may never come true. I’ve applied SIX times, and have yet to be accepted. What’s a girl to do? Give up? Grab the biggest container of Ben & Jerry’s and cry? Listen to depressing music on repeat?


I decided to try what I affectionately call a FauxBub. It was an experiment that consisted of stacking as many high performing promos as possible during a free 5-day run and see what my results would be.

This wasn’t my first free run, and it wasn’t my first promoted free-run. But, I was pleasantly surprised by the results I got the second time around.


Let’s talk numbers, shall we?

The highest ranking I ever achieved with a free-run was #104 in the free store. I was pretty darn proud of that number.

In those five days, I gave away 1,664 copies of the first book in my series. That was impressive to me, as well.
I remember booking a couple promos, but I couldn’t give you hard numbers on the costs. All I know was, I was THRILLED by my success.

Well, for my FauxBub, I went all out. I wanted to break the top 100 of the free store, and I hoped to give away more copies than I had before. And, as always, I wanted to see some actual money coming in.

During my free-run, I was promoted by:

  • Robin Reads: $80
  • eReader News Today (ENT): $30
  • Fussy Librarian Free Newsletter: $6 (normally $12)
  • My Book Cave: $25
  • Red Roses Romance: $25

For those at home who stink at math, that’s $166 on paid newsletter spots.


The results are in…

The free BookBub cost $115, according to an author friend who ran her BookBub deal the same day as I started my FauxBub. I paid a little more, so what did that get me? I’m glad you asked!

  • The highest rank my book reached was #16 in the entire free store. (Remember, my goal was to break the top 100!)
  • I gave away 8,926 free copies! (7,262 more than my last free-run)
  • I had a month-long “tail” of sales and page reads.
  • It was my highest income producing month so far, by $141. I made back my money and then some.
  • I also reached more people, which is always the goal with free promos.


Would I do it again?

Absolutely! I haven’t given up on BookBub. Like I said, it’s the holy grail.
My friend who had a BookBub the same day?
She hit #7 in the free store and had 11,086 downloads on the first day. (See why you want this promo at any cost?)
You can apply for a BookBub every thirty days, and you better believe this girl has the date circled on her calendar each month. Because, as successful as my FauxBub was, I KNOW a BookBub has higher reach.

But, if that never happens, at least I now know I can make my own success with a little hard work.

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