When one thinks of book sales, they often think of Amazon and Barnes and Noble. For independent authors or publishers this equals a near death sentence in launching a book that hasn’t been listed on the New York Times Bestseller List or can’t seem to gain traction within mainstream venues.

The E-book has given authors a number of secret ways into the industry. Unknown authors started gaining traction early in 2009.

As successful author Amanda Hocking stated, “When I first started self-publishing, there weren’t very many books priced between $.99-$2.99. In fact, most of the books were priced a lot more, so readers with their brand new Kindles and Nooks and iPads were excited to fill up their devices and gobbled up cheap books like they were candy.”

Hocking, like so many others, learned the art of the trilogy or series – offering the first book for free, just enough to get people hooked so that they would pay for the others.

bookbub marketing success online

Once word hit the street, the E-book market was flooded. Now writers are asking how they are supposed to get their book recognized and are wondering if they missed something when it comes to digital marketing.

Then came along Bookbub.com. Bookbub’s organizer John Schanker realized people still wanted to pay $0.99-$2.99 for a book but because there were so many choices, it was difficult to narrow down what was worth paying for. Secondly there was the question about how to stay up on Amazon’s digital deal of the day.  Bookbub took all the guess work out of these quandaries and built a criteria for which books are reviewed and then began an email campaign.

Readers who sign up with Bookbub will not only receive one email but a well-designed sequence of emails that engages the reader and encourages them to take action – in most cases – to purchase an E-book.

How did Bookbub become so popular? Well of course Schanker had a great idea – this helps. Secondly, he knew how to leverage the online marketing funnel to its fullest degree.

Online Sales Awareness Funnel

Image by Social Media Examiner


  1. Awareness – Make people aware of the service Bookbub and what it can do for them. Use channels such as Facebook Ads, YouTube Ads and more.
  2. Repeat Visibility and Build Engagement – Write an excellent piece of sales copy that is nicely tied up with a Sign-Up now box at the bottom that can be used to advertise to Facebook readers and throughout Social Channels.
  3. Sales – Make sure the website has a number of touch points where the reader can easily signup to “Start Reading – It’s Free” or “See Todays Free E-Books” or if you are still waffling on your decision, a pop-up appears after a certain amount of time spent on the website asking you a few simple questions regarding your reading habits. Follow up your campaign with a well-crafted series of Email nurturing and sequencing systems.

Can you see how each of these pieces of marketing have contributed to the growth of the company’s email list which is now over a million people strong? Can you also see how this business has become so successful in leading each potential client down the Sales Funnel?

Again, the magic isn’t just in the concept of Bookbub but the marketing efforts made behind the scenes for Bookbub on behalf of E-book authors as well as working with book companies. All of this begs the question for you and your business: How are you driving your potential clients down your consumer funnel?

About: Pamela Ravenwood is a digital marketing specialist, consultant and strategist. She works for SEO Essential Solutions in beautiful Sedona, Arizona.