Well, give us 10 days to collect all the data and we’ll have quite an indie publishing story to share with you.

What, you ask? What story? What happened?

Well, I finally, after six applications and five rejections, got a BookBub day. I got it for the book I wanted, too: Saving Grace, the lead novel in my Katie & Annalise romantic mystery series. I had just released Book 2, Leaving Annalise, it is almost time for holiday buying, and Book 3, Finding Harmony (pre-order Nook, Apple, or paperback), comes out February 1st. Plus Saving Grace had 125 reviews and a 4.5-star rating on Amazon/Kindle, 12 ratings for a 4.9 on Barnes and Noble/Nook, 11 for a 4.9 on Apple/iBooks, and 2 reviews for a 5-rating on Smashwords (I used to have a ton of reviews on Smashwords, but I unpublished while I was on KDP and lost them all; sigh. Whether to ever unpublish — the topic of a future blog; short answer, “NO.”). Coupled with the three contest wins for the series it seemed like Saving Grace had a good shot at a successful BookBub mystery run across those four platforms.

Even though BookBub costs $500 for a mystery, I wanted access to those 740,000 mystery readers.

Unfortunately, I had, two weeks before, separately run promos for Saving Grace on most of the other sites I was interested in using and could get on with short notice. And I had very short notice with BookBub, less than a week. I would be running a November 19th-23rd promo, relying only on BookBub on day one. Optimally I could have backed that up on days 2-5 with eReader News Today, Pixel of Ink, Kindle Nation Daily, and a few other possibilities.

Still, it was BookBub, and I had heard so many raves about BookBub and 99 cent deals being “the new KDP Select Free.” Yes was the only answer to give, and I did.

Note: I did KDP Select Free for Saving Grace in October 2012, and that was the start of a great year for it. I don’t believe in KDP Select for my novels anymore (read What Kind of Loser Indie Publishes, and How Can I Be One, Too?) although I do believe in it big time for my specialty books, like the planned April release of the Katie & Annalise mystery series bundle, and the planned March release of the How to Screw Up Everyone in Your Life humor bundle.

A writer colleague of mine did BookBub in November, too, for his first novel in the wake of the release of his second, like me. However, he was in KDP Select during his BookBub day. That allowed him to drop his price to 99 cents as a limited-time promotion and keep 70% in royalties. I, on the other hand, would get 35% on Kindle, 40% on Nook, 60% on Apple, and 85% on Smashwords (60% on any of the sites to which they had aggregated the book).

In my next post, after Thanksgiving, I’m going to give you details on how it went for both of us: our strategies, what we learned, how we ranked, how we rated, how we were reviewed, and what we sold/made. Day by day, dollar by dollar, site by site.

You aren’t going to want to miss this.


 Pamela Fagan Hutchins is an employment attorney and workplace investigator by day who writes award-winning and bestselling mysterious women’s fiction (Saving Grace) and humorous nonfiction (How to Screw Up Your Kids) by night. She is passionate about great writing and smart author-preneurship. She also leaps medium-tall buildings in a single bound, if she gets a good running start.


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4 Responses to Holy Crapoly! You’re Going to Want to Hear About This.

  1. Eric Hutchins says:

    Really an incredible impact on sales. I think one of the things that many folks are not aware of is that the bigger a base of recorded sales you ALREADY have, the bigger the effect of these types of promotions will be. RANKINGS ARE EVERYTHING, and they way they work on the big sites is that they take into account both current sales AND previous sales in a formula that not only drives rank but keeps you highly ranked as sales from a promotion start to drop off. SO, you may not want to play all your promotional cards too early becuase they dont get to take advantage of the cumulative effect.

  2. Eric Hutchins says:

    The other huge lesson learned to me is that here s GOLD MINE available on Nook if you are able to get some traction. There are SO many more promotions on kindle and so many authors are going kindle only to take advantage of KDP select that I think Nook readers are somewhat ignored.