Ebook promotion website BookBub, which drives over one million ebook sales a month, is set for major expansion after pulling in $3.8 million in its first-ever round of capital-raising.
The company was set up only two years ago and has seen stellar growth, tripling in size since last year.
BookBub is reckoned to be the most effective promotional website for authors. It sends its three million subscribers email alerts for discounts on selected ebooks and offers authors and publishers advertising deals on their discounted books.
The success of the service is based on being highly targeted as members set up a profile of their reading interests and BookBub alerts them to discounts on ebooks matching these interests.
The company has a selective approach, picking only around one in five of the ebooks put forward to them.
Advertising with Bookbub can be expensive but the deals can pay off with a mass of downloads and subsequent continued attention.
Some self-published authors have seen big successes with Bookbub promotions but others believe the benefits have dwindled by comparison with the costs.
Bookbub deals sell a million ebooks a month
Thousands of self-published authors have featured in the 10,000 ebook deals through BookBub. The company says its members buy over a million ebooks a month through the service, not including the massive number of free ebooks also downloaded.
Josh Schanker, Bookbub president and one of the site’s co-founders, came up with the idea of building email lists of readers in response to the problem of ebook discoverability.
The new investors include NextView Ventures, Founder Collective, Avalon Ventures and Bloomberg Beta.
NextView Ventures partner David Beisel says: “BookBub’s traction proves it’s filling a huge need for readers, authors, and publishers. We meet with countless start-ups but it’s uncommon to find one that has become such a meaningful part of an industry so early in its existence.”
International growth and more products
BookBub is said to be profitable and has been bootstrapped since launching in 2012. The funding is the first external capital raised by the firm and will be used for growing its team more rapidly, expanding internationally and launching additional products for its members and partners.
Schanker says: “Since starting BookBub, our dual goals have always been to help readers discover great books and to provide publishers and authors an effective way to get their books discovered.
“A daily email featuring deals on ebooks is part of that mission but we believe it’s just the beginning for BookBub, so we’ve raised money to widen our scope.
BookBub members get a personalized daily email alerting them to the best free and deeply discounted titles matching their interests as selected by BookBub’s editorial team.