How to run a top-performing ad on BookBub

It’s not often you get to discover other authors’ click-through rates for advertising but BookBub has set out a selection of the most successful self-serve display ads on its platform over the past year.

The ads cover a wide range of genres and ad budgets but BookBub points out that each one demonstrates the core elements of effective advertising — targeting a relevant audience with an engaging creative to capture their interest.

Never Dare a Wicked Earl by Renee Ann Miller

Kensington Publishing targeted author Renee Ann Miller’s own fans on BookBub, plus the fans of eight other authors for this new release which was the first in The Infamous Lords three-book series.

They also limited the audience to Historical Romance subscribers as combining author and category targeting ensures you only reach an author’s fans who are interested in the genre of the book you’re promoting.

The blurb highlights the historical period and the tension between the characters. This book cost $3.99 during the two weeks that the ad ran and produced a 3.15% click-through rate (CTR), with over 1,400 clicks across all retailers in the US, UK and Canada.

Dead Wrong by Leighann Dobbs

Author Leighann Dobbs ran a series of 13 three-day campaigns for this book in February and March testing different single-author targets.

Overall she had an average 4.5% CTR and over 6,000 clicks across all the campaigns. She used CPM bidding (cost per thousand impressions) and with her narrow targeting paid an average rate of only $0.09 per click across the entire series of campaigns.

Men of Inked Books 1-3 by Chelle Bliss

Chelle Bliss has been running ads for this permafree box set introducing readers to her seven-book series using different images and targeting. One of her tests delivered one of BookBub’s highest CTRs of any ad last year — a whopping 14.9%.

BookBub says free books and box sets usually generate really high engagement and says it ‘loved that Chelle quoted BookBub reviewers in this ad image’.

Too Close for Comfort by Adam Croft

UK author Adam Croft is known as a BookBub advertising expert and this campaign demonstrates the power of narrow targeting.

He set up seven ads for this book using the same image, each with a low daily budget and targeting the fans of a different thriller author on Apple Books, B&N, Google, and Kobo.

In the first two weeks of the campaign, the ads drove a total of over 2,500 clicks and the version with the highest CTR was at 7.4%.

A Time for Trumpets by Charles MacDonald

Non-fiction titles are often neglected when it comes to advertising so it’s very interesting to see this campaign to worldwide Amazon readers during a $0.99 sale lasting a week.

The campaign targeted General Non-fiction and History subscribers who were fans of the author, Charles MacDonald, and six other authors who write about historical battles. The John Toland quote perfectly appealed to that audience and the ad’s CTR was 4.82%, using CPC bidding at a rate of $0.19 per click.

The Russian Renaissance by Ian Kharitonov

BookBub says Ian Kharitonov’s ad for his $3.99 first-in-series, The Russian Renaissance, had one of the widest reaches of any ad campaign over the past year, serving over eight million impressions during its five-month run.

He set up individual campaigns for each retailer in order to customize the bid for each one. He used CPC bidding, which meant he could target broadly, using only categories, but only pay for the interested readers who clicked on this ad and got a total of over 55,000 clicks.

Fatemarked by David Estes

David Estes has been running this continuous ad for the first book in an epic fantasy series for over nine months.

He’s targeting Amazon US readers who are fans of 50 other fantasy authors with books in Kindle Unlimited. You can’t explicitly target KU subscribers on BookBub Ads but with the targeting and calling out the book’s KU availability in the ad image, David has designed this ad to specifically appeal to those readers and encourage them to click. Over 15,000 readers clicked on this ad last year.

You can check out all the case studies at the BookBub website.

BookBub launched its advertising service for authors over two years ago and it has proved to be very popular, producing impressive results for some authors. We’ll be taking a more in-depth look at the opportunities from BookBub Ads on this website shortly.

BookBub opens up advertising scheme for indie authors separate from Featured Deals