Last autumn, New Zealand novelist Katherine Hayton kindly shared with us her experience of the relatively new Instafreebie book promotion service, which automates the distribution of free books to build author mailing lists. Now she's back to tell us about a new development at BookFunnel, another free book distribution service: the BookFunnel Bundle. Over to Katherine…
BookFunnel Bundle pages are designed to feature a selection of different titles all on one page that then link through to separate download pages.
In May, BookFunnel announced another new development: the B4 (BookFunnel Bundle Bulletin Board) – a forum specifically designed to facilitate cross-promotions. Authors who sign up to be notified of opportunities in their genre are emailed a summary of the promotions that are available. An accompanying Facebook page also allows authors to showcase bundles.
Easy Way to Set Up a Cross-Promotion
This makes it incredibly easy to advertise and fill up a cross-promotion. When the link is posted on the B4 website, it auto-formats into a set design that makes it straightforward to scan the discussion thread for your genre:
BookFunnel also provides tokens to authors signed up to the mid-list author plan or above. The tokens allow somebody new to BookFunnel, or on a lower plan, to set up a Giveaway Page that will collect email addresses. This is limited to 1,000 addresses and expires within a calendar month, which gives authors a nice trial run to evaluate the bundles before they sign on for a new or upgraded plan.
How It Worked for Me
To try out the new system, I set up a Mystery Promotion to run from 24th through 30th June. Once I’d set the parameters for the promotion, BookFunnel did the rest of the work. I posted the opportunity in a couple of cross-promotion groups I’m part of, along with the Book Funnel Authors Facebook group, and then sat back and let the spots fill up.This is how it the mechanics of it worked:
- When authors sign up to an opportunity, BookFunnel presents them with a form to fill out and then emails the organizer the details. This data can then be downloaded into a CSV file.
- To set up the promotions page, it’s simply a matter of copying and pasting the BookFunnel codes from the CSV file into the link section, and all the books are displayed with their covers perfectly sized.
- The CSV export also contains the emails from the participating authors to send them out any promotional graphics or links to use to advertise the cross-promotion.
- On the setup for the bundle page are additional sections to upload a banner for the page, enter the start and end dates of the promotion, and create messages for the page to display if readers arrive early or late.
- During the promotion, you can choose for titles to disappear from the screen if a reader has already downloaded them, and select an option that randomly displays the titles available.
Ready for the Off
In the week that my page was due to go live, BookFunnel released a further system which allocates a separate website link for each book on the bundle page, for individual tracking. This allows the host to see where the clicks are coming from. It makes it easy to gamify the system (so a prize could be awarded to a participant sending the most links etc.) and enables the organizer to give a nudge to anyone who hadn’t generated traffic to the promotion at all.
Pros and Cons
When comparing the new BookFunnel bundle pages to other offerings in the market, there are advantages and disadvantages for promoters:
- The ease of creating a landing page is offset by it not being attached to a web page to generate alternative revenue during the promotion (e.g., Amazon CPM ads or associate ads).
- When building the landing page from scratch there are other options, such as incentivizing with a giveaway, that may be difficult or impossible when hosted on the BookFunnel website.
- Another consideration is that BookFunnel has no promotional capacity themselves, so the additional advertising brought in by being featured on InstaFreebie is missing. On the flipside of that, BookFunnel doesn't collect your subscriber addresses, so the only recipients of emails are the authors who are offering up their books.
From my own experience, the promotion generated a similar amount of traffic and new subscribers as previous promotions that I’ve participated in, or run.
For ease of use alone, I’d expect to see a lot more authors dipping their toes into the BookFunnel cross-promotion waters.
OVER TO YOU If you've tried BookFunnel's new BookBundle service, do you have any advice to add to Katherine's? If you've used Instafreebie, how did it compare?Case study of the new BookFunnel Bundle #bookpromo service by @kathay1973 Click To Tweet
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