Advertising Using Bookbub and Pronoun

Advertising Using BookBub and Pronoun

Everyone knows that BookBub is the holy grail of promotions. Talk to any author who’s been around awhile and they’ll tell you—BookBub delivers the sales. So advertising using BookBub is worth it, right?

Yes. But with that said, it can be painful because Amazon, B&N, and Kobo all have taken the low road of cutting royalties almost in half if your book is priced under $2.99, and to sell a lot of books, the pricing usually has to be at 99c. You can do the math, but I’ll save you the time, that means you only get paid about 35c per book.

So why would you want to do something like that?

There are numerous reasons to do advertise with BookBub, and also reasons not to. First, let’s address the monetary reasons. A BookBub ad is expensive. And I mean expensive. This isn’t some fifty- or hundred-dollar promotion. If you place a 99c ad in the crime/mystery group and opt for worldwide coverage, it cost $1,020.

Yes, you read that right. And that means that you have to sell about 3,000 books to break even (depending on which retailer you sell the most books with).

Let’s Look at the Numbers Using Pronoun and Going Direct

BookBub results from using Pronoun</font color=”red”>


Retailer Amazon Apple B&N Kobo Google
Number of Books Sold 1900 240 1300 108 64
$ earned $1,320 $168 $910 $75.60 $44.80

BookBub results when going direct</font color=”red”>


Retailer Amazon Apple B&N Kobo Google
Number of Books Sold 1,900 240 1,300 108 64
$ earned $660 $168 $520 $48.60 $33.60

So, if you had gone direct with all of the big retailers, you would have earned $1,430. But if you used Pronoun to access those retailers, you would have earned $2,518.40.

That’s a whopping difference of $1,088.40. So with the first option, you would have earned a profit of $410 after the cost of the ad (not bad). But using Pronoun, you would have earned a profit of $1,498.40. That’s a significant difference. By the way, I talked about formatting before. You need to have your book shining before BookBub will accept it. They don’t offer low-quality books.

Advertising using BookBub has always been worth it—in my opinion—but Pronoun isn’t the only way to go. There are other ways to earn more than direct if you choose not to use Pronoun. For example, Smashwords and Draft2Digital pay 60 percent at B&N instead of 40 percent. That helps, but it’s still not the 70 percent that Pronoun pays. Apple, as always, pays 70 percent if you’re direct, and it pays you the same no matter where you sell or at what price. And it doesn’t charge per megabyte for downloads (more about that in another post). But no one except Pronoun pays you 70 percent for under $2.99 at Amazon, Kobo, and Google (and B&N).

A Note

For those of you who are interested in advertising using BookBub, read on. I have now run fifteen promotions with them. I have never lost money, but I have never made this much either. In addition to the phenomenal sales of the book I promoted, I also sold more in that series as a direct result of the promotion. It may be worthwhile to note that I’m not speaking of running BookBub ads, but using BookBub for a promotion when I want to sell a book at a discount.

Not only does BookBub continue to build its impressive mailing list, it is always improving other offerings. Recently it came out with a “follow” button for BookBub authors to put on their websites. It looks like the one shown below.

advertising with BookBub

go ahead and click it</font color=”red”>


This is a valuable feature, as whenever you bring out a new book (assuming it meets BookBub’s requirements), they send an email to your followers to let them know.

By the way, you can click on the button above to go to my BookBub page and follow me. Go ahead and do it. I won’t mind.


In summary, let me say that I think Pronoun is the best thing that’s happened for indie publishing.

If you enjoyed this post, please share.

Giacomo Giammatteo is the author of gritty crime dramas about murder, mystery, and family. And he also writes nonfiction books including the No Mistakes Careers series as well as books about grammar and publishing.

When Giacomo isn’t writing, he’s helping his wife take care of the animals on their sanctuary. At last count they had forty animals—seven dogs, one horse, six cats, and twenty-five pigs.

Oh, and one crazy—and very large—wild boar, who takes walks with Giacomo every day and happens to also be his best buddy.

He lives in Texas where he and his wife have an animal sanctuary with forty-five loving “friends.”

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About the Author

About the Author: Giacomo Giammatteo is the author of gritty crime dramas about murder, mystery, and family. And he also writes non-fiction books including the No Mistakes Careers series as well as books about grammar and publishing. He lives in Texas where he and his wife have an animal sanctuary with 45 loving “friends. .

6 Reader Comments

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  1. robertlslater says:

    Just got one of my novels on Pronoun. Want to submit a BookBub, but last time I got one. GooglePlay matched price did not include VAT, so I didn’t get that link in my e-mail promo. Does it work in Pronoun? Thanks, Rob

  2. Are you still pleased with Pronoun? What do you think of the Amazon and Kobo international sales royalty loss?

    Per Pronoun’s current royalty plan:

    For Amazon sales in the UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand, you receive 41% of your book’s list price. You receive 45% for Amazon sales in India and China, and 46% for Amazon sales in all other countries. You receive 50% for sales made by customers outside of the US.

    [vs. 70% going with Amazon direct with a non-exclusive agreement]

    For sales on Kobo, you receive 50% of your book’s list price in all international territories.

    [vs. 70% going with Kobo direct]

  3. Giacomo Giammatteo says:

    Harry: I’m pleased, but then again most of my sales are in the US. You have to analyze your sales and determine where they come from. If most of your sales are international, it would not be prudent.

  4. I am a writer with many books published-non fiction, travel, Italy, history- and want to have ebook version available to readers worldwide since the price of postage is continually rising.
    The 5 books published between 2001-2017 have sold well (1,000-2,000 copies each ) and are already in ebook form but my local publisher here in Italy is not able to organize sales abroad. They are in English or bi-lingual , perfect also for learning the other language . . I am finding great general advice from your articles and if you have any specifically for my situation I would be most grateful. GRAZIE

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