It should be apparent to anyone following this blog that a weekly post is probably too much to ask, so I shall try to make this a bi- or tri-weekly occurrence. Let’s see how that goes.

This week, I would like to write about BookBub and how it can be a very powerful advertising tool for authors and publishers.

For those of you who are wondering what BookBub is, here’s a little excerpt of their About page:

Screen Shot 2016-07-23 at 2.48.48 PM copyBookBub is a free service that helps millions of readers discover great deals on acclaimed ebooks while providing publishers and authors with a way to drive sales and find new fans. Members receive a personalized daily email alerting them to the best free and deeply discounted titles matching their interests as selected by our editorial team.

For readers, it’s a great way to discover books that are temporarily on sale or free. They can choose which categories of books they are interested in and will only receive deals featured in those categories. And they can also follow authors they like (if the authors have claimed their author profile on BookBub) and they will get an alert whenever these authors have a new book out.

For authors, BookBub, with its millions of subscribers, feels a bit like the holy grail of advertising. Every day hundreds of books are submitted to the BookBub editorial team, hoping to get included in a daily email, but only a few are selected. The criteria for acceptance are not clearly defined, but we know several things factor in: is it an interesting discount for the readers? Does the book have reviews and how good are the reviews? Does it look like a professional product? Will enough people potentially be interested in this book?

The cost of having your book featured in a daily email depends on the category in which you advertise and the price at which your deal is set, and for some categories it’s not cheap. But still, people submit because they know that a book featured in a BookBub email will earn back the price of the ad, and more, either through sales of the advertised book at the discount price and even after it gets back to normal price (the so-called halo effect), or, especially for free books, through sales of other books after people have read the advertised one.

We have submitted a book to BookBub four times in the past nine months and have been lucky enough to get selected every time. We think one of the reasons for our success in getting accepted is that the category we advertise in, LGBT, is less competitive than others, such as contemporary romance or crime fiction. But we also like to think that the books got picked because the editorial review team at BookBub saw that we were offering a qualitative and professional product that could bring in a substantive number of sales. BookBub is in it to make money as well of course, so they want to make sure they offer products that people will want to buy.

French Kissing: Season OneSo far we have only advertised Harper Bliss novels or series, and they have all earned back the cost of the ad through sales of the discounted book. French Kissing: Season One was especially successful because we saw an impressive sell-through of Season Two and Three in the weeks after the ad.

We’ve seen other publishers advertise anthologies in BookBub daily emails so next month for the first time we will submit an anthology. We have no idea whether it will be accepted, and if it is, whether it will sell enough to recoup the cost and what, if any, the sell-through will be. But as we have several anthologies in our catalogue, we are curious to see what the BookBub effect can be for that kind of book.

BookBub has really become an important part of our marketing strategy, and we recommend it wholeheartedly. Even if you’ve tried and been rejected, keep submitting, because it’s really worth it.

Don’t forget to check out our weekly podcast Harper Bliss & Her Mrs on The Lesbian Talk Show!

+ + +
Latest releases: Beneath the Surface by Harper Bliss, In the Distance There Is Light by Harper Bliss and No Strings Attached by Harper Bliss
+ + +
Sign up to the Ladylit mailing list to get notified of new releases and participate in giveaways.
+ + +

NEW RELEASE: No Strings Attached by Harper Bliss

No Strings AttachedHappy summer! It’s scorching hot at Ladylit HQ in Hong Kong, mainly because of the climate, but also a little because of this very hot new book we just released (which is currently racing up the Amazon charts)!

Here’s the blurb for No Strings Attached by Harper Bliss:

It’s never too late to find the right person… and yourself along the way.

Micky Ferro has lived her entire life according to other people’s expectations. She married a man, had two children, and became a dutiful stay-at-home mom in suburban Sydney. Until she realized, with a little help from her best friend, that her picture-perfect life wasn’t making her happy.

On the first anniversary of her divorce, Micky decides it’s time for the next step in her journey and gets a job at her neighborhood coffeeshop, The Pink Bean. Becoming a barista sparks a big change in Micky’s daily routine, but could loud-spoken American customer Robin do the same for her love life?

Don’t miss the first book in this heart-warming new series from the bestselling author of the French Kissing and High Rise series

(This is a standalone book and there are no cliffhangers!)

Early reviews have been great:

“Beyond 5 stars!”

“A brilliantly executed mid-life coming out story.”

“I was locked in from the first page to the last.”

“Fun yet thought provoking.”

“Sexy, funny and with an excellent sub-cast for future books in the series. Read it and smile!”

You can get it (ebook and paperback) from:
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
Amazon AUS
Amazon DE


+ + +
Latest releases: Beneath the Surface by Harper Bliss, In the Distance There Is Light by Harper Bliss and No Strings Attached by Harper Bliss
+ + +
Sign up to the Ladylit mailing list to get notified of new releases and participate in giveaways.
+ + +

Print is not dead, hurray!

Hi, remember me?

I started this blog a couple of months ago, full of ambition to keep it updated on a weekly basis. And now it’s been two months since the last post. Let’s attribute this delay to travelling, moving office, book launches, taking courses. Definitely not to fear of the blank page, or even less to laziness…

For the first post in this new attempt at regular blogging, I thought I would write about print books, and how they have become more important to us recently. You see, Ladylit reached a milestone in June. For the first time in our history we sold 100 print copies in a month. This may not seem like a lot, but to us it was a significant number.

We have always produced a print version of books above a certain length through Createspace, ever since we started publishing. Even though our focus is on (and our income comes from) ebooks, there is something quite magical about being able to hold in your handScreen Shot 2016-07-06 at 10.30.33 AMs a hard copy of a book you wrote or had a part in producing. Maybe it’s because we grew up with print books; it’s quite possible the younger generations who grew up in a mostly digital world will not have the same feeling. So, in the beginning the main purpose of producing the print version was just personal satisfaction. Holding the book in our hands made it somehow feel more real, I think.

We soon also started using the print version as a promotional tool, for giveaways or for gifts. After all, quite a bit of work goes into producing the files for the printer, both the cover and the interior. Especially at that time, when we still used the Createspace Word template file. Too much work just to stroke our egos…

We also realised that having the print version on the Amazon page next to the Kindle version, gave the book a more professional look, and made the Kindle version seem like a good deal, as Amazon helpfully shows how much money you save by purchasing the Kindle version.

We always sold a few copies each month, but never enough to get a monthly royalties cheque from Createspace (the payment threshold is US$100). As we put out more titles, the numbers increased slightly, but were still pretty insignificant. We also never put any marketing efforts towards selling more print books.

In the last few Screen Shot 2016-07-06 at 10.30.08 AMmonths however, since Harper started publishing regular full length novels, we have seen a considerable increase in the number of print books sold, especially newly published titles. Whereas before a new book would sell maybe 5 to 10 copies in its first month, the last two Harper Bliss novels we published each sold about 30 in the same period of time. As I write this, on July 6th Hong Kong time (but it’s still July 5th in the US), Harper’s most recent book The Road to You has already sold 6 copies this month, and we’ve sold 17 print books in total. (That’s more than 3 per day!)

This means that nowadays, instead of getting a $100 cheque every few months, we now get a few 100 dollars every month. It’s not enough to live off, but it’s a nice enough extra, especially since we still don’t do any promotion or marketing specifically for the print books.

We can’t really pinpoint what the increase in numbers is caused by. Of course, the print books benefit from our marketing work for the ebooks, since their visibility is improved by being linked to the Kindle version on Amazon. Harper’s reader base is increasing steadily and surely some of these new readers enjoy reading print books as well as or more than ebooks. We do know the extra sales do not come from bookshops, as they tend to not order books from Createspace. Additionally, at least one of the more successful titles is not even available to them to buy, as we are in the process of distributing through another company that does sell to indie bookshops more easily (hopefully more on that once the book is available.)

Screen Shot 2016-07-06 at 10.31.34 AMIn any case, these increased sales are starting to make me wonder if we should maybe look into promoting our print books more. And they are a confirmation that print is definitely not dead. It takes a bit more work than an ebook to put it out there, but it is definitely worth the effort.

+ + +
Latest releases: Beneath the Surface by Harper Bliss, In the Distance There Is Light by Harper Bliss and No Strings Attached by Harper Bliss
+ + +
Sign up to the Ladylit mailing list to get notified of new releases and participate in giveaways.
+ + +