Update: The latest on BookGorilla for authors and publishers (Summer 2014)

“Another fabulous BookGorilla promo….  Hi,  just wanted to tell you that eight of my books are in the top 100 of their category from my BookGorilla promos. Sales are staying high for over a week. The free books continue to sell, as well. And those that are in a series tend to pull the others up. Thought you’d be interested. Thank you so much. ”

–Suzanne Jenkins, author

Greetings from BookGorilla,

We love the fact that BookGorilla receives email messages every day like this one from Suzanne Jenkins, author of the Pam of Babylon and Greektown Stories series. And we’re thrilled that we’re getting more and more national attention like the nice coverage that we got this week in a pretty comprehensive Daily Kos report — nice not only because we were featured prominently on a high-traffic site, but also because the report demonstrated clearly how BookGorilla is different from every other ebook alert.

There’s always a lot to be excited about here at BookGorilla, and we want to do a better job of sharing the news. We often feel that staying in touch with authors and publishers comes naturally, because authors and publishers are among the most prolific readers. You’re an integral part of the hundreds of thousands of readers with whom we communicate on a daily basis, so you may already be aware of much of what we’re sharing here. But we also know that we can do more to communicate with you as our author and publisher partners, and we’re committed to trying harder to keep in touch in that way in the coming months.

First, we want you to know that we’ve been working hard at our constant goal of sustained growth. Over the past 15 months, since our beta launch in March 2013, our reach has continued to grow at an average rate of a little over 10% per month. Each day — through our combination of email alerts, free apps and social media connections — we alert well over 200,000 individual readers to that day’s best deals in the Kindle Store, including A-list bestsellers, freebies, deeply discounted midlist and backlist titles, and amazing boxed set deals featuring popular titles at just a few pennies each.

Throughout this period of rapid growth, we have kept advertising rates for authors and publishers unchanged. We’re sure we could charge more and still be successful, but we look at author and publisher efforts to promote your books via BookGorilla as a partnership in which we all have something to invest, and something to gain, rather than as a high-stakes gamble where you spend huge amounts of money for the thrill of temporarily high sales rankings. That’s why we are also committed to continuing throughout  2014 and early 2015 without any increase in these advertising rates. Throughout that period, you’ll still be able to promote your books via BookGorilla for as little as $40 to $50, or via a Kindle Nation Daily spot with a free BookGorilla slideover for as little as $99.99.

One reason we are able to keep these rates low is that we dedicate only a small portion of our daily Kindle ebook recommendations to ad-supported titles. Instead, most of our revenue comes directly from Amazon Associates fees, which continue to grow at explosive rates because of our commitment, to our readers, to select the best deals every day on the books our subscribers really want to read. Most of our revenue comes from pleasing our readers with deals they never thought they’d see, often on books they already wanted to read.

Consequently, when an author or publisher has a book on our daily alert, it’s a lot like being on the “favorites” shelf at a popular bookstore. Whether the book is independently published or comes from one of the Big Five publishers, it may well occupy “shelf space” next to a bestseller by Janet Evanovich, Stephen King or John Green. No stigma here — like we say, it’s like being prominently displayed in a popular bookstore. We think that has a lot to do with the fact that our paid advertisers include several of the Big Five publishers as well as hundreds of indie authors and small presses, and we know that it also has a lot to do with our industry leading open rates.

Although we’re constrained because we actually honor our agreement with Amazon not to report specific actual sales figures, we’ve been excited lately to watch thousands of individual paid titles generate sales in the hundreds of copies, and sometimes in the thousands of copies, through their inclusion in BookGorilla alerts. We continue to include a limited number of freebies in our listings, and those titles regularly experience download traffic in the 10,000 to 20,000-copy range.

We don’t have 4 million readers, but we have real readers. Unlike some other alerts that depend almost 100% on ad-supported titles, only a small percentage of all the books we recommend are ad-supported: less than 15% of all title recommendations. We never purchase subscriber lists (or share ours with anyone else, for that matter), which is among the reasons we believe our readership is truly made up of the best readers in the world.

Because we have so much faith in our community of readers, we let them make the important choices. Our subscribers can choose from among over 100 genres and sub-categories, and we leave it totally up to our readers whether they would like to see 12, 25, or 50 ebook recommendations in their daily alerts. We’re confident that we’ve hit the sweet spot in providing the right amount of information so that readers can scan quickly through our emails and make wise choices about which books they’d like to consider more seriously, because the percentage of our subscribers who select 25 or more titles has actually grown, from 87% to 89%, since our early days.

In the past few months we’ve had a couple of very successful BookGorilla app launches — one in the Amazon AppStore for a Kindle Fire app and one in the Google Play store for an android app. We’ve already had an app approved for Amazon’s new Fire Phone, and we’re working toward moving even closer to complete coverage when it comes to smartphone apps. And that’s just a start — we have other very exciting developments in the works that will allow better than ever connections between readers and the authors they love (or have just discovered!)

We promise to work harder to stay in touch with you in the coming months, and we hope you’ll stay in touch with us.

Have a great summer!



Steve Windwalker

Email: promotions@bookgorilla.com

ps – We’re all pretty busy, and I don’t want that last bit about “staying in touch with you” to scare anyone off, so I’ll take a moment to list a few recent and upcoming topics below.

How to sign up for affordable advertising opportunities on BookGorilla

BookGorilla ads begin at just $40 to $50 and currently max out at $200. Our advertisers range from bestselling indie authors to several of the Big Five publishers, but the same rules apply to everyone and you can schedule your own spots online without a lot of mystery and drama. Click here for info and sign-up. (Please be sure to check availability info, which is updated daily on the sign-up page, before you submit, as that will save time for you as well as us!)

How to get a free BookGorilla spot when you buy a KND sponsorship

Straight-up BookGorilla spots beginning at $40 or $50 are great, but here’s another deal that could be just as good, depending on your needs:

Just click on our booking calendar to book, schedule and pay for a KND sponsorship, and we’ll give you a free “slide-over spot” on BookGorilla if your book qualifies in terms of promotional pricing, quality review, and our restrictions against the same title repeating more than once in a 14-day period. If you qualify, make sure you fill out the form on our Free BookGorilla Slide-over info page and send it on to promotions@bookgorilla.com.

Recent and Upcoming Topics for Authors and Publishers

Recent topics:

Upcoming topics:

  • Ebook pricing strategies on BookGorilla
  • Kindle Countdown Deal strategies on BookGorilla
  • Boxed Set Alerts on BookGorilla
  • How to avoid having your book disqualified from a BookGorilla promotion
  • How did your book get on BookGorilla without your having purchased a promotional spot? (Hint: It’s a good sign.)
  • Using KND’s Free Book Highlighter in conjunction with BookGorilla (Hint: it’s not automatic, but we check the FBH list if, and only if, we have space.)

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