I’ve been an independent author since 2012. I have a Bachelor’s in English and a Master’s in Marketing. Somehow in all my research on how to market my books as an indie author I never came across any mention of Bookfunnel until last year! I signed up for a webinar series and offhandedly one of the videos said “And there’s Bookfunnel but you probably already know all about that so I wont’ even get into it.” I knew nothing about it! So of course I checked it out and it has been a marketing breakthrough for me every since.
What is Bookfunnel?
Bookfunnel is an app and a site for both readers and writers. As a writer, you sign up for it and pay for it because to get the full benefits you have to pay for a yearly subscription. Once you have created your account you can add your books, create landing pages for free newsletter giveaways or sales pages, join promotions, and watch your mailing list and sales soar. The way this happens is that all the authors who join a promotion are obligated to share that promotion through their mailing lists and on their social media. In the end, it opens hundreds of thousands of doors for you that you might otherwise never have found.
Getting Started & Adding Your Books
First you need to create your account. I recommend paying right off the bat because I’m telling you now the service is well worth it. It’s $100 for a year which can sound like a lot, especially to us starving artists, but it will more than pay for itself in the end if you use it right. Once you’ve signed up and pay you can get started! I would recommend adding all your books first. All you do is click on the menu tab that says “Books” and start adding them. Here you will add your cover, a note to the readers, your book description, and your different formats of your eBook; PDF, Mobi, and ePub. You can easily convert your pdfs into mobis and epubs through free services online for this. Here is the one I like to use.
I recommend you take advantage and supply your potential readers with all formats so they can choose the one most convenient for them in the end. Be sure to take advantage of the notes to the reader and description portion of your book’s page. This is where you can really sell yourself and your work.
Creating Landing Pages
You have two landing page options for Bookfunnel; the sales landing page and the newsletter landing page. If you choose the sales landing page you can join all sales promotions with it and it will redirect those interested in your book to its sale pages, as many as you have so the reader can choose where they would like to purchase your book. If you choose the newsletter landing page then you are going to be giving your eBook away for free in exchange for an email address to add to your author mailing list. I don’t know about you, but growing my mailing list was always a struggle for me. I stayed at a consistent 100-125 subscribers for years. They would trickle in a handful a year at a time from the sign up on my website and social media and that was it. Once I started using Bookfunnel they, well, funneled in quickly. I have not even been using it for a year and I’m over 3500 subscribers now and growing every single day. I try to do an even number of sales and newsletter giveaways and I would recommend you do that too, but you need to create both types of landing pages for each book you have before you enter promotions. When you are creating your landing pages be careful not to put a date in if you don’t want it to ever expire. I find creating landing pages that don’t expire is most convenient. I can always go back and update it so there’s no real need to make one that disappears after a month unless you are planning a special one-time giveaway or promo. Be sure to add all links, including audiobook links when applicable. It’s always best to give your future readers the most options on what format they want to read your book. Take a look at your landing page’s preview first and if everything looks good then publish it and you’re ready to go.
Now for the whole reason you signed up for Bookfunnel in the first place, the promos! There are so many to choose from every single month. I like to go all out and enter a book or two of mine into every promo that has to do with my genre of books. The great thing about the promotions are they are separated into genres and the descriptions the promo organizer gives usually lays out pretty clear the types of books they’re looking for. Some can get pretty specific, like only books with dragons in them, while others are all-genre holiday giveaways. In any given month I am involved in at least 20-30 different promotions. I have even started my free and on sale eBook newsletter I do once a month where I share all the promotion links and my subscribers really like these. They look forward to them because they are all readers looking for something new to read. That’s the great thing about Bookfunnel! You know everyone signing up for your newsletter is someone who loves to read. To join a promotion you simply scroll through them all and pick one. Click on it and then read through the description to make sure your book will be a good fit. Next, you simply hit “Join Promotion” and pick the book you want to add. You don’t have to worry about accidentally adding a newsletter landing page to a sales promotion and vice versa because Bookfunnel will only display the landing pages for that type of promotion. Sometimes the creator of the promotion will have a link for you to click where they want you to fill out a survey to answer some questions. I’ve found these are usually very simple and are for the more serious promotion creators who are trying to collect some data about the people who sign up for their promos so they can better create in the future. If you want to see the list of promotions you’ve joined just click on Group Promos and then click Your Promos. It will then display in order your joined promos. Blue means its a newsletter giveaway promo and green means its a sales promo. It shows you todays date and then how long the promo runs and even puts a little star on the date you chose to share the promo with your newsletter, as it is always required every share a promo with their newsletter subscribers at least once.
Creating Your Own Promotion
Another option you have is to create your own promotion and invite other Bookfunnel authors to join in with you. I’ve found this works well for me if I create my own promotion about once a month, that runs for the whole month, calling for books very similar to mine. I write in YA Fantasy, Zombie Apcoalypse Horror, and Women’s Fiction so these are the three types I typically create and I end up getting quite a few authors joining in with me. To create your own promotion you click on the Group Promos tab and then go up to the righthand corner of the screen where it has a big orange button that says “Action”. This brings up a dropdown menu for you when you click on it. Choose “Post a New Promo” and get started putting it together. Pick what kind of promo and the dates you want it to run. You’ll need a banner photo, a description, and to add your own books to it. You also can restrict the number of books a single author can add so they don’t dominate the promo. Typically 2 is the magic number. Most authors will see the promo is up when they search group promos and that’s how they will join, but there are also Facebook groups dedicated to posting Bookfunnel promos so authors can join too.
Creating an eBook Gift
Bookfunnel is not only for promotions but you can also use it to gift eBooks to individual people as well. They make this super easy with the “Gift a Book Tab”. It’s very self-explanatory. When you do this you can see who from your giftees actually downloaded the book and who didn’t. This is a great use for ARC reviews and sneak peeks in my opinion. So often I get people who say they want a free copy in exchange for writing a review but then only half of them will actually download it and only half of them will actually remember to review it or put the effort in. It’s frustrating but hey, everyone’s busy and people forget. But Bookfunnel is great for tracking these things so you know who follows through and who doesn’t.
Adding Subscribers to Your Mailing List
I use Mailchimp as my newsletter server and it works really well with Bookfunnel. To download your emails you simply go to your homepage on Bookfunnel. Under your recent activity it will show you a list of your books that have had activity. Click on the title link and it will take you to that book’s activity in detail. When you click Export CVS you have the option to export new, all, or everything. I always click new so I don’t get repeats and I do this 1-2 times a day. Then I go into my Mailchimp audience dashboard page, click manage audience, import contacts, and upload the CVS I just downloaded from Bookfunnel. It transfers their name and email for me automatically quick and easy. Whenever I import my contacts Mailchimp automatically sends them out my welcome email that I have set up. Sometimes people unsubscribe, but most of the time they don’t, and I’ve even gotten a lot of interaction from those I’ve imported from Bookfunnel. These people love books and love to interact with authors and talk to them about books.
Bookfunnel as a Reader
Authors are the best readers and so you’ll probably want to use the service to start collecting free and on sale books of your own. Just download the app on your phone and you’ll be able to browse promos and download all the books you want. Of course, you will have to sign up for mailing lists just like everyone else, and that’s a good thing. It’s a great way to network with other authors and also gain inspiration for you own newsletters by seeing what others in your field are doing.
This is the basics on how to use Bookfunnel as an author. It has been a worth-it investment for me and I will continue to use as long as I can because it always has successful results for my sales and for growing my mailing list. I would advise any author, indie or traditional, to get on there, pay for it, and play around with it. Join tons of promos and watch your number grow. I feel so blessed to have found this service and I hope it can help you reach new readers as well. Tell me all about your experience with Bookfunnel in the comments below! And as always, Happy Writing & Happy Reading!