“Dover Beach” is on sale at BookBub!

See here: https://www.bookbub.com/books/dover-beach-by-richard-bowker?ebook_deal

It’s now available for a mere $0.99!

Here’s the Amazon link if you want to go directly there. At a price like this, they’re bound to run out — so don’t delay!

(For new arrivals, Dover Beach is a book I wrote. It’s good!)

The BookBub promotion for “Dover Beach”: a preliminary post-mortem

The BookBub promotion for Dover Beach expired yesterday, I think.  I just have the Amazon numbers at this point.  I’ve sold about 600 copies there, plus a bunch of copies of its very fine sequel, The Distance Beacons.  That doesn’t quite give me a profit, but the returns from Barnes & Noble and lesser markets probably will.  At Barnes & Noble, Dover Beach peaked in the 100’s in sales rank and has now dropped back to about #1100; on Kobo, it’s still in the top 100 for Science Fiction Adventure and at #188 overall for Science Fiction.

Regardless of whether I end up in the black for the investment, I’m going to consider this a success. Anyway, because this is my blog, I’m going to mention that Dover Beach is still available for $0.99, and while I’m at it, I’ll subject you to a customer reviewThis one is from B&N and is titled “Excellent story!”:

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The writing style was easy to relate to and the characters had a realness to them that was very refreshing. I love books written about how a society survives after war and the author did a great job explaining the mood of the aftermath. I also appreciate that he didn’t have people being held as prisoners by some thrown together street gangs, that seems to be a plot that comes up way too frequently. It makes more sense that most people would go out on their own or team up with one or two other people. I will be buying more of his books.

BookBub results, one day in

I don’t have any sales figures, alas, for my BookBub promotion for Dover Beach.  But I do have some sales rankings.

Yesterday, before the promotion, Dover Beach was ranked 129,749 among books in the Kindle store.  (This isn’t actually too terrible, by my standards.  It may reflect the price reduction, which occurred a few days ago.)

Today, it’s ranked #470 in the Kindle store.  It peaked in the low 300’s, I think.  It’s currently #13 in the Science Fiction Action category, which puts it in the neighborhood of books by George R. R. Martin and Hugh Howey.  It’s even higher in a couple of Technothriller categories.  (This categorization is insane; don’t read Dover Beach if you’re lookiing for a technothriller.)

The book is ranked #135 on the Barnes & Noble site.

On Kobo, which I never visit, it’s ranked #15 in the Science Fiction category.

This seems promising!  What is also promising is that the book’s very fine sequel, The Distance Beacons, has also moved up from about #270,000 on the Kindle store to about #60,000 (on Barnes & Noble, it’s around #15,000).  The hope, obviously, is that people will gobble up Dover Beach, and then quickly move on to the sequel.  After that, they will be ready to move on to volume 3, which I’m close to finishing if I’d just quit blogging for a while.

Because this is my blog, I’ll take this opportunity to reprint one of the five-star reviews for The Distance Beacons:

The President is coming to town and Walter, the one and only private eye, isn’t given an opportunity to say, “No!, when the government requests his services after threats are made against the very distinguished official. From the beginning, nothing the government does makes sense (LOL) but Walter keeps chipping away at the case, in between repeatedly being beat up and thrown in jail. The closer he comes to solving this complicated case the worse things get for him. You will love this unusual story and get to spend more time with Walter’s menagerie of friends. You will also bellow out a few good laughs at poor Walter’s expense. I can’t wait for another book about this private eye of the future!


Dover Beach goes live on BookBub!

My novel Dover Beach is now featured on the BookBub website, and it’s in the email BookBub sent out to 400,000 science fiction readers.  The book is on sale for the ridiculously low price of $0.99.   Here’s where I discuss the economics of a BookBub promotion.  (If you want to buy the book, click the link on the BookBub page — they’ll get some revenue, and if they get enough click-through sales, this may help convince them to feature another one of my books.)


My publisher came up with this blurb for the book–there is presumably a word limit:

A Philip K. Dick Award finalist set in a harrowing world devastated by war: Believing himself a clone, Dr. Charles Winfield enlists the help of Wally Sands to expose a top-secret government project. But in his pursuit of answers, Wally uncovers truths about himself — and crosses paths with a killer…

This manages to get two or three things wrong, but whatever; I probably couldn’t have done any better.  Here’s a customer review, titled “A Different but Wonderful Private Eye Story”, that does a better job of capturing what the book is about:

Walter is a quirky private eye like none you’ve ever experienced! The poor fellow stumbles into one disaster after another, making you laugh, cringe, and pity the lovable, determined character. By the way, Walter is a survivor of the downfall of America so he’s familiar with overcoming challenges. As the story unfolds, tidbits are revealed toward understanding what happened. To assist Walter is an eclectic and interesting collection of friends who assist him along the way. They will become like friends to you also. This book has twists and turns, great wit and humor, and very colorful characters. I loved book so much that I ordered the next novel in the series (A Distance Beacon) right away. Great job!

This reviewer gets everything right, except the name of the sequel.  But it’s close!

By the way, there has never been a better time to get one of my books. Senator is also available for $0.99, and The Portal continues to be free.  Here’s a recent five-star review of The Portal, titled “A Lot of Heart”:

I thought at first this was going to be another YA gimmicky novel with kids complaining about their lives and using the device of dimension travel just to come up with random quirky things, but this book is much more than that. You really get to know and care about the characters, and things move along quite well and not predictably. The really surprising part is the life lessons learned by the characters – they really leave you with something more than just a fun little read. Glad I read it!

Anyone here subscribe to BookBub?

We’re going to run a promo for Dover Beach on BookBub June 28th.  BookBub appears to be the 800-pound gorilla of online ebook advertising.  And it has raised a bunch of venture capital to get even bigger.

The startup is nearing 3 million members, drives more than 1 million e-book sales every month and generates revenue in the “seven figures” from commissions on sales and fees paid by publishers and authors to be included in the newsletter. What makes all that even more impressive is BookBub has been bootstrapped — until now.

BookBub announced Thursday that it has raised a $3.8 million Series A round of funding from NextView Ventures, Founder Collective and others. Much of the funding is intended to help the startup ramp up its staff of 20, build out the web experience and develop for mobile and eventually expand internationally. But part of the funding is also intended to help BookBub expand from ebook deals to ebook discovery.

The economics of this for an author or publisher are pretty interesting, and a bit scary.  Bookbub charges based on genre and sale price.  Dover Beach will be priced at $0.99 and slotted as science fiction.  The cost for the placement is $240, which is about an order of magnitude more than other ebook discovery sites such as eReader News Today (where will also be running a Dover Beach promotion at about the same time).  The 35% ebook royalty on $0.99 books means that we’ll have to sell around a thousand copies to break even. (Of course, the calculations are a bit different for a series book like Dover Beach, since the hope is that some percentage of Dover Beach readers will go on to read its very fine sequel, The Distance Beacons.)

BookBub claims their SF mailing list contains 400,000 names, so if just half a percent of those folks buy the book, I’ll be doing fine.  My publisher says some promos they’ve done with BookBub haven paid off, although my friends Jeff Carver and Craig Shaw Gardner did really well with their BookBub promotions.  So we’ll see.

My publisher is actually a bit worried that BookBub will become so successful that they’ll crowd out the competition a la Amazon.  What’s so special about it?  I’m not entirely sure.  It has a very clean interface compared to eReader News Today — no ads for JetBlue or Audible Com.  That counts for something.  They seem to have a smattering of mainstream books (today they’re offering Katherine Hepburn’s autobiography), but mainly they offer high-end indie books of the sort you see at other ebook sites, and the deals are pretty much the same.  So I’m a bit baffled.

I let you know how we do.