Do you use BookFunnel (BF)?
As a prolific author, you should consider this service, and not just because it will save you a ton of time (which it does).
I pay a hefty annual subscription to BF, as I’m now in the small publisher bracket. I consider BF to be worth every penny. But the other day I had an author ask me what BookFunnel was and was it worth it, so I thought I’d put my (modified) answer here (the original had a lot of exclamation marks and bad English).
Technical Help Desk
BookFunnel originally began as a fulfillment service that was also a technical help desk, which is when I began to use them. I sometimes spent more than an hour a day with one reader, trying to work them through how to sideload an ebook onto their ereader of choice. A couple of reader help emails a day and my day was completely shot.
If you offer a reader magnet or bonus story to entice readers to sign up for your email list, and you’re not using BookFunnel, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. Less tech-savvy readers get stressed about how to handle the different download options that authors use, and hit reply and say “it’s not working!”. And you have to become part Sherlock Holmes and part mind-reader to figure out what they’re doing and how to fix their issues.
BookFunnel takes all this work away from you. They continue to provide this technical help desk service, but because so many readers are familiar with them now, most readers know exactly how to sideload a BF book. I’ve even had readers thank me for using BF, because it makes things so easy for the reader.
Author Cooperative Promos
Once you, as an author, have paid your BookFunnel subscription, every service they offer, including promos, is free. They offer monthly subscriptions, which are slightly more expensive, but I have always paid the annual subscription.
The author cooperative promotions have been around for a year or two and I use them a lot. They’re great for discoverability. I put all our SRP authors into promos every month. And here is where being prolific pays off: If you have a big backlist, then you have a lot of books you can afford to discount or give away, to entice new readers to check you out.
You don’t have to annoy your readers, either, if you give them a choice about being notified about BF promos. All our SRP authors allow their subscribers to opt out of getting BF promos, if they don’t want them, so even though we might be sending out a BF promo email every day, the readers who don’t care (or get annoyed) about the promos never see them.
We also use BookFunnel to provide books to readers who subscribe to our newsletters—it’s a secure download and readers are used to getting books from there. Readers love BookFunnel.
BookFunnel’s Reader Library
Bookfunnel have a library for each reader–a new feature that both authors and readers love. Any book you’ve ever acquired from BookFunnel can be found at https://my.bookfunnel.com, and can be downloaded again. That takes the pressure off authors, for readers can grab their own books when they want them instead of nagging you by email. I always point readers to their personal library when they tell me they didn’t get a book — I have an email template for it. It invariably resolves their issues.
Bookselling Fulfilment Service
I also use BookFunnel to provide the books to readers that they buy from me on the SRP site. This is the real gold.
BookFunnel act as a technical help desk, as I mentioned before. If a reader can’t figure out how to sideload their book to their reader, BookFunnel will hand-hold them and walk them through the process, no matter what reader/reading setup they have. It takes so much pressure off me and keeps my email inbox clear.
Plus, BF also do pre-order sales and deliver the book at midnight on the release day, just as Amazon do.
Plus, a lot of BF promos are actually sales, which send readers directly to Amazon, or my site, or Apple, or whatever the sale happens to be. Those are great for discoverability. I can track small spikes in sales of books that were dead cold, whenever I put them into BF sales promos. Combined with selling direct from our site + a discount coupon, I can give BookFunnel users an exclusive deal on titles that Amazon never sees and therefore can’t get upset about. And the readers like the “BookFunnel readers only” deal, too.
Street Team Management
BF provide ARCs to my Street Team, and each copy is serialized and watermarked (and I tell the team that, to reduce bootlegging).
They keep track of which Street Team members have downloaded their ARC, and when, too. Plus I can resend a team member their copy with a click of a button.
And if ever a book or ARC is pirated, BookFunnel will be able to tell me who downloaded that copy. In other words, who the pirate is.
Can you tell I get my money’s worth out of them? 😊
By the way, I am not an affiliate of BookFunnel — I don’t think they have an affiliate program, or if they do, I don’t know about it. But I *am* very happy with their service.
As a prolific author, you might want to investigate for yourself. You’ll find BookFunnel at https://BookFunnel.com.