Should you pay for Amazon or Bookbub followers?

Lately, we’ve seen a lot of promotions coming up that help you get followers on Amazon or Bookbub.

“Followers on Amazon?” you ask. “I didn’t even know that was a thing.”

Yes, you can follow an author through the little button under the “buy” button that says: do you want to hear when this author has a new book out and on the Bookbub site it is pretty much the same.

So, when you have a new release, the site will email to all the people who have clicked that button that you have a new book out. That’s a good idea, right?

Well, many authors ask, how do I find out how many followers I have on Amazon? Can I see who they are?

The answer is: you wish.

Bookbub does show you how many followers you have, and how many of those are in the US, but again you don’t have access to their email addresses. If you have more than thousand followers in the US, you can get access to a pre-order announcement service to those followers, but you have to pay for it. Sounds like a money grab? You betcha!

When Amazon sends out a notification that you have a new book, you can definitely see it, especially for pre-orders. They will send out one email to your followers when the book is on pre-order, and they will send another one it is available for sale.

However, they don’t always send out emails (my last three books were ignored by Amazon), and you have no control over when this email goes out.

Bookbub is a lot more reliable about sending emails, but again you have no control over when this happens.

So, you are going to spend money to put my people into this nebulous pile of email addresses that to the list owner may or may not use when you have a new release?

You can probably already tell that I’m not a fan.

Furthermore, if you advertise for these “likes”, a lot of the clicks to your profile are going to be polluted with people who haven’t actually bought your book and who don’t care about what you’ve written, they just wanted to enter the competition. It’s much like taking part in cross promotions where people have to sign up to your list in order to win a prize. With the huge disadvantage that you don’t get their email addresses.

It’s not that I think it is an entirely stupid thing to do. Nor do I think it’s something that will harm you (except you may spend money for not much gain). I think that if you going to pay to get cold leads, as these are called the industry, then actually get the cold leads and get your hands on their email address so you know who they are and you can send them what you like when you like.

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