Exactly how one author sells 70-75 books a day.

“… I have broken a certain barrier and have been able to lift the Trilogy into a meaningful level of visibility.” 

This is an email I received from a former student of my online book marketing class, Octavia Randolph. I am reprinting it with her permission here, with some very minor edits to keep it succinct. 

Dear Laura

I took your on-line marketing class (the one that began on April 15th). Even though I couldn’t contribute much to the class I did benefit from it, and I wanted to share with you how my book marketing efforts are going.

I have three historical fiction novels – a trilogy – in KDP Select, released late last September. The Circle of Ceridwen, Book One is the first. 

Prior to four weeks ago I had sold a total of about 500 books, across all three titles, since last October. In the last week of July I held a two-tiered book promotion centering around Book One. Over a three day period I gave away a total of 27, 500 copies of Book One. (Yes, 27,500. )

The biggest give-away day was July 30th, when I paid to have BookBub advertise my Free day via email to their (reputed) 320,000 readers of historical fiction. Over 21,000 copies of my novel were downloaded on July 30th. The book was #6 of the 100 Top Free on the Kindle page on Amazon, so it was on the front page (of that certain page,”the top 100 free Kindle books”) all day long.

What happened the next day was most surprising: I SOLD 184 copies of Book One, a book I gave 21,000 copies away a day earlier. BookBub charges $170 to advertise a Free book in the Historical Fiction category, and I made $504 in sales from the same title the day after.

My total monthly sales across all three titles for the month of July was 510 copies – more than I had sold in the prior nine months. And in August so far (this is August 20th) I have sold 155 copies of Book One, 619 copies of Book Two, and 531 copies of Book Three.

And I have more than doubled the number of reviews I have – on July 30th I had 33 reviews across all three books, and today I have 83 reviews. Why? Because taking your advice, I republished all three novels on July 29th with these three lines at the end of the text:

“Now that you have finished my book, won’t you please consider writing a review? (Hot links to Amazon US and Amazon UK) Reviews are the best way readers discover great new books. I would truly appreciate it.”

So merely by ASKING for a review, I am getting them! And I am proud that the vast majority are 5 star, with people asking for Book Four.

I am now selling at an average of 70 to 75 books a day across all three titles. This is $200 a day.

I think the lesson is that a one day give-away announced by BookBub is a very good investment. It is ALL about making your book visible in the marketplace. Of course, the book needs to be good, or no one will go on and buy Book Two. But you must make your book visible to begin with.

The second is to make sure you ASK for reviews in the actual text of the book. If you ask, a larger percentage of readers will do it. Many of the people who have reviewed my books have not reviewed anything, ever, on Amazon before. So that is important. By asking them they feel a connection to the author, and feel perhaps a little debt to her, and want to reward her with a review.

I’m hoping at this point I have broken a certain barrier and have been able to lift the Trilogy into a meaningful level of visibility. I have a very well developed website and also guest blog once a month on the English Historical Fiction Authors site. I also have a mailing list of 2,700 which I write to each month, to announce my new blog piece.

I hope this information is helpful to you, and want to particularly thank you for your suggestion that authors ask for reviews in their books – that has helped me so much.

Very sincerely

– Octavia
Octavia RandolphYou can find Octavia’s Historical Fiction trilogies:


Check out Octavia’s website HERE

>>> And the book marketing class that Octavia took in April is available for YOU to take too for $21, HERE.



Laura Pepper Wu is the co-founder of 30 Day Books: a book studio. She has worked with a variety of authors to successfully promote their books, including many Amazon best-sellers. Laura is the author of wedding non-fiction guides and book marketing guides 77 Ways to Find New Readers for Your Self-Published Book and Fire Up Amazon!

Laura also runs Ladies Who Critique, a critique-partner finding site. When she's not working at the studio, you can find her walking her dog, "yoga-ing" or at a coffee shop in Seattle.


  • Thom Reece

    What a great success story. Really nice to hear a positive experience from an indie writer and I hope that success continues.

  • J. C.

    This IS a great story and I wish you continued success! I have heard from several sources the merits of listing with Bookbub – but I am getting a little frustrated as they keep rejecting my book – the main reason given is that they don’t think it would be a good fit for their readers at this time. It is an Urban Fantasy – they have hundreds of thousands of readers and they also have a category specifically for fantasy books. I have almost fifty 4 and mostly 5-star reviews on Amazon. Do I just keep trying every month?

  • Octavia Randolph

    JC, I am so sorry about Bookbub’s reluctance. I have heard this from several other people, so you are not alone. You certainly have enough positive reviews, and I assume your cover art is not objectionable. Why don’t you just write to them and ask them what the criteria is? You may get an answer which will benefit yourself as ell as others…Best of luck.

  • Octavia Randolph

    Thank you, Thom! I’m starting to write Book Four now as I have enough calls for it, so that truly feels good. Best of success to you too.

  • http://kimanziconstable.com/ kimanzi constable

    Congrats, very impressive!

  • Bob T. Panda

    Wow! gGlad to hear Octavia’s news! I’m getting ready to publish book 3 in The Panda Chronicles series, and I will definitely remember this advice. I also took Laura’s class this April, and there were some great projects going on. I’m looking forward to putting some of these things into practice as I gear up to publish the next installment of panda satire! I highly recommend Laura’s class. Quite frankly, it was a bargain. And I learned so much from some of the other participants as they prepared their marketing plans.

  • Deborah Jay

    I was also on that course, and the most incredible value it is – don’t dither, get on the next one!
    I still have some bits of the marketing plan I developed that need attending to, but I’ve been pretty busy with the publication of my debut novel, which came out exactly one month ago today.
    Using loads of what we learned on the course, it has been (in my opinion) a successful launch for a previously unpublished novelist – I’ve sold over 400 books in the first month and had 16 reviews so far (mostly 5 star). Echoing Octavia’s experience, more than half are from people who’ve never written a review before.
    I believe my visibility as an author, and the reviews I’ve received so far as a result of the polite request in the endmatter of my book, have been thoroughly enhanced by the terrific input from Laura’s class.
    I can’t recommend it highly enough.

  • Octavia Randolph

    Yes, Bob, we are all in this together, and can help each other so much. Good luck on Book Three!

  • Octavia Randolph

    Deborah, what a terrific debut! Many warm congratulations. And as you say you haven’t even implemented all you learned in Laura’s class yet. I will go and check out your novel now. Great work!

  • Deborah Jay

    Thanks Octavia – frankly I’m still a bit stunned, but enjoying it! The novel is an epic fantasy, THE PRINCE’S MAN, and as the icing on the launch cake, it was an Amazon Top 100 Hot New Release that whole first month, and has made it (once, so far) onto the Top 100 best seller list for sword and sorcery :)
    Now back to that marketing plan…

  • Juleee

    That is 200% cool! I was in that class too and soaked up so much good stuff. It was crawling with talented authors. I know Ira Phillips just published her book too and my second one comes out in October. Way to go Octavia! You’re an inspiration to all the rest of us! Woo-Hoo!

  • http://charmaineclancy.com/ Charmaine Clancy

    So good to hear it works! Thanks for the tip :)

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  • Greg

    Good analysis, thanks. My main problem is that BookBub won’t list any of the 5 or so titles I’ve sent to them. I used to think they required a certain amount of reviews, but then just the other day I saw one in their email with few, and perhaps even none.

  • Octavia Randolph

    Greg, this really is a mystery. If you are producing books in the categories BookBub promotes, you have good reviews, professional looking covers…the whole nine yards, and yet they have rejected five of your titles — I don’t know what else you can do but try and get an answer from them. Good luck, and please report back if you learn anything substantive.

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  • RayAlanHarvey

    Congratulations, Octavia. Your story inspires me — and I mean that very sincerely.

    As a matter of fact, I’ve recently read a number of similar success stories, and they’ve all, somewhat to my surprise, had one thing in common: BookBub.

    But it turns out that BookBub doesn’t accept every book that’s submitted — no matter that you’re willing to pay the fee — particularly if it’s literary fiction (according to the email I received), and so my question is this:

    Is there a legitimate alternative to BookBub?

    I’d really love to know. In fact, if Laura is at all interested, I found this excellent website, which I’d never heard of before five days ago, while searching for alternatives to BookBub. I didn’t turn up much — that is to say, I didn’t turn up much in the way of tenable alternatives to BookBub — and yet I do have a decent budget, with my bartending wages burning a hole in my pocket, and I am willing to spend that money to promote my book-launch. I just want to be (reasonably) sure I’m spending the money wisely. If anyone has suggestions, I’d be eternally grateful.

  • AmishAuthorSicilyYoder

    I made 6K last month and am already averaging $250 a day this month. I don’t do free promos, except for mini cookbooks. I did for two years, and they didn’t help my sales much.

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  • https://www.facebook.com/julianne.grider Julianne Pellegrino Grider

    Thanks for the advice. I’m giving it a try – I just placed my ad with book bub and I just added a request for review at the end of two of my books. Thanks again.

  • Debby Berg

    I am very interested in finding out more about this service. I am currently working with a local author who is interested in self publishing. If anyone has some experience with this service, please post on my FB page. Thanks!

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  • http://cjjohnsonwrites.com CJ Johnson Writes

    I loved this list! Many that I believe that will truly engage readers/an audience. I am little more pumped for blogging this week now :) Thanks for sharing!

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  • mibtp

    Excellent. Where did people go to sign up for your mailing list? Your website? I have my first BB next month.