Say Hi to Bookbot Bob!

by Molly Greene, @mollygreene

Staying on the radar via book promotion is a never-ending author task, while readers are always searching for new titles to enjoy. And, because the quality and success of various promo venues rise and fall, we’re ALL on the lookout for the latest trend, exciting places where both groups can meet.

Enter Bookbot Bob and Bookbot Bill.

In 2016, the New York Times announced that the chatbot (a.k.a. bot, talkbot, messaging app or chatterbot, a computer program that simulates human conversation via sound or text message), is marketing’s next big thing. And, more recently, per Mark Williams of the International Indie Author Facebook group, “Messaging Apps [are] ebook promotion for the smartphone generation.”

How does it work?

Bob is a brand new promo tool with a difference. It does not ask subscribers for an email address. Bob sends readers info about free blurbs + links, and Bookbot Bill sends info about discounted book blurbs + links, both right in Facebook Messenger. Readers decide which genres they want and the boys send them a book in each category. As simple as that. To sign up and check out Bob and Bill’s titles, go to the Bookbot Bob home page and click on the red rectangle that says “Hi Bob!”

FYI, Bob just added an email function for readers who wish to receive discounted pre-order books.

How much does it cost?

The service is free for readers. At this writing, Bob, which sends links to free titles, costs $5.00 (soon to be $10!) for each author submission per genre category, per day your link is shared. Bill, which sends discounted books, is so new that it’s currently free for authors, but will soon be $5.00, so jump on over there right now and sign up! Of course, you know these prices will rise as the platform grows more successful.

Note: There’s a way around that, if you act soon. Want to get Bookbot promos free forever? Purchase a lifetime Bob by signing up for the indigogo campaign here.

Available genre categories

The Bookbots offer Advice & How To, Children’s Books, Clean Romance, Cozy, Crime Fiction, Dystopian & Post Apocalyptic, Erotic Romance, Fantasy, Historical, Historical Romance, Horror, Mystery, Paranormal Romance, Romantic Suspense, Sci-Fi, Short Stories, Steamy Romance (Not Erotica), Teen & YA, Urban Fantasy, and Women’s Fiction. LGBT and others may be added soon. Authors can choose multiple categories for one title by re-submitting the form for each category desired.

Author rules and requirements

Before you fill out the booking form, verify that your title meets these requirements: Each submission must be a full-length (aside from the “short story” category), widely available book (meaning not exclusive to Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited) with a minimum of 10 reviews and a 4 star average. No multi-author box sets are allowed. Absolutely no books that require a reader to sign up to an email list, regardless of source, will be accepted. The same book or author may only be featured on Bob once every 12 weeks; the same applies to Bill.

But, in addition, authors can ALSO submit a free title to be sent as a “welcome book” to all new Bookbot subscribers. So, in theory, an author could run a Bookbot promo once a month – one title free via Bob, one discounted title via Bill, and one free welcome book to new subscribers, which can be the same title that went free via Bob. Plus a pre-release, when applicable. Pretty cool, eh?

Benefits for readers

Huge! 1) Readers are not required to submit an email address to get book offers, meaning they don’t have to commit to receiving additional author newsletters. 2) Texts are sent via Facebook (at this writing), with wider messaging availability to come. 3) Readers can change category preferences or unsubscribe at any time. 4) For now, Bob will send a maximum of one title per day, per genre chosen.

To change the type or number of categories, simply go into Messenger, click on the “Bookbot Bob” message, click on the three small horizontal lines to the left of the message box (where you type), then click on help, type in the genres you wish to remove, and hit send. For more information, read Bob’s FAQ. Again, to sign up to receive info about free and discounted books, go to the Bookbot Bob home page and click on the red rectangle that says “Hi Bob!”

Benefits for authors

First and foremost, Bob is a powerful, innovative new resource that puts authors’ books in front of new readers. Due to the“for a free book, subscribe to my email list” promotions that have exploded over the past year, it’s harder and harder to get readers’ email addresses. They’re overwhelmed. To the point that once they’ve got the book, it’s a challenge to get them to open another email.

Now, your own author subscriber list is the best marketing tool you have, but in the long term, the original method – readers who subscribe because they’ve actually enjoyed the book – seems to be the best business model. So authors are back to the old conundrum … how to get titles into readers’ hands in the first place. The answer? Book promotion platforms.

Keep in mind that this is a new venue. I used Bob on Monday, August 7 in three genre categories to promote my permafree first-in-series, Mark of the Loon, for a total cost of $15. Results? 360 downloads over two days, 302 on day one and 58 the following day. Since then, I’ve seen a decent bump in sales of other titles. Not bad for a brand-new service!

And in case you’re wondering, I have no financial position in the Bookbots and I am not getting paid for this post. My interest is purely selfish: I want it to succeed. I want to support viable, accessible venues where I can successfully promote my self-published books and gain new readers. Don’t you?

How to get the word out

Authors, join Bookbot Bob and Bill’s Facebook Author Group here. Share it on your blog and Twitter and Facebook. Readers, share the Bookbots by word of mouth, in your book clubs and reading circles, and on all your favorite social media platforms.

Authors can also share the Bookbot link with your newsletter readers. Here’s an incentive from Bookbot’s creator: 1) Include info and Bob’s sign-up link in your next reader newsletter. 2) Forward a link to that email to [email protected] along with the number of subscribers in your list (so they can keep a tally). Bob will reward you with one FREE send (one freebie title, one day, one genre). Yaay!

Note from Molly: If you haven’t already, check out my Amazon Author Page, friend me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter. Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe and you won’t miss a post. By the way, all original content by Molly Greene and guests is copyright protected. Mwah! Thank you so much.

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13 Responses to Say Hi to Bookbot Bob!

  1. Beth Camp August 21, 2017 at 4:10 pm #

    Very interesting strategy! thank you for posting this summary and introduction to these new -bots. My only concern was to participate, Bookbot Bob’s page says you must have 10K already on your list. Wow! That’s a lot of subscribers for indie authors. So looks like not a good fit, even though the concept in intriguing.

    • Molly Greene August 21, 2017 at 4:38 pm #

      That’s news to me, Beth. Not sure where on the website it says that, but I know for sure that to submit a book for a promo you don’t have to have a 10k list, and to qualify for the incentive offered at the bottom of this post, you ALSO don’t have to have a 10k list. Just reference my name/blog when you send in your link!

      • Belinda Pollard August 21, 2017 at 6:28 pm #

        I think the 10k must be for cross-promotions, ala the Instafreebie model. Although I’m not completely sure.

        • Molly Greene August 21, 2017 at 6:37 pm #

          Yes, that’s right. Thanks. Belinda!

  2. Anne Hagan August 21, 2017 at 4:20 pm #

    Like…wow! I’d heard about marketing via messaging but it’s in it’s infancy. I had no idea these bots existed. I’m in the middle of a major giveaway promo right now and this is a lot to absorb but it definitely sounds like something I need to look into. I’m saving all these links to look at over the weekend when I have a little more time to digest it.

    Molly, hit me up/kick me if I don’t do it!

    • Molly Greene August 21, 2017 at 4:41 pm #

      I thought of you as I was writing the post!

      • Anne Hagan August 21, 2017 at 4:53 pm #

        Awww…aren’t you sweet?!

        That said, Beth’s comment came across my email. She’s right. It’s in the requirements section on this page: https://www.bookbotbob.com/bob-promo-blast. Even 1,000 is high for many indie authors. 10,000 eliminates most of my author friends.

        • Molly Greene August 21, 2017 at 5:03 pm #

          I updated my original reply to Beth’s comment … 10k list NOT required to submit a book for a promo, and NOT required to participate in the incentive offered in this post. So go for it, ladies!

  3. Kerry August 22, 2017 at 1:20 am #

    Hi all! My name is Kerry and I run The Book Bots (Bob and Bill). I just want to clarify, the 10k list requirement is for cross-promotions and is not related in any way to normal book promotion bookings. 🙂 In fact, to avoid confusion, I shall remove that tab from the page. For a book promotion, the application process works in the same way as any other and your list (or lack thereof) doesn’t come into it in any way. I hope that helps!

  4. Sue Coletta August 22, 2017 at 5:22 am #

    Wow! Bots promoting our books? Cool idea. I’ve heard a lot about Messaging marketing, but haven’t had time to check it out yet. Your perspective that it works is good enough for me. Thanks, Molly!

    • Molly Greene August 22, 2017 at 7:31 am #

      Thanks, Sue! Since marketing is our #2 most important task, we have to know what’s trending on the horizon!

  5. Molly Greene August 22, 2017 at 11:17 am #

    FYI authors, just heard that the Bot’s prices go up Sunday or Monday, so get on over there NOW and reserve a place.

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