Dear BookBub, I’m breaking up with you

When I first started writing fiction, I needed someone to believe in me.
I was ecstatic to get my first BookBub deal – a deal that helped me get 20,000 downloads for book one in my series and earn $8,297 in the same month.

I thought I’d made it. Together, we were unbeatable.

But now you’re always busy with other people. I can’t figure out what you see in them.

My books have great covers, hundreds of reviews, they’re long and satisfying, and yet they still don’t meet your approval. I’ve tried dressing them up to your whims. I’ve tried flattery, pleading, facts and data, reviews from USA today bestselling authors; I even took two of my books wide, with new covers, to try and get your attention.

But you keep rejecting me. Twice a month, for each book, for a year and a half.

You even let me down on my birthday.

I need to admit this is not a healthy relationship.

I got into self-publishing so I could have more control.

I’m not asking for favors or handouts, but I’m tired of counting on you as a partner in this one-sided relationship. So I’ve decided to stop trying to win your approval. I doubt you’ll notice my absence. You’re still charming, and powerful, and successful.

I just don’t think you really care. Not about me, not about the tens of thousands of authors you ignore. Sure, you put out great blog content, some of which is high quality publishing advice, some is just thinly-veiled self promotional tools.

And, once I have completed series and can afford to spend outlandish amounts on competitive keyword bids, I may sneak around and see what you’re up to – to see if I can regain a little bit of that first true love we shared, when you introduced my book to thousands of happy readers.

I understand you have other priorities, and you can’t risk your readers’ trust by recommending unsatisfying books… but I have a 4.7 average and some truly remarkable, heart-warming reviews. At this point, I don’t know what else I can say to make you love me, so for my own peace of mind, I’ve decided to stop submitting my books to you – so I can stop waiting anxiously for that consistent form rejection email, and stop feeling the disappointment and insecurity that comes with each new failure.

It’s not you, it’s me.

About Derek Murphy

Derek Murphy is a book editor turned book designer with a Ph.D. in Literature. He's been featured on CNN and spoken at dozens of writing conferences around the world. These days he mostly writes young adult fantasy and science fiction, while helping authors write and publish bestselling books. FREE GUIDE: Sell your work without selling out.