An Open Letter to BookBub from an Indie Author

My Dearest BookBub,

Thank you so much for your email at 8:21am that allowed me to drag myself half-heartedly out of bed and carry on with my day. I must say, your prompt rejections are becoming so much of my usual routine that I can almost predict them now. I send in a request on Thursday, I get rejected on Saturday morning…it’s like we’re old friends.

Except, old friends wouldn’t do this to another friend, would they? They wouldn’t laugh in their face and keep rejecting them, watching them squirm. They would support their friends, wouldn’t they? They would want to see their friends succeed.

What do I have to do to get you to like me, BookBub? You pretend you want to help me by peppering your emails with “unfortunately” and “Best wishes” and all that insincere crap that makes it look like you care. But do you REALLY care? Look at your advice for getting a promo for instance. Really, BookBub? I feel like you don’t really know me at all. Here they are (and I QUOTE):

-Submit your book for a Featured deal at a lower price point—I submitted it for FREE. Would you like me to PAY people to read it????

-Submit other books from your backlist—Um, I have…MANY, MANY, MANY times. And you’ve rejected them all…MANY, MANY, MANY times. And I’m currently working on more books for you to reject.

-Re-submit your book in a few months, when it might be a better fit for our readers—Oh, okay…so when the chick lit/cozy mystery readers finally say oh, wait, I like to read chick lit/cozy mysteries?????

It’s partly my fault, I guess. After twenty-seven rejections, I keep coming back for more. And you keep kicking me to the curb with the same old form letter that tells me that you only accept 20% of all submissions. Hmmmm, I’ve never been too good at math (I’m more of a language arts kinda gal) but wouldn’t that mean you should have accepted me 5-6 times already??? Maybe you need to go back to elementary school, BookBub. Because it seems like we’re in high school all over again, BookBub.

I feel like you don’t listen to me, BookBub. When I apply to be part of your world TWENTY-EIGHT times, that means something to me…why doesn’t it mean anything to you? That’s right, I said TWENTY-EIGHT. One time you accepted me…you let me into your world for a sneak peak. In the UK. Don’t get me wrong, it was my best sales day EVER. I was over the moon happy. But what a tease you are, BookBub. You got me all excited, thinking that I had a foot in the door…now you liked me and I proved to you I could sell books. But no…apparently you were the popular kid who accidently invited the nerdy girl to his party.

What don’t you get, BookBub? Do you not understand that you single-handedly have the power to make an Indie author? I get that they’re a dime a dozen, but when they’re jumping through hoops to prove themselves to you, don’t you think you should throw them a bone? I’ve sobbed to my fellow writers and they’ve commiserated with me. We cry on each others’ shoulders and swear we won’t let you get us down. And we swear we won’t desire you anymore…we’ve got other promo sites that like us…Robin Reads and ENT and Fussy Librarian. THEY don’t care if we’re big name authors or not. They like us for who we are. But we’re all secretly longing for your acceptance. I know that we’re all still trying to get your attention, despite telling each other you’re not important. And then, you accept one of them out of the clear blue sky and I can’t help thinking…bitch. What does she have that I don’t have?

I think we need to break up, BookBub. Okay, so maybe we’re not officially an item, but I can’t keep holding out hope that you’ll finally accept me. I feel quite insecure and I’m lacking confidence now, constantly second guessing myself. Is it my covers? I admit, in the beginning, they were kind of primitive. And I get it…people judge on appearances. So I did a little make-over, but still…you won’t even glance my way. They seem appealing to me, but maybe you’re more superficial than I thought. Is it my number of reviews? I know I don’t have many, but my mother always said it’s better to have a few good ones than a whole bunch of fake ones. It can’t be the quality of my work because you’ve never even taken the moment to get to know my books. How can you reject something when you don’t even give it a chance?

I’m leaving you with that thought, BookBub. Maybe you need to think about what you’re doing to people. Maybe you need to reconsider your elitist take on acceptance and make someone’s world by throwing them a promo. (pick me, pick me…)Meanwhile, I’ll be on the couch with a pint of Rocky Road, watching “Sixteen Candles”, and writing bad poetry about you, BookBub.


  1. Yes, yes, yes. And all the above. I’ve just applied for the 32nd time. I did get in once (try #15) and it was magical. 5 titles in my backlist and my stats are horrid. But I feel the same way.

  2. Great Dear John letter. I’m still trying to get the magical review number that will allow me to get my heart broken, too. It’s kind of like they’re playing whack-a-mole.

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