Bublish and me

I really like Bublish. I like its concept, its style, its format and the very great help it provides. And no, no one paid me to write this. Moreover, I do have some problems, which I will come to later.

Lets start with the concept. It allows a writer to set out excerpts from a book (the ‘bubbles’), to allow potential readers to get a ‘feel’ for what they will get if they buy it. A comment page is joined to the excerpt, allowing the writer to note its significance or why they wrote it or anything else they want to say. There are also pictures of the book cover, the author and links to the author’s website.

I took to this concept like a duck to water, because it suits so well the format of my own book. This is a non-fiction book about what it is like to be a grandmother, organised around quotations from interviews with grandmothers. (Celebrating Grandmothers, see www.celebratinggrandmothers.info). Two months ago, I had been wondering how I could put excerpts from my book onto Twitter and, being an amateur, was defeated by the task. Bublish suited my needs perfectly.

Secondly, these bubbles and comments are set out with genuine style. You really have to see it to appreciate it, but there is a pleasing aesthetic to the site that I can only compliment by saying it is Italian in feel. Someone there has a genuine sense of colour and design.

Third, there is what might be called format. In addition to the bubbles and commentary, there is an author profile, allowing readers to see if they like the feel of the writer as well as the writing. And then, most importantly, there are direct buttons to marketing sites, such as Amazon and others. So, you, the reader have seen something you might like, can read a few excerpts, look at the author’s profile and – bingo – you can buy right away. Meanwhile, you the author can look at the ‘dashboard’ and see up-to-date information on the numbers of views of your bubbles, your profile and, yes, ‘conversions’, whereby readers have gone directly to a buying site (Bublish doesn’t know who actually buys, but can know who pressed the ‘buy’ buttons).

But my biggest bouquet goes to the help offered. There are lots of sites that invite you to ask for help. And they tend to respond grudgingly, or worse – by a technically savvy person with no ability to understand amateurs like me. Not Bublish. I started out with one problem, got a genuinely warm and friendly (and extremely helpful) email in return. And later went back for more help. A lady named Kathy who I wouldn’t recognise if I passed her in the street has been giving me social media lessons, which I badly need, and even other advice about how to improve sales. She looked over my Twitter site as well as my Bublish site and gave advice on both. I keep thinking she must have other things to do with her time, but by golly, she is a terrific help.

I have had a free month’s trial of Bublish – anyone can – and am currently in the last week. And here is the downside. Despite some effort on my part (could have been more, could have been less), I have managed to accrue over 2200 views of my bubbles, nearly 60 views of my profile – but only 16 conversions. I am told that the more normal ratio (views-conversions) is 3% – mine is well under 1%. So, there’s the rub – great concept, great site but not many sales at least for my book. It may be to do with my target demographic group and I will be working on it in the next month.

PS One last niggle. I don’t mind the word ‘bublish’. It has a happy sound. But the word ‘authorpreneur’ is an abomination. We are writers and we may be entrepreneurs, but I do not think many of us want to be called authorpreneurs.

To see my Bublish pages, go to https://www.bublish.com/author/view/6552