Bookfunnel Review: Is It Worth It?

It's hard to precisely define Bookfunnel as it wears so many self-publishing hats. This Bookfunnel review will simplify your self-publishing process.

If you're a first-time author—or even an experienced indie author for that matter—there's so much you have to take on. eBook publishing has revolutionized self-publishing, but in some ways, it's also made it slightly more convoluted. There are multiple eBook formats to take care of, distribution methods to set up, and marketing campaigns to run.

You could manually do it all yourself, but why bother? Bookfunnel is the one weapon in your indie author arsenal that will elevate your game to the big leagues by automating parts of book marketing so you can focus on more important tasks. Like getting your next book out.

Why You Can Trust Me

Bookfunnel review

I've been involved in self-publishing since 2017 when I came up with the crazy idea of investing 700 Euros (which I could ill-afford at the time) in an online self-publishing course. Fast forward six weeks and my first book was out. I thought that the hard work was then over. But, more fool me — the hard part was just beginning.

That was when Bookfunnel quickly became invaluable. Even though it was (then) an unwanted additional cost, they helped me find new readers, distributed my books with their easy-to-use delivery system, and helped me network with other indie authors. In fact, they took so much of the burden off my shoulders that eventually I would have happily paid double if they had asked.

Over the past four years, I've studied and used Bookfunnel in-depth. As a result, I know what's great and what isn't. If I say Bookfunnel is good — I mean it.

What Is Bookfunnel?

At its core, Bookfunnel.com is an eBook delivery system, and book marketing platform all rolled into one. It's a constantly evolving and improving online service that addresses indie authors’ common pain points and aims to provide solutions.

Its primary function, though, is to host all of your eBook files and make sure that your readers can easily download them. If a reader has trouble loading your book onto their reading device, the last thing you want to do is give them free tech support (and lose your time and patience). Bookfunnel does the tech support for you instead.

Bookfunnel Review – The Key Features

Bookfunnel is one of those self-publishing services where there are so many features, it's hard to decide which ones to discuss and which ones to exclude. So in the interests of thoroughness, I've decided to cover all of them. By the end, you'll see why I am just totally mad about Bookfunnel.

Affordable Pricing

Bookfunnel Review
Bookfunnel, unfortunately, doesn't have a free plan, but they do have a 30-day money-back guarantee

There are three pricing levels to Bookfunnel — First-Time Author, Mid-List Author, and Bestseller. Bookfunnel naturally tries to steer everyone to the Mid-List Author plan — and it indeed offers the best value for money — but the First-Time Author plan is good if you want to dip your feet in the water with the service. However, if you have more than one pen name, you can't use the First-Time Author plan.

As with most online services, you save money if you pay annually instead of monthly. For example, on the Mid-List Author plan, $10 per month goes down to $8.33 if paid annually. It's not a huge saving, but when you're starting out in self-publishing, every penny counts.

Bookfunnel, unfortunately, doesn't have a free plan, but they do have a 30-day money-back guarantee. So there's absolutely no risk in giving them a go. However, you should also note that connecting your mailing list to Bookfunnel to collect reader email addresses will bump up your annual bill by another $50.

Create Customized Landing Pages For Your Books

Bookfunnel Review
Bookfunnel will host your books, provide download links, and if necessary, their customer support team

This is where, in my opinion, Bookfunnel absolutely earns every penny of their fee.

Having different eBook formats is obviously a good thing, as it means getting your work in front of more paying customers as possible. But multiple formats mean different uploading methods to reading devices, which means that quite often, you're going to get readers experiencing tech difficulties loading your new books.

Rather than provide one-on-one support with those readers—and ripping your hair out in frustration—Bookfunnel will host your books, provide download links, and if necessary, their customer support team will provide tech support to readers having trouble loading your books.

When creating your customized landing page (which you can integrate into your website domain to make it look like part of your site), you can upload eBooks for Amazon Kindle, ePUB (for Nook and Kobo), and PDF. You can even upload audiobook samples. 

You can also make different versions of the same page, which doesn't need a subscriber email (if you want to distribute freebies, for example), and a sales landing page for direct sales (more on that later). But if you choose the opt-in method, clicking the blue button will prompt the visitor to enter their email address.

If you are on at least the Mid-List Author plan, that email address will be sent directly to your email list provider. It’s handy to know that those email addresses can be collected in .csv format if you are on the First-Time Author plan.

Once the email address has been verified, the subscriber will be taken to your download options.

Bookfunnel Review
BookFunnel download options

If you want, you can set an expiration date on your eBook download links, but I've personally never seen any reason to do this.

Get Your Review Copies Sent To Your Street Team

Bookfunnel Review
You can send a unique download link to your new book to up to 500 reviewers

Bookfunnel has a feature called Certified Mail, where you can send a unique download link to your new book to up to 500 reviewers. These review copies are also known as Advanced Review copies or Advanced Reader Copies.

You can send a personalized message with the download link, set how long the download link should be valid, and even have a follow-up message sent out later. 

The really cool thing is that each copy is watermarked with the reviewer's email address to discourage piracy.

Gift Your eBook With a Private Download Link

Bookfunnel Review
Like Certified Mail, you can include a personalized message and a link expiry date

On the other end of the spectrum, if you only want to gift your book to one or two people, you can instead use the Gifting feature. 

Like Certified Mail, you can include a personalized message, a link expiry date, and see at a glance who has downloaded your book and who hasn't.

Start Group Promos To Help Other Authors Promote Their Books

Bookfunnel Review
You can tell Bookfunnel that you want to receive an email notification every time an author starts a giveaway in your preferred genre

Along with download landing pages, group promos are also where Bookfunnel rocks. Any indie author will know that one of the most challenging parts of the job is marketing, promotion, and networking. Bookfunnel helps you with all of those things.

A group promotion is when you add your landing page link to your reader magnet book to a list of other indie author eBook links. When the promo starts, every author on the page pulls their weight in promoting the page to their followers, who then opt-in to the books they want to read. Those that don't make any effort are blacklisted for future promos.

In the settings, you can tell Bookfunnel that you want to receive an email notification every time an author starts a giveaway in your preferred genre.

Note that group giveaways are organized by an indie author, not Bookfunnel themselves. So participating in these promos is an excellent way to meet and develop professional relationships with other authors in your genre.

Distribute Other Authors' Books With Author Swap

Bookfunnel Review
Bookfunnel will generate unique tracking links that you can use in your email newsletter and other marketing materials

Group promos are often quite large, and the results somewhat scattershot. If you prefer a smaller and more targeted audience, Author Swap is usually a good option.

This is where you can leave a request for another author in your genre to promote your book in exchange for promoting theirs. If someone shows interest and you decide it's a good fit, Bookfunnel will generate unique tracking links that you can use in your email newsletter and other marketing materials.

Generate Download Codes To Give Away Free Books

Let's say you're at an author convention, or you want to blanket an area with your book adverts. If you’re going to give away your book as a promotional tool, you can get Bookfunnel to generate unique download links (up to 500 per month and can only be used once).

These download links can then be printed out, placed onto printed advertising material, and handed out. The links can be valid for up to 18 months, and you can specify that the person leaves their email address for your email list.

Boost Your Indie Author Income With Direct Sales

Bookfunnel Review
Direct Sales will help you make landing pages for your paid book listings on places like Amazon

Although many online retailers are generous with their royalty shares, authors confident of their selling abilities prefer to cut out the middleman and keep 100% of the royalties for themselves. This is where Bookfunnel's Direct Sales can help. 

Simply enter the link to your book sales page on your website. Then the customer has paid you for the book Bookfunnel will send the customer a private download link.

Even if you don't want to cut out the middleman, Direct Sales will help you make landing pages for your paid book listings on places like Amazon.

FAQs on BookFunnel Review

How much does Bookfunnel cost? 

There are three pricing plans, starting at $20 per year. But to get the most out of the service, you should go one plan up, which is $100 per year ($150 if you connect your mailing list).

Does Bookfunnel have any download limits? 

For those on the first two plans, there are limits of 500 and 5,000 download limits per month, respectively. To get unlimited download limits, you will need to upgrade to the Bestseller plan.

Is there a Bookfunnel app? 

Yes, but it's only for readers, not authors. You can get it here.

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Author

  • Mark has been a freelance technology writer since 2004 when he wrote a regular eBay column for AuctionBytes (now renamed eCommerceBytes). He also contributed articles to the now-defunct Bookologist, Google Tutor, and a few other sites now lost to time (although you could probably find them on the Wayback Machine). Then came a couple of years of soul-destroying English teaching work before MakeUseOf asked him in 2007 to become the managing editor.

Bookfunnel Review
  • Ease of Use
  • Price
  • Functionality
  • Customer service
4.63

Bookfunnel Review: The Bottom Line

Going by the lack of any true cons, it's pretty apparent Bookfunnel is the ultimate tool. Along with a mailing list, Bookfunnel is an essential part of every self-publisher's toolbox. Miss it out at your peril.

Pros

  • Have your eBooks hosted by Bookfunnel
  • Bookfunnel's support team will deal with any technical queries by readers.
  • Join author group promos to promote your books — and theirs.
  • Send out watermarked copies of your books to your review team.
  • Sell your book directly on your customized landing pages.

Cons

  • Connecting your mailing list to Bookfunnel costs an extra $50 per year.
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