Random Inspirations

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5 Easy Ways to Make Your Kindle Countdown Deals Count!

on June 26, 2014

Last week, I ran a 48-hour Kindle Countdown Deal on my Amish Hearts Box Set: Books 1-4. This is the complete collection of all my Amish Hearts novellas, and is normally priced at $3.79. It’s always been one of my slow sellers, hovering around a rank of 100,000 on Amazon; I’ve theorized that it’s probably because the $3.79 price point is a little odd, and might seem expensive to some. However, this box set offers a cheaper price per novella than buying the books separately at 99 cents apiece or purchasing the infinitely more popular Amish Hearts Box Set: Books 1-3 for $2.99 and picking up Book 4 separately. Weird, huh? But let’s save the topic of buyer psychology for a later blog post. 😉

Kindle Countdown Deals are a relatively new addition to the KDP Select family of promotions. With Kindle Countdown Deals, authors can offer their books at a temporary discount. Because the books are cheaper and are listed on the website http://www.amazon.com/kindlecountdowndeals, they become more discoverable. Another benefit of Kindle Countdown Deals is that they allow authors to retain their usual royalty even if the price of the book is below $2.99 (the minimum price for a 70% royalty) during the promotion.

Kindle Countdown Deals sound great in theory, but even so, they’re kind of like the awkward adolescent cousin of KDP Select Free Days. They’re younger and newer, and no one seems to understand them very well yet. Before I set up my Kindle Countdown Deal, I combed other blogs to research the best ways to promote it, and I found very little–quite the contrast to the wealth of blogs about KDP Select Free Days, as well as the scores of websites and Facebook pages dedicated to advertising temporary or perma-free eBooks.

So, I devised my own promotion plan, and it worked well. I didn’t experience the runaway success of my first KDP Select Free Day promotion, but the box set did peak in the high 20,000s on Amazon–and that’s definitely a step up from 100,000. The report from Amazon showed that during the promotion, my royalty per hour on the box set rose by 240%, while my revenue per hour was hiked up by 257% since the previous week. In addition, sales on the books in my Amish Hearts spinoff series, Amish in College, rose during the promotion.

Kindle countdown deal image

So, here’s how I ran my Kindle Countdown Deal. As always, it’s a learning curve, and I’ll keep you posted as I become more successful and better acquainted with these beasts. 🙂

  1. I listed my book on select websites. Many websites that list “deals” (as opposed to freebies) charge for their services, but I didn’t want to use those. Instead, I promoted on a handful of websites that listed Kindle Countdown Deals for free. Some examples are eReader UtopiaKindle Books & Tips, and  Goodreads groups like the UK Amazon Kindle Forum. I let the sites know about the deal 4 days before it started, since many websites need a little time to compile their list of featured books.
  2. I promoted the book to Facebook groups. On the first day of the Kindle Countdown Deal, I posted links to the book on several Facebook groups geared toward Kindle deals and author promotion. Here are a few that I used: Indie Author Book PromotionAuthors and Book Lovers Discussion GroupKindle Freebies, New Authors, and other eBook InfoBook PromotionOnline Book Publicity GroupBooks, Books, and More BooksThere’s an eBook in the Room, and Books Gone Viral.
  3. I spread the word on social media. On the day the promotion began, I posted links to the book on my own Facebook author page, Google+, and Twitter. I also continued to post tweets throughout the promotion.
  4. I blogged about it. On the day the promotion started, I wrote a blog post about it. Blogging about your promotions is essential because it increases your searchability–it’s just one more place that your promotion can be found on the internet. Also, it allows you to reach an audience that already finds your work useful, and gives you fun new material for your blog!
  5. I sent out a newsletter. On the day the promotion began, I sent out my kristinaludwig.com newsletter. I was due to send one out anyway, and realized that this would be the perfect day for it. I kept my email conversational and non-spammy, and discussed other content that readers might find useful, such as my latest BPL episode on YouTube and the next book I’d be offering for free on Kindle. Then, after the free info, I pitched the Kindle Countdown Deal.

Other authors out there, have you tried Kindle Countdown Deals for your books? If so, did you find them useful, and what promotion techniques did you use? I’d love to hear your experiences!

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11 responses to “5 Easy Ways to Make Your Kindle Countdown Deals Count!

  1. I’m glad you posted this because I also had a hard time finding out much info on Countdown strategies compared to freebie days.

  2. So true! For now, it seems like promoting Kindle Countdown Deals is largely trial-and-error.

  3. Love the sketch you drew. Nice work!

  4. jhhovey says:

    Thanks for your writeup. Like you, I post to my fb friends and tweet. I also post my Kindle countdown book on good reads. Just did that now for my latest thriller ‘The Deepest Dark’.which is on sale today Dec. 1 – Dec. 8 Keep an eye on the numbers and see what you think. http://amzn.com/B00K9E7EHY

  5. Maestro says:

    Thanks for the post. I will be starting my promotion. Very new at this kind of work. Let’s see what I can do. http://www.project-aria.ca/go/leadership-toolbox-for-project-managers/

  6. nsharp999 says:

    Thanks Kristin. This was so helpful.

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