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Amzon’s Kindle Countdown Deals explained and my results

This post is the fifty-fourth post in a series about writing a novel. You can check out the list of past topics at the end of this post.

For the past two weeks, I have discussed offering your novel for free. My most successful promotions have come when doing this as part of Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Select program.

With KDP Select, you agree to exclusively publish your novel on Amazon for 90 days. You can either renew after 90 days or remove your e-book from the KDP Select program. During each 90-day period, you get to choose to either offer your book for free (see previous posts) or offer it as part of their Kindle Countdown Deals. (Of course, you are not required to do either of these promotions.)

With a Kindle Countdown Deal, you can run limited time discounts on your e-books on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. Customers will see both the regular price and the promotional price as well as a countdown clock showing how much time is left at the promotional price. But you get to keep your selected royalty rate. This means you can get 70% royalty when you are selling your book for just 99 cents.

Another of the benefits is that there is a dedicated website for customers to browse through all the active Kindle Countdown deals.

When you go to the KDP website and look at an example of this promotion, here is what they show you.

Your book is listed at $4.99. You start your promotion on Monday at 8 a.m. and start by offering your book at $1.99. You set three price increments to run for 24 hours each.

Thursday @ 8 a.m. – Price is discounted to $1.99 for 24 hours Friday @ 8 a.m. – Promotional price increases to $2.99 for 24 hours Saturday @ 8 a.m. – Promotional price increases to $3.99 for 24 hours Sunday @ 8 a.m. – Price returns to original list price of $4.99

During each promotional day, your book’s detail page will display a counter announcing the promotion, the current price, the time remaining until the price changes and the next price.

To use this promotion, your original price must be at least $2.99, you must be in KDP Select for at least 30 days, and you must discount the book for at least $1. And unlike the free book promotion, you must run your Kindle Countdown Deal all at one time. (All 7 days versus running one deal for 3 days and another for 4 days.)

Now before I decided to try my own Kindle Countdown Deal, I did a little research. Many authors suggested not going up in increments but keeping your book at one special lower price. So, when I put Blood Bond on this deal, I went from my normal price of $2.99 to 99 cents for 7 days.

As with my previous experience with offering my books for free, I knew I would need to do some sort of promotion to let readers know about this deal. While looking into advertising opportunity, I read a blog by someone who used Facebook to advertise. I had a good response on my free book Facebook ad so I thought why not try that as my only advertising option (beyond posting on my blog, Twitter and my Facebook Page).

Sadly, it did not go well. While I had several clicks on my Facebook ad, I didn’t sell a single novel through this promotion. While I am sure that this promotion can work, I definitely think you need advertising other than Facebook ads. It certainly would be something I will try with a future book.

Previous topics

#1 – Deciding to write a novel – Writing Myths

#2 – Three areas to develop before starting to write a novel

#3 – Finding a Story Idea and How to Know if it “good enough”

#4 – Developing Characters for your Novel

#5 – Major characters? Minor Characters? Where does everyone fit in?

#6 – Developing the Setting for your Novel

#7 – The importance of developing conflict in your novel plot

#8 – To Outline or not to outline 

#9 – The importance of a story arc

#10 – The importance of tension and pace

#11 – Prologue and opening scenes

#12 – Beginning and ending scenes in a novel

#13 – The importance of dialogue…and a few tips on how to write it

#14 – Using Internal Dialogue in your novel

#15 – More dialogue tips and help with dialogue tags

#16 – Knowing and incorporating back story into your novel

#17 – Hinting at what is to come with foreshadowing

#18 – Tips for writing different scenes in your novel

#19 – Dealing with Writer’s Block

#20 – Killing a Character in your Novel

#21 – Keeping things realistic in your novel

#22 – Establishing Writing Goals and Developing Good Writing Habits

#23 – Using the five senses and passive voice in your novel

#24 – The benefit of research in fiction writing

#25 – Novella or Novel, Trilogy or Series – decisions for writers

#26 – Avoiding Plot and Character Clichés

#27 – Novel Writing – Endings and Epilogues

#28 – Fantasy Novel Writing – World Building, Dragons, Magic and More

#29 – Finishing your First Draft

#30 – Your Second Draft and Beyond

#31 – Picking Stronger Words and Watching out for Homonyms

#32 – Omitting unnecessary words in your novel

#33 – Beta Reader, Proofreaders and Copy Editors

#34 – Knowing your grammar or at least using a grammar checking program

#35 – Using a Revision Outline during your Novel Editing

#36 – Editing Techniques: Taking a Break and Reading Aloud

#37 – Publishing Options for your book

#38 – Self-publishing an ebook decisions

#39 – Picking Your Book Title and Your Pen Name

#40 – Investing in an eye-catching book cover

#41 – Writing an awesome book blurb

#42 – Deciding on Front Matter for your novel

#43 – Deciding on Back Matter for your novel

#44 – Formatting your eBook for publication

#45 – Pricing your e-book

#46 – Selecting Categories and Keywords to improve your Novel’s visibility

#47 – Book Promotions: Cover Reveal and Pre-Orders

#48 – Publishing your novel with Amazon and KDP Select

#49 – Publishing your e-book with Smashwords or Draft2Digital

#50 – Marketing your E-book

#51 – Finding your Book’s Target Market

#52 – The importance of Book Reviews and how to get them

#53 – Is it worth it to offer your book for free?

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The Last Librarian
MEET CHRIS-JEAN CLARKE