Kindle Countdown Deals. My First Experience.


If you're an author (like I am), and you belong to Amazon's KDP Select program (like I do), it means a couple of things: 1. Your titles are only for sale on Amazon 2. You get some perks from Amazon to keep your titles local to their store.

There are plenty of arguments to be made for being in KDP Select, and for NOT being in KDP Select.

This post isn't about that.

There are places where you can find out how the KDP Select program works. I recommend this one.

This post isn't about that either.

This article is about my experience with the newest perk Amazon just launched, in an effort to keep their current authors in the program, as well as to potentially get new authors to sign up. They call it Kindle Countdown Deals, and it is essentially a time limited sale on a title.

You may be saying, "Wait, you couldn't put your Kindle book on sale before?"

Yes, you could, but you had to go into the admin tool and change the price to whatever you wanted the sale price to be, and then change it back when you were done making it cheaper. There are 2 main drawbacks to this:

1. Anything less than $2.99 gets 35% royalty 2. Nobody knows its on sale. It appears on Amazon as though its the regular price

I've added text the description to help with #2, but there's nothing I could do about #1. Until Kindle Countdown deals.

When a title is part of a KCD, it gets 4 benefits: 1. 70% royalty, even @ 0.99 2. List price is the original price ($4.99 in my case), with a line for sale price 3. A little dialog that says its a deal, and how much time the viewer has to get your title for a song 4. It's place on its own dedicated deals page

1-3 are good, but #4 is the clear boss of the deal. You want visibility? How about being on a list of ONLY books that are on sale and who are ONLY in the Select program? There are a lot of good books out there that nobody is reading (like His Dark Empire, in my unbiased opinion ;) ), and putting your title into a smaller bucket can only help.

Which means nothing, without results.

So, I put His Dark Empire on sale from $4.99 to $0.99, to see how it would perform. I did no other marketing for it, because I wanted to keep the experiment as pure as possible.


The screenshot describes the outcome:

Royalty per hour went up 47% compared to the week prior. Revenue per hour up 55% Sales volume went up over 400%

In short - it was a winner, while it lasted.

Unfortunately, the increased sales over those days didn't lead to any post-sale increase. In fact, sales are back to where they started in the two days since. Still, I got 112 people to pay for the book, and hopefully a good portion of them will read it, and then buy the next (His Cure for Magic, Spring 2014). With any luck, some of these readers might enjoy it enough to move on to The Divine Series too.

If you're in KDP Select, I recommend taking advantage of this new benefit. If you aren't, would this cause you to consider becoming Amazon exclusive?