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Kindle Countdown Deals: Time to Try Them Again

Once upon a time, Kindle Countdown Deals combined with some inexpensive and targeted advertising was a surefire winner for authors. Set a Countdown Deal on KDP, pay under $100 for a FussyLibrarian.com ad, and voila! You were almost assured to get lots of downloads, increase your Amazon rank, and maybe get a couple of new reviews. We had authors who regularly made it to the top ten, and even number one, in their category rankings on Amazon. 

And then things changed. As with most great marketing ideas, people grew tired of it. The websites advertising daily book deals such as Fussy Librarian and Choosy Bookworm, just weren’t drawing the crowds they used to, and so the countdown deals were not as effective. In fact, people weren’t even breaking even, despite the very low cost of advertising.

But I’m now cautiously optimistic that the Countdown Deal strategy may be working again. One of our authors, Janice Detrie, who writes the Gaston the Poodle cozy mystery series, just tried a deal and had great success. Click here to learn more about Janice’s countdown strategy, and continue reading here to learn more about how to run a Kindle Countdown Deal.

As with all marketing, you must have a clear strategy to be successful. But when you are paying for advertising, you want to be even more clear in your goals and your audience.  

For the first 45 days of your e-book campaign, you will concentrate on asking the people you already know to buy and review your book. Your goal is to get as many reviews as possible in this period. 

After your first 45 days on Amazon, you can run a one-week price promotion, dropping your price either to 99 cents or free. There are a number of e-book promotion sites you can use, but right now, we are only recommending FussyLibrarian.com. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try out other sites but be cautious. The goal is to spend the least amount of money possible to get the best result. 

Fussy Librarian and the other sites put out daily newsletters to subscribers telling them about various book deals. The newsletter is free for subscribers but as an author, you must pay to advertise. Prices run from about $25 to several hundred dollars, depending on the popularity of the site. Some sites increase the price for more popular genres such as mystery.

Once you have signed up for a date for your price promotion, make sure you go back to KDP and change your price for the dates you have selected. It’s very easy to do.

On your bookshelf, look to the right of your book cover icon and click the “Promote and Advertise” icon. This will take you to a new page. Click on the yellow “Create a New Kindle Countdown Deal” button.

 Make sure “Marketplace” is set to Amazon.com, not Amazon.UK. Choose the date your deal will start and the  date it will end. Then choose the price. 

Now your first e-book promotion is set.

You cannot, however, just sit back and let it happen. Using an e-book selling site will boost your sales, but you need to help it along. Post your deal on Facebook, Instagram, and any other social media site you use. If you have a newsletter, send one out the week of your sale and include a link to your book. Think about all the ways you can let people know your book is on sale for a week at 99 cents or free.

Of course, there are no guarantees in life, and the first promotion will rarely take you to number one in your category, unless you happen to have a very small niche market.

As with all marketing, e-book promotions work best when done several times. You can run a promotion once a quarter. The objective is to slowly, over time, watch your sales rank increase. It will be at its highest on the first day or two of a promotion. But with luck, after each promotion your rank will stay higher for longer.

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