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scifi_writer
11-02-2013, 05:56 AM
So now Kindle has rolled out another layers to the Kindle Select, and I can't figure out if it's good or not: Kindle Countdown. The Free Promos were very successful in getting books downloaded but that didn't lead to sales. Maybe the countdown will be better.

Anyone else trying it?

merrihiatt
11-02-2013, 06:01 AM
I tried, but couldn't get it to work. I kept getting a long, narrow box with a box to the right that said OKAY but there were no words in the box. I didn't want to click OKAY without knowing what I was saying okay to. Finally, I did click the OKAY and got the page to choose the dates (up to 7 days), but couldn't access the dates.

I tried with Safari, Google Chrome and Internet Explore. Nada on all three, so I sent a help ticket to Amazon KDP to ask what was going on. Haven't heard back yet.

I like the idea that you will still receive a 70% royalty, even if you drop a title from $2.99 to $0.99. It is for a limited time, which is also a good idea. And, Amazon will list your title along with the others that have a reduced price, so it could equal a bit more exposure.

ETA: I'm only doing this with my pseudonym because I don't have any e-books under my own name exclusively with Amazon KDP Select. Trying to keep my eggs scattered around rather than in one basket.

M. H. Lee
11-02-2013, 06:22 AM
merrihiat - I had the same thing happening with one of my two non-fiction titles. I think it was because that title is currently scheduled to drop out of Select before I could use the program and it isn't acknowledging that I've agreed to keep it in now. Hopefully they'll fix it soon.

scifi_writer, I think it's good. Someone on another board wondered if it was like a Select-specific version of Bookbub and I like to think of it like that. As someone without enough reviews to qualify for Bookbub, I see this as a way to get some exposure and use a lower price but still get nice royalties.

What sucks is that I had dropped the price on both of my non-fiction books last night before I read about the program, so now I have to wait 30 days to use it.

Also, I was not planning on offering either of those books free because they wouldn't drive sales to any other book, so this is a great promo option for me.

cwbrowning
11-02-2013, 05:28 PM
I think it has the potential to drive sales. I just enrolled in KDP Select yesterday. I am releasing my second novel on December 1st and had planned to run a KDP Select free promo on the first novel when the second one comes out. However, I like the idea of the countdown deal more. I have read that the free promo doesn't necessarily generate sales. The Countdown Deal seems like it might. Everyone loves a discount, right?

I'm also thinking that it might give an indication of a more productive price point? For instance, I have my e-book listed at $3.99. If I sell a bunch at, say, $2.99 on the Deal, then that might lead me to adjust the price on the e-book permanently after the 14 day time period is up. Just a thought...

I have a month to weigh the pros and cons. If anyone is able to try it out, I would be curious to know your finding! :)

merrihiatt
11-03-2013, 12:43 AM
I'm signed up with a title that will be reduced 11/3-11/9 ($2.99 to $0.99). I'll report back.

SBibb
11-03-2013, 02:26 AM
This is something I'm really curious to see how it goes. It sounds like it has the potential to be useful.

PortableHal
11-03-2013, 03:35 AM
I'm signed up with a title that will be reduced 11/3-11/9 ($2.99 to $0.99). I'll report back.

Thanks, Merri, I'll look forward to your report.

Guessing, I think this will have value for the early adopters. If it proves to be successful, the program will be flooded by offers and, unless Amazon is extremely clever, the average reader will find themselves lost in the title-wave.

(Yes, pun-ny. Bad me.)

Ralyks
11-03-2013, 07:29 PM
I have signed two of my titles up, but due to a recent price change, I can't start the deals until late November/early December. I like this idea better than free books, because you can price your book at 99 cents and still get the 70 percent. Granted, you can only do it about 14 days put of every 90, and only if you are select, which I don't plan to be past the first 90 days. I want my books available at B&N and Sony, etc. I'll see if it helps sales. I haven't had much luck with free promos to increase sales of the free book later, although it seems to increase sales of the other titles that are not free.

scifi_writer
11-04-2013, 05:53 AM
I've followed Merrihiatt's lead and decided to try a short run at it (11/5-11/8) reducing my 2.99 to .99. It looks like I won't also be able to do a free promo later on. The FAQ on it says in the 90 day period you either do Countdown or Free Promo. Will update soon.

merrihiatt
11-04-2013, 06:06 AM
First day of the reduced price has equaled zero sales. This was a title that I sold maybe one e-book a month, so I figured it was worth a shot. I don't promote the books under my pseudonym at all, so I thought it would be a great test.

Scifi_writer, you are correct that Amazon KDP Select Countdown only lets you choose one of the two options during the 90-day period. Consider that when choosing your promos through the holidays, everyone.

merrihiatt
11-04-2013, 09:16 AM
I went through 52 pages of Kindle countdown offers looking for my $.99 title. It was not listed. I sorted by price, so the $.99 titles were listed first. At the bottom of the screen (didn't see this until I was 40 pages in), I saw a note that some items had been filtered out and I could click on the underlined text to include them. Since this title was erotica, I assume that was why it was filtered out of the search. This is important information to know if you write erotica and plan to use the Amazon KDP Select Countdown feature. I did not start at the beginning and go through the pages again. I might go back and do it. It just takes a long time to wait for each page to load, scroll through all the books, then go to the next page and do it again.

merrihiatt
11-04-2013, 09:44 AM
Okay, I'm back, having gone through the entire list again. my title was not listed among the 829 titles in the group. I went to my Amazon KDP dashboard to re-read the details of the program to see if I overlooked any wording regarding this. I did. I bolded the revelant portion from the Countdown FAQ.


How will customers discover the deal on my book?

When your promotion begins, your book’s detail page will be updated with the promotional price and countdown clock display, making it easy for customers to see the great deal they’re getting. Some books will be featured on the Kindle Countdown Deals page which has a range of automated merchandising campaigns to help customers discover deals based on attributes including genre, most popular, recommendations, etc. Additionally, we recommend that you let your readers know about the deal while it is running.

So, they are within their rights not to include a title. Apparently my title was one they decided not to include on the Kindle Countdown Deals page. It was having my book listed on this page that I was seeking, so it is worth noting that your title may not appear on that page. A notice is on my book page at Amazon, but that will do nothing to bolster sales.

Just a heads up.

CrystalCierlak
11-04-2013, 12:55 PM
Okay, I'm back, having gone through the entire list again. my title was not listed among the 829 titles in the group. I went to my Amazon KDP dashboard to re-read the details of the program to see if I overlooked any wording regarding this. I did. I bolded the revelant portion from the Countdown FAQ.



So, they are within their rights not to include a title. Apparently my title was one they decided not to include on the Kindle Countdown Deals page. It was having my book listed on this page that I was seeking, so it is worth noting that your title may not appear on that page. A notice is on my book page at Amazon, but that will do nothing to bolster sales.

Just a heads up.

Thank you for reporting on this because the whole Countdown thing was making my head spin! It seems like there are a lot of variables to consider/remember with this new promotional tool, and so far I'm really not liking it. Maybe living vicariously through the experiences of others will help me make up my mind.

WriterBN
11-04-2013, 06:16 PM
I decided to try it for my one and only title so far. I have to wait 30 days because I had to re-enrol in Select, so I'll see how it goes.

It's not clear whether you can do only one "countdown" promo during the 90-day Select enrollment, but I'll need to figure that out before I choose the dates.

scifi_writer
11-05-2013, 03:22 AM
That sucks Merrihiatt. I feel like everything I've done with Amazon has been undermined by some fine print or change in a program. I'm still giving it a shot because my book has sold a copy in two weeks, so might as well. Thank you for reporting back.

merrihiatt
11-05-2013, 09:03 AM
That sucks Merrihiatt. I feel like everything I've done with Amazon has been undermined by some fine print or change in a program. I'm still giving it a shot because my book has sold a copy in two weeks, so might as well. Thank you for reporting back.

My pleasure. Just another reminder to read all that fine print, it's important! :D

scifi_writer
11-07-2013, 05:15 AM
So I've been on countdown for almost 36 hours. Got 3 downloaded in that time. Not exactly a raging success (my free promo had 300 downloads in 48 hours) but at least I made a couple of bucks. It will pay for my next iced coffee.

Ann Joyce
11-07-2013, 05:36 AM
Or you could look at it this way, scifi... you've sold 3 times as many books in approximately one ninth of the time as your 1 sale in 2 weeks. And I'm pretty sure Merri would say something like, "A sale is a sale." Anyway, I bet you'll sell more. I hope it's a lot more. Congrats on the 3!

merrihiatt
11-07-2013, 07:17 AM
Or you could look at it this way, scifi... you've sold 3 times as many books in approximately one ninth of the time as your 1 sale in 2 weeks. And I'm pretty sure Merri would say something like, "A sale is a sale." Anyway, I bet you'll sell more. I hope it's a lot more. Congrats on the 3!

Ann, I would normally say a sale is a sale, but I don't like the exclusivity clause with Amazon KDP Select. And, with no assurances that a title you place in Countdown will actually be listed in the Countdown category (mine wasn't), I consider this experiment a bust. I haven't had any sales because my title didn't receive any extra promo from being listed with the other Countdown deals. I could have simply lowered the price to $.99 myself. I was counting on the extra exposure to make a difference. Without that, it is useless to me.

merrihiatt
11-07-2013, 07:18 AM
So I've been on countdown for almost 36 hours. Got 3 downloaded in that time. Not exactly a raging success (my free promo had 300 downloads in 48 hours) but at least I made a couple of bucks. It will pay for my next iced coffee.

Good! Did your find your title listed with the other Countdown deals?

Ann Joyce
11-07-2013, 10:11 PM
Ann, I would normally say a sale is a sale, but I don't like the exclusivity clause with Amazon KDP Select. And, with no assurances that a title you place in Countdown will actually be listed in the Countdown category (mine wasn't), I consider this experiment a bust. I haven't had any sales because my title didn't receive any extra promo from being listed with the other Countdown deals. I could have simply lowered the price to $.99 myself. I was counting on the extra exposure to make a difference. Without that, it is useless to me.

I'm really sorry you've had such a bad experience with the new Kindle Countdown, Merri. I don't blame you for being disappointed. It really is a bummer that they don't list all of the Countdown deals. We can only hope that will change in the future, because you're right, it does seem pretty useless otherwise.

I was only trying to offer support to scifi, but I shouldn't have spoken for you.

scifi_writer
11-08-2013, 04:48 AM
Thanks for the silver lining outlook, Ann. I need to be a little more positive.

Merri: It was listed, about 12 pages in. Not sure how much promo that got me. One of my three sales turned out was from a co-worker, and the other was from a self-promo post I did on a facebook writers group I'm in. Like you said, we could have done this promo on our own. Now I'm locked out of free promos for 2 months. They didn't earn me anything, but at least they got my book read and led to a couple of Amazon reviews. I agree with you that Countdown seems like a bust.

merrihiatt
11-08-2013, 07:10 AM
I was only trying to offer support to scifi, but I shouldn't have spoken for you.

No worries, Ann.


Thanks for the silver lining outlook, Ann. I need to be a little more positive.

Merri: It was listed, about 12 pages in. Not sure how much promo that got me. One of my three sales turned out was from a co-worker, and the other was from a self-promo post I did on a facebook writers group I'm in. Like you said, we could have done this promo on our own. Now I'm locked out of free promos for 2 months. They didn't earn me anything, but at least they got my book read and led to a couple of Amazon reviews. I agree with you that Countdown seems like a bust.

Good, I'm glad it was listed. I think the deal can be good in certain circumstances, but the author won't know if their book will be selected to appear with the others. That is a problem in my eyes.

Ralyks
11-08-2013, 11:30 PM
Merri, you could have just changed the price to 99 cents yourself, but then that you would get a 35% royalty instead of a 70% royalty on those sales. The higher royalty is what I like about this deal. I have long wanted to price one of my books at 99 cents to increase sales, but haven't done so because I did not want to drop down to a 35% royalty. I also like that it maintains your original price and shows it as discounted, which I do think has the effect of inducing more people to buy than if your books is simply priced at 99 cents to begin with.

I will see whether or not this deal increases sales. Of course, I'd have to sell more than 3 times as many books to make the same total amount as I make at the higher price, but there is also the promotional aspect of bumping the sales rank and possibly getting on some subcategory list.

At any rate, when this is all done, I am not renewing in KDP select as I wish to bring the book out on other ebook platforms.

merrihiatt
11-08-2013, 11:55 PM
Merri, you could have just changed the price to 99 cents yourself, but then that you would get a 35% royalty instead of a 70% royalty on those sales. The higher royalty is what I like about this deal. I have long wanted to price one of my books at 99 cents to increase sales, but haven't done so because I did not want to drop down to a 35% royalty. I also like that it maintains your original price and shows it as discounted, which I do think has the effect of inducing more people to buy than if your books is simply priced at 99 cents to begin with.

I will see whether or not this deal increases sales. Of course, I'd have to sell more than 3 times as many books to make the same total amount as I make at the higher price, but there is also the promotional aspect of bumping the sales rank and possibly getting on some subcategory list.

At any rate, when this is all done, I am not renewing in KDP select as I wish to bring the book out on other ebook platforms.

I understand the benefit of the higher royalty. What I was seeking was exposure by having my title listed with all the other Countdown deals. It wasn't. I do not promote the books under my pseudonym, so Countdown (and Select) appeared to be the best options for spreading the word and getting more eyes on my book cover. Select has provided those benefits, Countdown has not. YMMV.

Ralyks
11-09-2013, 12:18 AM
Yeah, that's a shame that it didn't get listed in the deal. That is one thing I am hoping for, as that would be helpful for promotions - I am in the same boat, not promoting the books under my penname, and looking for easy behind-the-scenes way like countdown to promote them. Unless they get in the list, however, the only use will be the higher royalty, and the lower price may inspire more sales.

merrihiatt
11-11-2013, 08:45 AM
Final analysis for me: not worthwhile. As I said earlier in this thread, I do not promote books under my pseudonym and thought the exposure of being listed with the other Countdown deals would get more eyes on my book. My book ended up not being listed with the others. After reviewing the terms of the deal, the wording about some books being listed stood out. Amazon KDP never said all books would be listed together. That was my misunderstanding.

If you promote your title, offering the staggered lower prices may help sales. For me, and what I was seeking, it was a bust. Offering the title free through Select worked better.

Just wanted to report back. Zero sales.

WriterBN
11-11-2013, 06:03 PM
That sucks--I was also under the impression that all books would be listed. I still plan to run mine, since I signed up for Select again specifically for this purpose. I'll see how it goes and report back.

merrihiatt
11-12-2013, 01:58 AM
Good luck, WriterBN.

M. H. Lee
11-12-2013, 04:22 AM
For me, and what I was seeking, it was a bust. Offering the title free through Select worked better.

Just wanted to report back. Zero sales.

Sorry to hear that.

I'm going to try it once I've had my prices at the appropriate level for thirty days (I had JUST dropped my NF prices when the announcement came out and had to raise my fiction prices to qualify), but sounds like I won't see much out of it. I'm aiming for Christmas and New Years price promos, so will report back when they're done.

cwbrowning
11-12-2013, 07:55 PM
Hmmm...lots to think about. I enrolled in KDP Select on Nov. 1 with a view to running a countdown deal on my current title in December when I release my second title in the series. Enrolling in KDP Select wasn't a big deal for me since I currently don't offer my title anywhere except on Amazon. Now the question is, do I run a countdown offer or a free promo in December? I'm disappointed in the results reported back so far. I had high hopes for the countdown... :(

Merri, thanks for reporting on that fine print. I wonder how they determine which books get listed? Is it specific genres? Does it exclude authors with only one title? Certain number of reviews? I wish we knew!

merrihiatt
11-13-2013, 04:31 AM
Hmmm...lots to think about. I enrolled in KDP Select on Nov. 1 with a view to running a countdown deal on my current title in December when I release my second title in the series. Enrolling in KDP Select wasn't a big deal for me since I currently don't offer my title anywhere except on Amazon. Now the question is, do I run a countdown offer or a free promo in December? I'm disappointed in the results reported back so far. I had high hopes for the countdown... :(

Merri, thanks for reporting on that fine print. I wonder how they determine which books get listed? Is it specific genres? Does it exclude authors with only one title? Certain number of reviews? I wish we knew!

My title was erotica, if that helps at all.

Grimball4
11-13-2013, 05:21 AM
The last day of my own 99cents sale I got the email about Kindle Countdown.. Not Happy..

PJanes
11-13-2013, 02:40 PM
I've been trying Countdown myself and so far it's alright. I've seen an uptick in sales but I don't know yet if it is going to carry over once the price goes back up.

Ralyks
11-18-2013, 10:11 PM
I did this for a title that has a very narrow audience (literary criticism), and I don't promote that title usually. It was indeed listed on the Kindle Countdown page under the Literary Criticism subcategory under Nonfiction (sixth on the list, which was a short list to begin with). At this point, I typically get three sales a month on this title, which is a couple of years old. With the Kindle countdown deal, I got one sale in the first two days of the Countdown, so I doubt it made any difference. I will report back when I try this on one of the romance titles I do actually somewhat promote. That will be in late November.

AnneGlynn
11-18-2013, 11:07 PM
Under my other pseudonym, I used KDP's "free" days solely to find some reviews for one of my novels. There are some promotional sites (yes, I'm looking at you, Bookbub) that won't let an author buy an ad unless there's been a certain number of reviews and your book is rated highly by readers. I understand why but grrrrr.

By the end of my five days, I'd given away 1200+ copies. Actual for-money sales didn't improve at all but the book did collect three five-star reviews and one three-star review. Even the three-star reader said how much she loved the book and how much she wanted to read a sequel, all without explaining why the story only earned three of her five stars. Again, grrrr.

I pulled one of my other novels from Smashwords, in hope that this new "Countdown" option might increase my review count while actually making me a little money. Merri's results make it sound like a worst-case scenario: no reviews, minimal or no sales, and an Amazon exclusivity that offers no benefits.

Grrrr.

merrihiatt
11-19-2013, 07:06 AM
Merri's results make it sound like a worst-case scenario: no reviews, minimal or no sales, and an Amazon exclusivity that offers no benefits.

Grrrr.

Bear in mind that my title was not listed with the other Countdown deals. It might have been different if it had been highlighted like other titles were.

Ralyks
11-21-2013, 02:33 AM
Countdown deal concluded today, and no overall increase in sales over what I usually get in a 7-day period. I was listed on the deal page. As I said, though, this is an obscure/narrow audience title. I'll report back when I try it on one of my romance novels.

merrihiatt
11-21-2013, 08:00 AM
Thanks for reporting back.

PJanes
11-21-2013, 12:22 PM
Well, I did see more sales during the discount, but they didn't carry over much to the period afterwards.

Haven't gotten any more reviews either, though I did get my first reader mail.

All in all, I think it was worth it though the effect might have been better if I had more books on offer.

bearilou
11-21-2013, 04:47 PM
Good information. Thanks everyone for reporting in with the outcomes.

Ralyks
12-01-2013, 12:01 AM
I recently completed a 7-day countdown. For 4 of the days my book was 99 cents, and for 3 of the days it was $1.99. The book was listed on the Kindle Countdown Deals page, in three romance subcategories. My sales actually *dropped* by about 50% compared to average sales over the previous three weeks. Now, I don't think the Countdown deal caused them to drop; I think I've probably just reached most of my audience, but the deal certainly did not help at all. Although I wonder if this promo doesn't scream "self published" and therefore actually deter sales.

Robin Wolstenholme
12-03-2013, 03:00 PM
Interesting comments on the Countdown promotion option. I agree that the added exposure from being on the list may help sales, but since there is no guarantee your book will be on it, then that is watered down as a positive. Did anyone say if there were any other sort features you can use with the list other than price?

Juliet Rich
12-04-2013, 11:51 PM
I offered my trivia book as a Kindle Countdown Deal (99 cents the whole time instead of the regular list price of 2.99) over the Black Friday-Cyber Monday weekend.

Now, my marketing and promotion efforts are abysmal, but they always were that. (It's a major area I need to work on!)

I didn't get any sales.

When I ran a free promotion, I had ~150 downloads and ~5 sales immediately following the free promotion. It also garnered me my first review.

So I have to say the free promotion worked a lot better.

HOWEVER, I can see how the Kindle Countdown Deal is potentially a good idea for a book you never planned to offer for free. (Like later books in a series.)

I wrote up a blog post about it. This is my first post to the AW forums, so I don't want to come off as spammy, but you may find it interesting.

My Kindle Countdown Deal Epic Fail (http://www.julietrich.com/191/my-kindle-countdown-deal-epic-fail/)

I thought jumping on the bandwagon while the Countdown Deals was still new would help me, but it may have actually had the opposite effect. As the program matures and more people and websites know about it, it might work better.

scifi_writer
12-30-2013, 06:25 AM
Just wanted to update this topic. I tried the Countdown a second time with part 2 of my series. It did a little bit better this time. It was listed about 15 pages in on the Amazon site. I did more promotion myself (a few FB and GoodReads postings when the promo started). I had 21 downloads of Part 2, but I also had another 5 downloads of Part 1 (which is still as full price). So that was an unexpected benefit. I still think, overall, Countdown isn't a great tool, but it might help jumpstart your other titles.

Ann Joyce
12-30-2013, 07:41 AM
Thanks for the update, Scifi. Congrats on the sales - you never know where they could lead. 26 sales in just a few days seems pretty good to me. But my e-sales have never been anything to write home about. I do much better with print.

I'm kind of excited about giving it a try (maybe second week in January). Of course, I'll report back too.

WriterBN
12-31-2013, 06:27 PM
Reporting back on my Countdown experience:

I ran mine December 24-26 at $0.99, Dec 26-30 at $1.99. The book is normally priced at $3.49. My book was listed in Amazon's Countdown categories, though it was buried several layers deep, so I'm not sure if that really did anything.

At the end, I achieved just over double my weekly average during the 7 days of the promo. Not earth-shattering, but better than expected. However, due to the lower prices, my overall revenue was just about even with my regular-priced sales.

Conclusion: Still undecided. I may try it again if I ever get a new book out :)

LOTLOF
01-01-2014, 01:02 AM
I ran a promo for my novel from Dec 7, through Dec 14. The regular price was $2.99, during the promo it was $0.99. I wound up selling a total of 578 units. The week previous I'd sold 71. Didn't have any issues setting it up.

Needless to say I was quite satisfied.

patrickwong
01-01-2014, 01:24 AM
I ran a promo for my novel from Dec 7, through Dec 14. The regular price was $2.99, during the promo it was $0.99. I wound up selling a total of 578 units. The week previous I'd sold 71. Didn't have any issues setting it up.

Needless to say I was quite satisfied.

Nice!

I can't try the Countdown Promotion this cycle because I've already used some free-promotions. But I'd be satisfied with results like that. ...Something I'll consider if I renew with KDP Select

Ann Joyce
01-01-2014, 01:49 AM
Wow, LOTLOF! Outstanding results... congratulations!

Ralyks
01-02-2014, 08:36 AM
I finally did the deal with one of my more steady titles that is published under my real name. (The others were penname titles.) My sales increased by about 50 percent. However, in terms of total royalty earned, because of the lower price, I made about the same as usual. It did give me a bump in sales rank. I have yet to see if sales will carry forward as a result.

Ann Joyce
01-02-2014, 09:22 PM
Congrats on the uptick in sales, Ralyks. Hopefully the sales rank will be helpful too!

merrihiatt
01-03-2014, 12:04 AM
Thanks for the update.

Ann Joyce
01-04-2014, 08:09 AM
So... I just set up a 7-day promo with my romance novel after several hours of reading about the results achieved by a pretty good cross-section of diversified authors. Some did very well; others, not so much.

A couple of things I came away with: perhaps better results from doing the full 7 days (168 hours) and keeping the price at 99 cents the whole time. For the most part, from what I could see, the 99 cent sales more than doubled the 1.99 sales, and so on. That means the authors got at least 100% more people buying at each tier for about the same royalty. More people buying, more potential future fans.

I set mine up for the 7th of January to the 14th, so after I see what kind of results I get, I'll report back whether my sales are good, bad, or indifferent. I have nothing to lose, having no intentions of putting my books anywhere else at this time.

scifi_writer
01-05-2014, 05:47 AM
Good luck, Ann. My second go around I did 99 cents for the whole seven days. It definitely did better than the first attempt. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

Ann Joyce
01-07-2014, 07:47 PM
To anybody interested: It's only the first day of my countdown deal, so this isn't a real report yet. Just wanted to say, my romance is on page 13 out of 85 pages, and when I modify the search to 4-star only (It has gotten a 5-star review and a 4-star review at this point), it moves up to page 11 out of 35. I do wish they would have a feature that would allow you to click on a certain genre within the deal. I think my position is okay though. I'm feeling a mixture of excitement and dread all at the same time. As of now - 1 sale. I'll be baaaack! Cheers!

Pee Ess: Thanks, scifi!

WriterBN
01-08-2014, 08:52 PM
Good luck, Ann. You can browse categories and subcategories from the main Countdown page. The menu is on the left.

Ann Joyce
01-08-2014, 09:05 PM
Thank you, WriterBN. Nice of you to take the time to tell me that. I actually discovered it late last night when I was obsessively checking my sales report for the last time before bed. LOL I was happy to see my romance listed on page 2 in that category. ;)

Considering how dismal my track record with digital sales has been so far, I was elated to reach a total of 10 sales yesterday (my first day), and woke up to 5 more this morning. That's very encouraging to me. I do have a hunch some of those sales were to FB friends, but it's all good.

I'll give a final report when it's over. Happy Wednesday!

M. H. Lee
01-12-2014, 07:41 PM
Just wanted to circle back and report on my Kindle Countdown deals. I ran Countdown deals on one of my non-fiction titles as well as three of my short stories. I was in the midst of moving/holiday insanity, so didn't promote any of them. Two of the short story promos I had no sales, but the third I had a handful of sales. I assume that the third must have made it onto the Countdown pages, since that story didn't even have any reviews on it and prior sales for one of the other books had been stronger. I also made sales on the non-fiction title.

I also did free runs of another non-fiction book in November and one of my short stories in December. Again, no real promo. Downloads of the non-fiction title were about twice those of the fiction title. (The non-fiction title is the one I've made about a third of my income on to-date.)

One disappointment I did have was that due to exchange rates I couldn't run Countdown promos on the short stories in the UK. Very annoying. And I hesitate to raise the price of the stories to a level where I could do one. I already think $2.99 is too much for a 5,000 word short story and only reason I was willing to do it was because I didn't really have sales at a lower price, so I wasn't losing anything.

So, bottom line: For me, as someone who doesn't promote my writing in any way, Countdown brought me a few sales I wouldn't have had otherwise and some revenue I wouldn't have had otherwise. Free runs resulted in some giveaways, but I haven't seen any reviews from that yet.

I also haven't seen any follow-through sales of my short story/essay collection either.

Sadly, it seems I am a stronger non-fiction writer than fiction writer at this stage...

Ann Joyce
01-12-2014, 07:54 PM
Thanks for reporting back, M. H. Lee. Glad you saw some uptick on your non fiction. Hope you have a good 2014.

Ann Joyce
01-14-2014, 08:00 PM
1st Kindle Countdown Ė January 7th to 14th, 2014

The results are now in; so I'll give you the scoop.
Didnít blow the ceiling off; didnít get the hoop.
Considering what my prior e-sales have been;
I would definitely do Kindle Countdown again!

And now you see another side of me. Love to write silly little poems. Seriously, I am thrilled with the results of my first promotion. I can only hope it carries over a bit in future sales.

I did all 7 days at .99 on my romance title, which is normally 2.99. The outcome:

I had 44 downloads of Sand Dollar plus 4 borrows (a fun first)
In addition, I also had 7 downloads of God's Ornaments (short story)
Plus 3 downloads of Heart Song (I had just raised the price on this one to 3.99)

Final total was 54 downloads during the sale plus 4 borrows. Feeling blessed.

Pee Ess: A fun tidbit for me. When I looked this morning I had sold 2 more after it went back to 2.99, and checking my ranking, I made the top 100 in Love and Romance. Are you kidding me? It had me listed at #83, but when I went to see, I had already slipped to #91. No matter... I was there for a few hours. w00t! :partyguy:

WriterBN
01-14-2014, 09:41 PM
Congrats, Ann, and thanks for reporting back!

I hope you took a screen shot of your ranking :)

Ann Joyce
01-15-2014, 08:12 PM
Congrats, Ann, and thanks for reporting back!

Thank you so much. You're welcome.


I hope you took a screen shot of your ranking :) Since I don't know how to take a real screenshot, :Shrug: I got my trusty little camera out and took a shot of the screen with that. :D Soooo much to learn. FYI: No more sales since the promo ended, but still glad I did it, and will do it again.

merrihiatt
01-15-2014, 08:33 PM
For future reference, your computer keyboard has a key in the upper right hand section that reads PRNT SCRN. It may actually spell out all the letters: PRINT SCREEN. When you press it, it looks like nothing happens, but it copies exactly what is on your screen at the time. Then you can open up Microsoft Paint (found in the Accessories file on your computer's hard drive) and select PASTE. The image will appear. You can modify it (getting rid of the stuff you don't want) or simply save it as a picture (.jpg image) and you will have it on your computer forevermore.

With an iPad or iPhone, it is even easier! Simply press the on/off button while pressing the button you normally use to end a program. A flash will let you know a picture has been taken of whatever was on your screen. That image is now saved automatically in your photos.

Ann Joyce
01-15-2014, 09:11 PM
Thank you, Merri. I found it. It was on the small END key and said PRTSC in very small letters. I'm now working on the Toshiba 8.1 I bought when my computer went on the fritz a couple of months ago. Very steep learning curve... again. I'll have to try it out so I'll be ready when there's a good reason to use it again. You've been very helpful, as always. :)

Spell-it-out
01-16-2014, 02:48 AM
1st Kindle Countdown Ė January 7th to 14th, 2014

The results are now in; so I'll give you the scoop.
Didnít blow the ceiling off; didnít get the hoop.
Considering what my prior e-sales have been;
I would definitely do Kindle Countdown again!

And now you see another side of me. Love to write silly little poems. .

Heart song came first, and went down a blast,
God's ornaments then, the great feeling did last.
Amazing sales by Sand dollar, didn't let ya down,
Just wanna say congrats, on your Kindle Countdown!

Contagious :D




Pee Ess: A fun tidbit for me. When I looked this morning I had sold 2 more after it went back to 2.99, and checking my ranking, I made the top 100 in Love and Romance. Are you kidding me? It had me listed at #83, but when I went to see, I had already slipped to #91. No matter... I was there for a few hours. w00t! :partyguy:

Joyce, I'm over the moon for you! Great results!

Ann Joyce
01-16-2014, 03:07 AM
Heart song came first, and went down a blast,
God's ornaments then, the great feeling did last.
Amazing sales by Sand dollar, didn't let ya down,
Just wanna say congrats, on your Kindle Countdown!

Contagious :D

You made me laugh; you made my day.
You always do; it's just your way!

Right back at ya. :tongue


Joyce, I'm over the moon for you! Great results!Thank you, Eamonn. Your encouragement means a lot to me.

Ralyks
01-20-2014, 02:27 AM
When I did the Kindle Countdown deal on my penname titles, my sales stayed the same or strangely declined.

When I did it on my real name title, the sales increased 50% in the U.S. and about 300% for the UK countdown during the 7-day 99 cent period.

Sherrie Cronin
02-02-2014, 04:38 AM
Thank you all sooooo much for this info. When my first 3 books came out on Kindle, I tried their "select" option for each one for just 90 days and like most folks, I got a lot of downloads, but suspect I got few real readers. I just uploaded my fourth book(WAHOO!), and it is asking me to chose between that old promo, and the chance to do this one time price reduction. What to do?
It was great to read of the experiences of all of you. Sounds like the full seven days at $.99 (for a $2.99 book) is the way to go if I elect this option. My book is fantasy, aimed more towards an older teen audience than my previous ones, and because it just came out it has zero reviews. Any advice based on that??
Also good to see many names I recognize here. I've been away for months and it's nice to read of everyone's good fortune!

Nononana
02-03-2014, 08:32 PM
I am eager to try this as I joined KDP exclusively for this new feature. Of course, I signed up for it (deal happen until late Feb. due to me being new to KDP select) and checked on the status a few days later and it said "cancelled."
Of course I did not get any notification, just stumbled upon this cancellation myself. It said:


If a price (print or digital) for your book is found to be lower than the Kindle price, the promotion will be cancelled prior to completion. Click here (https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/help?topicId=APILE934L348N&ref_=kdp_PM_tac)
to learn more.

This is impossible as my ebook is only available on Amazon for 3.99 and I was going to put it on sale for .99. Anyway, I emailed them and they had to escalate the issue and it will take 8 days to hear back.

I really wouldn't have gone exclusive if it wasn't for this potential opportunity so I really hope they figure it out as I do get sales from other vendors, not nearly as many as Amazon, but if there ends up being zero benefits from my kdp select experience it will net me a loss.

WriterBN
02-03-2014, 09:15 PM
Nononana, I had the same problem as you (mysterious cancellation of my Countdown promo). It took several e-mails back and forth to three Amazon reps before they straightened it out. Fortunately, I scheduled it well in advance.

I posted my results earlier in this thread, but I wanted to mention that (for me) the real benefit of Select has been borrows.

Sherrie Cronin
02-04-2014, 10:05 AM
Hi WriterBN. I just had my first borrow ever. It surprised me, because I sell all my books for $2.99 and always thought that with only one borrow allowed a month, the savvy reader would save that borrow for a far more expensive book. Would you mind sharing the general price range of your books and the sort of order of magnitude of borrows that you get? Thanks so much.

LOTLOF
02-04-2014, 06:57 PM
You would be surprised. My novel is also priced at $2.99 but I will normally get 20 - 30 borrows a month. I also have a short story which is just $.99 and that has been borrowed at least two or three times. It all depends on the reader I suppose.

Sherrie Cronin
02-04-2014, 07:01 PM
You would be surprised. My novel is also priced at $2.99 but I will normally get 20 - 30 borrows a month. I also have a short story which is just $.99 and that has been borrowed at least two or three times. It all depends on the reader I suppose.
Ok -- puzzling to me but good to know, thanks! I'm struggling with the Kindle Select thing all around -- both in terms of money and philosophy -- and every bit of info helps. Hope your successes continue!

WriterBN
02-04-2014, 10:58 PM
Hi WriterBN. I just had my first borrow ever. It surprised me, because I sell all my books for $2.99 and always thought that with only one borrow allowed a month, the savvy reader would save that borrow for a far more expensive book. Would you mind sharing the general price range of your books and the sort of order of magnitude of borrows that you get? Thanks so much.

My book is priced at 2.99, and I got around 10 borrows in December when I signed back up for Select. It dropped in January, but my overall sales did, too.

Nononana
02-05-2014, 03:37 AM
Writer BN, well at least I know I'm not crazy! I kept racking my brain wondering if it was me. Now, I get to look forward to long-winded email correspondence with Amazon, yay!

It's interesting to see people getting borrows. I signed up on 1/21 and not a single borrow for a book priced at $3.99. Hmmm.

Sherrie Cronin
02-06-2014, 06:12 AM
Thanks WriterBN! There goes my $2.99 theory ...... :)
Good information to have though, appreciate it!

Nononana
03-03-2014, 01:22 AM
Just wanted to report back to this thread with a few things in case anyone was still considering:

1) My initial issue was resolved quickly, it seemed like they were very familiar with it.

2) Just started my countdown and so far it has more than exceeded my expectations. I think the key is to have a strategy around it since doing it alone won't get the sales, a lot of it is genre and marketing strategy. My countdown ends on the 8th, so I'll report back with more results.

Sherrie Cronin
03-03-2014, 10:00 AM
Thanks Nononana -- I'm still following along here and will be curious to hear how it went. I opted to go for old the 5 days of giveaways that I already knew -- I did a little more marketing myself and gave away my most copies ever, so I will see how that translates into reviews. Appreciate your reporting back and good luck with it!

Nononana
03-09-2014, 12:04 AM
So my countdown deal is complete and I have to say I am thrilled with how it went.

I released my second book the month before (the sequel release pushed both of my books to the top of the erotica charts for Thrillers, Suspense, and Mystery). Adding the countdown to that surged the book to the top getting it into the 20s for all of Erotica and putting me at #1 of the Erotic Mystery charts for several days. I have been staying strong all week in the top three. It is also translating pretty nicely to sales of the 3.99 sequel. I am getting new reviewers and new followers as well.

I will say the deal is likely as good as the promo behind it. I did the following to push the promotion:

A bargain booksy feature
A Bargain ebook feature
Posted to several fb pages that promote erotica to readers
Hosted several "page takeovers," which are very common in Erotica and Romance on FB
I hosted a FB Event on the 5th day of the 7-day promo period. I played games with readers, put up teaser graphics that they shared, excerpts, etc. Those who bought the book entered a special contest to get the sequel for free.

So, the promo was successful, but I didn't just slap it up there and pray on it, I worked really hard this week to get the word out and it paid off. I don't know if this is possible in every genre, but romance and erotica has fervent fans and they are huge supporters of indie authors.

So countdown can work, but mostly if you already have a large following or work hard to get the word out there and use it as a vehicle to introduce yourself to new readers. I know this has been stated, but I wanted to share my personal experience to shed further light.

Ann Joyce
03-09-2014, 12:16 AM
Congratulations, Nononana! I'm so glad it was successful for you. Can you tell us how many copies were purchased during your run or are you uncomfortable with that? I think it helps us get more perspective on how helpful the Countdown can be.

Nononana
03-10-2014, 07:24 PM
I'd rather not get into specific numbers, but it was definitely over 100 sold/day.

Ann Joyce
03-11-2014, 12:28 AM
I'd rather not get into specific numbers, but it was definitely over 100 sold/day.

That's fine, and what you've shared is good info. Thank you. Again, congrats on doing so well!

Nononana
03-11-2014, 08:32 AM
Thank you!

WriterBN
03-11-2014, 05:53 PM
I'd rather not get into specific numbers, but it was definitely over 100 sold/day.

Congrats--glad it worked so well for you! I'm thinking about doing my next one, and maybe promoting it this time.