I’m experimenting with Kindle’s new “countdown” discount for my book Time Fall. For my fellow authors out there, I thought I might share my thinking—perhaps you’ll find it helpful as you make your own plans.
Dates & Discounts
- Midnight, May 31, price goes from $4.99 to $0.99.
- 5:00 PM, June 2, price goes up to $1.99
- 6:00 PM, June 4, price goes up to $2.99
- 11:00 PM, June 6, price reverts to $4.99
Tie-in to D-Day
Why run any discount now? It’s tough to generate attention for a discounted book. Even with all the bargain book sites out there, prices fluctuate so much on books anyway–and freebies still dominate consumer attention. So I tie my promotions into logical calendar dates or holidays, in the hope that I’ll get double the promotional bang for the buck. It’s also a great way to draw attention to things I believe in, such as the importance of honoring key dates (and people) in military history.
Even if nobody buys a single book, I’ll still feel great about the promo that way.
As Time Fall’s protagonists are WWII soldiers, tying this promotion into D-Day was a natural idea. (Fun fact: D-Day actually lasted from May 31, when the first wave of soldiers landed at Normandy, through June 6.)
Timing of Kindle Countdown Discount Increments
I suspect if the Countdown Campaign brings any sales, they will mostly be at the 99 cent price. If this campaign follows the pattern of my giveaway campaign, though, stragglers may check out the book a day or three after the first discount. That’s why I have kept the price at $1.99 for the next couple of days. Shortest time at the highest prices.
Book Promotion Sites and Other Promotional Efforts
You’ve got to promote the promotion or nobody will know about it! My experiments include:
Tweets: We’re promoting throughout with tweets that announce the discount with appropriate # and @ related to:
- Subject matter
- Author groups
- Book discount
- Asking friends for help & RT
Newsletter: We’re sending out a couple extra newsletters during the campaign
Blog: One D-Day related blog, plus this one. Both blogs will appear in newsletter
Book giveaway sites: We’re listing the book with what looks like the top 5-7 sites (in terms of traffic) that spread the word about discounts. Some of these sites are free, most are paid (but compared to one ad in one magazine, they’re inexpensive.) My choices:
- Kindle Nation Daily (one price fore the main site & email list, plus their Facebook page and Book Gorilla email campaign.) We’ll see!
- Book Daily.
- Book Tweeting Service
- Pixel of Ink
- Not Bookbub–but only because we ran a giveaway with them not long ago on this book. They’re terrific — effective and transparent, and I’m looking forward to using them again for my Devil’s Den countdown promo in July.
Personal Emails: to bloggers who have been supporting the book. I’m probably NOT going to do this, as these kind people may be tapped out after my giveaway campaign. Instead, I’ll write them about my Devil’s Den promo, which will be more fresh.
Overall Book Marketing Strategy
This campaign is the “third tier” of our book marketing efforts for Time Fall:
- Tier One: Establish my online brand/platform through a website, newsletter and other social media
- Tier Two: Run a KDP giveaway campaign to increase awareness and get reviews
- Tier Three: This discount campaign, to increase actual sales & hope we reach a tipping point.
I’ll share our results in a month or so!
What do you think? Have we covered all the bases?