Kindle Countdown Deals is not a new program but an extension of the KDP Select program, the exclusive sales commitment publishers make with Amazon in return for certain promotional benefits. Originally the primary benefit included the ability to promote your eBook for free for up to 5, 24 hour periods. Click here to learn more about KDP Select.
Kindle Countdown Deals addresses the chief complain I heard from publishers: we don’t want to give our book away for free! Now publishers have a single choice for each 90 day sales exclusive period, it’s either…
- 5 free promotion days
- a temporary discount on list price (Countdow Deals)
Participation details to keep in mind
Let’s first look at the fine print because the rules are more involved with this program. In some situations you will have to wait before enrolling.
- Your eBook needs to be enrolled in KDP Select for at least 30 days.
- It must be priced between $2.99 and $24.99.
- Your last price change must be at least 30 days ago and you will have to wait 14 days after the sale concludes before changing it again.
- You need to conclude the program 14 days before your renewal date. Or extend your KDP Select commitment another 90 days and then you can conclude the program on the last day of your 90 day period.
- You can run your promotion one time in each market. Right now there are two markets, the U.S. and the U.K. (more to come).
Running a program
- The sale period can be as short as 1 hour or as long as 7 days. During that period you can adjust the price a maximum of 5 times.
- The minimum discount is $1.
- Your royalty remains unchanged from its current level. If you are getting 70% now you’ll still get 70% when the price is 99 cents. (I presume that if your book is selling for $24.99 and you discount to $9.99 you will receive 35%.)
Setting things up
- If you are not enrolled in KDP Select you’ll need to sign-up and wait 30 days. Visit your KDP account and click your book on the Bookshelf.
- If you are enrolled, and you are selling your eBook for $1.99 or 99 cents, you’ll have to increase the price to at least $2.99 and wait 30 days. (Reminds me of when I had to wait 30 minutes after eating before I could jump in the pool.)
- Otherwise visit your KDP Bookshelf and click the Manage Benefits link to the right of your book. Here you’ll see the options and your eligibility.
Marketing your discount
Alas, no one is going to find your discounted book unless you tell them. It’s no different than running a free promotion day even though some books will receive special placement on a new marketing page called Kindle Countdown Deals (or search the Kindle store on Amazon). The word some is Amazon’s choice of language and says to me that they reserve the right to decide whether or not a book is worthy for placement on this page. In fact I noticed that most of the books had lots of reviews and/or were from known authors or authors with a sales track record.
I wouldn’t count on a listing on the Kindle Countdown Deals page though. I’d hedge my efforts and buy advertising on one of the big KDP Select promotion websites. I profiled several in my 3 part series on using KDP Select.
- The 2021 Guide to Amazon Fees and Royalties for Kindle eBooks and KDP Print
- Kindle eBook Royalties: 70% vs. 35% and 6 Essential Things You Need to Know
- Amazon Book Review Policy Demystified for Authors
- How Much to Charge When Pricing a Self-Published Book to Sell on Amazon
- Book Sales Ranking and Tracking Tools for Authors