My Kindle Countdown Deal Epic Fail

Train Wreck Fail from Wikipedia's Fail pageOver the Black Friday-Cyber Monday weekend, I offered The Flaming Geeks Book of Geeky Trivia for .99 on an Amazon Kindle Countdown Deal. I didn’t have tiers, so it was 99 cents the whole time until it went back up to the list price of $2.99.

As I did when I offered it as a Free Book Promotion, I only marketed it by sharing it on my personal Facebook page. I did this a couple of times during the promotion.

The results:

Free Book Promotion – ~150 free downloads (no money for me), followed up with ~5 sales immediately after the promotion ended (yay money). Plus it netted me my first review (yay review!).

Kindle Countdown Deal – no downloads, no sales, no new reviews

Why didn’t it work?

Reason #0 – I need to do more marketing in general. But that was true of both cases.

Reason #1 – Everyone who follows me on Facebook who wanted it already had it.

Reason #2 – Kindle Countdown Deals is new — I thought that might help, because there wouldn’t be many books in there trying it out. However, it could be that being new also meant that people didn’t know where to look for them.

Reason #3 – Kindle Countdown Deals is new — the free and discount book newsletters and websites may not have updated their coding yet to grab these and promote them.

Reason #4 – People are always going to like free better than 99 cents. HOWEVER, I did get those post-free promotion sales, so this can’t entirely account for it.

Reason #5 – Bad timing. Maybe people were busy buying high-ticket items or just actual, physical gifts, and didn’t have the time and attention for ebooks, on sale or otherwise.

Reason #6 – ?????

My Conclusions

Since you can only choose Free Book Promotion or Kindle Countdown Deals in any given KDP Select period, here’s my strategy going forward:

* If a book is new, offer it for free for a short period of time so it gains some reviews and some traction. (Free Promotion)

* If a book is first in a series, always make it free. (Regular pricing, neither promotion)

* For older books that are selling pretty well and for later books in a series, occasionally offer a discount. Maybe before the launch of a new book. (Kindle Countdown Deals)

Action Items for the Future

My personal list of action items I need to implement:

* Finish more books. More books up on Amazon means more books to experiment with.

* Prepare before the next promotion so that the book gets attention from sites like Book Gorilla.

* Get more reviews.

Things I’m Kicking Myself About

I’ll not kick myself too hard, because it was Thanksgiving and I’ve had a cold. However, I wish now I had checked the category list on the Kindle Countdown Deals to see if my book was listed. I also wish I had taken a screenshot of the countdown on the book’s page. It would’ve been perfect for this post! Argh!

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