My Kindle Countdown Deal Epic Fail

Over 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 […]

Amazon Prime Air – Drone Delivery? Is This April Fool’s Day?

Sure, it works in California. How’s it going to cope with a snowstorm?


I’d be remiss if I didn’t post about Amazon’s latest bizarre announcement. Amazon Prime Air promises to deliver your package to you in 30 minutes via unmanned flying vehicle. This is still a couple of years off and still quite in the testing phase, but it’s been a great boost in publicity for Amazon right at the start of the Christmas shopping season. Are you talking about indie bookstores’ Cider Monday or are you talking about Amazon drones flying books to your door? Thirty minutes is faster than most people can even drive to a bookstore and back — if your town even still has one!


Here’s the video to see it in action:

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As dubious as I am about the whole venture, I admit it’s kind of cool to imagine my future self standing outside with a camera, ready to take video of the aerial arrival of one of my books. Take that, Mark Twain!


Five Uses for a Book Gorilla

BookGorilla is a site that will Email you daily notifications of free and discount Kindle ebooks. BookBub and BookBlast are two other sites that do the same thing. I recommend you sign up for one or more of them, in the genres that you’re writing in or ones that interest you. Each of them have a slightly different selection of genres, so it’s worth taking a look at all three.

Every day, you’ll be sent an Email with a couple of ebooks that are free or on sale that day. You’ll see the title, author, cover, price, and a short blurb. If you’re interested in reading them, act quickly! Amazon free promotions run for 5 days max, and more often last only a couple of days. Grabbing free books is the typical use for these sites. As a writer of ebooks, you’ll have even more uses for them.

Use #1 – Learn What Works in a Blurb

The blurbs included in the Emails are short; usually only 2-3 sentences. Every word in them counts. “An electrifying tale from a New York Times bestselling author”, “Over 180 five-star reviews on Amazon”, “Today only, get this Amazon #1 bestseller for just […]

Geeky Trivia – Kindle Countdown Deals

Just throwing y’all a heads-up that The Flaming Geeks Book of Geeky Trivia will be a Kindle Countdown Deal starting this Wednesday (day before Thanksgiving). It shall nicely encompass Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

And if this URL continues to work, it should also show up on this Kindle Countdown Deal category list.

My Failed Attempt to Add Google Pagespeed Insights

Google Pagespeed Insights is a WordPress plugin that was supposed to tell me about the load times on my pages and give me “insights” into how to speed things up.

Well, after fiddling around with it for 45 minutes or so, I finally hit a brick wall.

To save others the pain, I thought I should write it up!

* Install Google Pagespeed Insights plugin – check! Easy, fast, no problem.

* Give it a Google API key. Stumbling block.

* Go to Google Cloud Console. Attempt to get an API key. Be unclear as to which API key you’re supposed to be using — server or browser. Try first one API key, then the other. Wonder what all this talk of ‘billing’ is and if you’ve somehow signed up to get billed for things, even though Google doesn’t have your credit card info (or does it?). Figure out you have to turn Pagespeed ‘on’. Turn it on. Try again. Fail.

* Find detailed instructions for finding the API key. Try to follow them. Fail, because Cloud Console is different now and there’s no such thing as ‘Simple API key’. Try to find new instructions that say ‘browser’ or ‘server’. […]

Kindle Countdown Deals – What the Heck Are They?

Amazon recently introduced Kindle Countdown Deals. For awhile now, authors have been wondering how they could put their Kindle ebooks on sale for a short period of time. Before this, the only thing you could do was offer them for free, or jigger around with pricing on other sites so Amazon would price match. If you just lowered the price, it wouldn’t show as a strikethrough ($4.99 $2.99), like you would see when you offered it free.

Now with Kindle Countdown Deals, you can do just that.

Kindle Countdown Deals Pre-Requisites

* Your book has to be enrolled in KDP Select for at least 30 days. This means your ebook is exclusive to Amazon. It’s free to enroll, but just know the trade-offs you’re making.

* Your book has to be priced at no less than $2.99 and no more than $24.99.

* Your book has to have had the same price for the past 30 days.

* You can’t also offer a Free Book Promotion in the same enrollment period. You have to pick one or the other.

The KDP Select period is 3 months. At the end of the 3 months, you can decide to switch to […]

Checking Out the (Free) Competition

Before you publish your ebook (even better, before you even write it), you’ll want to check out your competition.

The easiest way to do this is to take a look at the bestsellers on Amazon in your category.

Sitting on keyboard optional.

Go to On the left side you’re looking for Kindle Store. Click that, then click Kindle eBooks, then pick your broad category, then if you want, also click on a narrower category. Drill down as far as you like. By default, it’s showing you Top 100 Paid. In many categories, the top results here are going to be the ebook version of a traditionally published book. It’s good to know what’s there and to check it out, but for now I’m going to have you go to Top 100 Free.

Some books are always free, so if you’re a frequent visitor to this top 100 list, you may see them again and again. However, since Amazon’s KDP Select Free Book Promotion is limited to 7 days total each 3 month period, you’ll also see these lists changing quite a lot from day to day. So do check back again later in the week after you’ve […]