Recently, I listed my book “Ghost” in the Kindle Countdown Promotion. To do this, your book must be listed with Kindle Select and not have had a price change in the past 30 days. Additionally, your select commitment must not be within two weeks of termination.

“Ghost” was, at the time, priced at $3.99. I picked a three day promotion. For the first 24 hours, the price was $0.99. The second 24 hours, it was $1.99, and then $2.99 for the final 24 hours.

My assessment, based on this sole promotion, was that the sliding promotion works. Amazon provides a comparison between each of the price points and the sales for the week immediately prior to the promotion. In my case, I sold about five times as many books in the 72 hours as I did in the 168 hours (one week) prior to the promotion. My royalty revenue was about twice the revenue from the prior week. This is affected by the royalty percentage based on the lower prices.

The interesting point to me was that the most successful price point was the $1.99 period, or the half-off point. I sold slightly more books during this period than I did at the $0.99 price, and of course saw more revenue. The least successful period was the $2.99 price point. Apparently, 25% off isn’t all that attractive, particularly in this price range.

“Ghost” is the only one of my four books currently registered with Select, so the others aren’t eligible to participate in this type of promotion. My decision now is whether to relist one or more of the others with Select to see how they do, or to leave them off Select and list them with other sites, such as B&N, Smashwords, and Kobo. (That’s prohibited if the book is registered with Select.)

I will probably run another 72 hour promotion on “Ghost” after a renewal on Select, if for no other reason than to compare the results. However, since the set-up allows you to specify the time periods and price points (I just went with the default for this promotion) I will probably just split the 72 hours between a $0.99 price point and a $1.99 point, and forgo a $2.99 listing.

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Comment by Martin Roy Hill on January 3, 2014 at 11:17am

I ran a countdown deal on two of my books -- The Killing Depths, which has been out about a year and selling well, and Empty Places, which was released in October. I ran the promotion in November between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. I had a similar experience as you with Killing Depths, but sold only one copy of Empty Places. Shame, because I had hoped it would give a boost to the latter's sales.

In a similar discussion on another writers' website, it became clear that books that were already selling benefited from the promotion, but those that weren't or which were new, didn't.

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