I’ve been publishing ebooks for several years now, but I’ve never done anything specific to promote my books. I’ve always worked on the assumption that well written books with a good storyline will always find a reader.
Over the years, I’ve made it a point not to use gimmicks, or promotional tools to increase the selling power of my novels, and I haven’t knocked myself out trying to improve sales figures, and I’ve been quite happy that my books are finding appreciative readers.
However, after listening to a fellow author singing the praises of Kindle CountDown deals, and how it boosted sales, I was tempted to give it a try.
First I had to find out how it worked, and here is the Amazon link if you want to have a look. The first thing I found out was that your book has to be in KDP Select before you can use this promotional tool, and as I only have one book in KDP Select, and that is my Crime Fiction and the Indie Contribution, it had to be that one. I prefer a wider distribution for my crime novels so that all ereaders can have access to them. I don’t particularly like restricting my crime novels to Kindle only.
The impression I got initially was that I couldn’t have my book on countdown in both the US and the UK at the same time. So, I chose the US. I suppose in a way my choice was a bit perverse, because I’m better known in the UK. But the deed was done, and the book went on Kindle Countdown in the US, with the price starting at $0.99, on Tuesday 8th July, with a staged increase in price until it returned to its normal price of $4.99 on Tuesday 15th July.
However, I soon found out I was wrong about not being able to use more than one Amazon platform, for a countdown deal, and that the book could be on countdown simultaneously in the US and the UK. Apparently all you have to do is set them up as separate deals at the same time, one after the other.
Hugely frustrated I reckoned I had missed the boat in respect of having Kindle Countdown working in tandem in the UK and the US. But, ever the optimist, I went back to the KDP page where countdown deals are set up and I was able to schedule a UK countdown, but it would start belatedly on Thursday the 10th July, 2 days after the commencement of the US countdown. Both countdowns would end on the 15th July when the price would go back to normal.
So, now that the Kindle Countdown has ended, has it been worth while?
Excuse me, while I give a snort of derision.
Despite developing massive calluses on my tweeting fingers, and posting on Facebook, Goodreads, Google Plus, and Pinterest, my sales never advanced beyond single figures. Yes, you heard that right. My sales on Amazon.com were exactly the same as the previous week, and despite a small increase of sales on Amazon.co.uk, the book couldn’t quite struggle into double figures with the number of sales. Maybe it’s because it was a nonfiction book rather than fiction, I don’t know. Maybe the bargain hunters prefer fiction! I don’t know. What I do know is that being on KDP Select in order to take advantage of promotions like Kindle CountDown Deals is not worth the trouble. So, as soon as the time period for KDP Select is up, Crime Fiction and the Indie Contribution will be uploaded to Smashwords for wider distribution. I get more Apple iBook sales for my books through Smashwords than the Kindle CountDown generated.
What I do know is that several of my author friends do consider KindleCountdown a good promotional tool, but it didn’t work for me. However, what it has done is to increase my belief that KDP Select is not for me.