Friday, January 24, 2014




Are KDP Countdown promotions doing for authors what KDP free days used to do?
            There have been some super success stories, but these were in the early days of Countdown and were aided by Amazon. How one gets AZ to give their book a push when promoting is a mystery to me, and, I believe, to most of my fellow authors.
            My recent Countdown promotion for my suspense novel, She’s Not There, was a success in that it paid for the ads I used to promote it and resulted in a modest profit for my efforts. 
            Another author I know, had no success with her promotion at all, but she attributes it to the fact that she did the Countdown with very little lead-time and did not do a lot of promotion.
Suggestions for using Countdown;
1.     When planning for a Countdown promo, schedule it on a week you’ll have time to promote it.
2.     If you’re a Twitter user, schedule tweets every day of the promotion, announcing the daily discount price.
3.     Be sure to promote your sale on every social media site you use.
4.     It pays to plan a Countdown at least a month in advance.
5.     Authors are beginning to price their eBooks higher. As it becomes less advantageous to run a free promo, a bargain price is much more attractive to readers if your book is priced higher to begin with. This conflicts with recent trend that $2.99 is THE price for an eBook.

What it comes down to is this: you get out of a Countdown promotion what you put into it. Don’t expect to reap benefits without effort and planning.

Some sites I used to promote my Countdown:
Book Goodies
eReader News Today
eReader Café,
Bargain ebook Hunter
Kindle Book Review (this one now has a Countdown feature)

Since many paid ads only run one day, I promoted most heavily on day one, when the book was at $0.99.  My usual price for my books is $4.99.

Dear readers,

I’ve been in somewhat of a writing slump. It’s really not a block, because days I do get into it, I’m able to write! Maybe it’s the extremely cold weather we’ve been having here in Wisconsin. Reading is much more enjoyable than writing, especially on a couch with a fur throw and a warm cat!
Stay warm and safe,



  1. Very useful info on the Countdown Deal, Marla - thank you! Hope you get back to the writing soon. Sometimes we need a break - just to 'fill the creative well' and fire up the creative juices again. Enjoy the reading - it's the next best thing to writing anyway because there is so much to learn.

    1. Hi AJ,
      Glad you found the topic useful. I'm working on my writing again. Always find endings difficult and that's where I am. Way below Zero here today and the lure of a good book is calling me to the couch! LOL Reading Michael Connely's latest and enjoying it.
      Stay warm,

  2. Hello Marla,

    This is one of the most important sentences in your great post:
    "You get out of a Countdown promotion what you put into it. Don’t expect to reap benefits without effort and planning."
    So true! I was just writing yesterday a blog post, a checklist for authors to plan their sales campaigns / book launch. There is sooo much to prepare. One helpful tool would also be to write a blog or several about the campaign and publish it a day before or on the first day.
    There are quite a few Google+ communities who encourage to post a sale campaign too.

    Cheers, Doris
    The winter weather and snow moved even to Atlanta, Georgia, this pm : ) Heavy snow here today after 65 F in the last days. Even the pyramids in Cairo are white. Enjoy reading.

    1. Hi Doris,
      I love your blog and am flattered you've read mine!
      You're right, there are no work-free ways to promote, makes life difficult for someone like me who'd rather be writing. Or reading.
      I like your suggestions, very helpful. Thanks for sharing them with us!
      Snow in Atlanta! That is so o o weird. Yup, good reading weather. Enjoy.
      Keep up the helpful blogs,

  3. Hi Marla, Writer Dave Here,
    My book is on Amazon at $2.99 which has been good for me. I've never given a free book. I promote my book on my blog, my FB pages and my Twitter account. It all helps!

    1. I think you bring up a great point about book promotion, Dave. Each of us Indie authors has to discover two things: Which promotions work for his book, and just how much time he/she is willing to devote to advertising his work.
      Keep writing!
      Have a happy Sunday,

  4. Hi Marla
    You're right. A promotion is only as good as the effort you put into it. The trick is to organise yourself so that you have time for writing, reading and promoting. Not so easy to do all the time but I keep trying.
    By the way, I've been sweltering for the past 5 days in 100 degree temperatures. Would you like to share some cold weather with me? Best Wishes, Jill

    1. Hi Jill,
      Send my your address and I'll have UPS bring you a snowbank!
      I think we're all looking for easy ways to promote, and barring a real twist of luck, there aren't any! I've seen sites, that for a fee, will show you how to promote. But the key there is "show you." They give you methods, but you still do the work. Not to totally downplay them, there are shortcuts and there are better ways. And to make it more frustrating for us, the ways that work seem to vary from month to month!
      Nice to hear from you, good luck with your promos,

    2. Hi Marla
      I thought I'd add another comment here on Countdown promotions. Last month I did one and sold 100s of book without any promotion. This month I'm doing one with another book, same dates in the month -with promotion and I've hardly sold anything. Seems a bit odd really but I wondered whether this has happened to any of your other readers.

    3. Jill,
      I'm glad you mentioned that. I certainly don't understand how that can happen, but it happened to me not long ago with an WZ free promo. The results (for the first time) were absolutely zip. Makes you wonder . . .
      Hope you're having a nice weekend,
      PS glad you had one excellent CD experience!

  5. Hi, I nominated your blog for an award! Details in the link below. :)

    1. Thanks Stephanie, I'll check it out.
      Have a super weekend and stay warm if you're anywhere near here1


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