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Amazon Adds a Nifty Countdown Timer to Kindle Sales Offers

Amazon, kindle countdown dealauthors, and publishers have long been able to start and stop sales on Kindle ebooks at the drop of a hat, and that has tended to put readers at a disadvantage. We don’t know whether a deal ends today or next week, so we are often in a rush to get an ebook ASAP.

I prefer to know when sales will end, so I was pleased today when Amazon launched a new sales option for the Kindle Store. It’s called Kindle Countdown Sales, and it is not exactly what you might expect.

While KCS can be used to put an ebook on sale for a few hours, KCS also lets authors and publishers run a days or weeks long sale and tell potential customers exactly when the sale will end.

kindle countdown deal 2I’m usually not one to wax poetic about marketing and retail methods but this is one which is a surprisingly good idea. Speaking as a reader, it gives me info about a sale that I have always wanted but rarely had.

Update: Unfortunately this deal isn’t as good for authors and publishers. As I was just reminded on Twitter, KCS is only available for titles that are exclusive in the Kindle Store (I missed that detail):

Kindle Countdown Deals can be used by any publisher on any book that is exclusive to the Kindle Store.

On the plus side the seller will be able to earn a 70% royalty when using this sales tool (even when the price is under $2.99), but that might not be worth it. Depending on the market, this requirement for exclusivity might cancel out what little benefit authors and publishers gain from using this sales tool.

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fjtorres October 31, 2013 um 12:23 pm

My take on exclusivity deals is that Amazon has a toolkit of marketting tricks that they reserve for their closest partners.
Which means: not-the-BPH’s.
Anything that advances indie sales over the BPHs isn’t completely bad.

SteveH October 31, 2013 um 4:04 pm

Just looked it over and its a nice setup vs. manually toggling the price changes yourself, as it shows both the original digital price AND has the countdown with pricebreak messaging. They also put you onto a browsable 'Countdown offers' list so people can find you easier..

Nice…but there are a few small gotchas – If you have used Free promotions already in your 90 day period you can’t use this. Also, there are other restrictions based on being in Select for a certain number of days first, nor within 30 days of any other price changes, etc.
Still looks like a good tool in the quiver.

Greg Strandberg October 31, 2013 um 8:21 pm

I like it for the 2 books I have in Select but I won’t be putting my other 22 titles back in because of it. I like having a staggered promo too, and that it doesn’t have to start at midnight.

I decided to go with one on my $4.99 book for Nov 8. I’ll start at midnight at $0.99 then go up to $1.99, $2.99, and then $3.99 throughout the 24 hours I chose.

It’ll be interesting to see how this goes, and I’m looking forward to some good analysis of what works and what doesn’t on this over the coming weeks.

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