An e-book sale on amazon could be the exact solution you need to sell more books and give your book a much needed boost.
If you’re part of Amazon’s Kindle Select Program, you’re eligible to run a free ebook giveaway and a Kindle Countdown Deal where you place discounts on your ebook for a limited time.
But even if you’re not in those programs, you can still do a successful Amazon book promotion with a couple of extra steps. If you’re wondering how to do that, this article is absolutely for you.
How to run an e-book sale with KDP Select
Authors enrolled in KDP Select can promote their book with a free book promotion or a Kindle Countdown Deal once every three months. It’s great timing because it’s common for sales to need a pick me up every 90 days or so. And, continuously generating sales is a good thing for Amazon’s algorithm. It shows them that your book is still relevant and selling so they should be sending traffic your way.
For up to five days, you can give away free copies of your ebook. Of course, when you’re giving away your book, you’re not making any profit from it. Free book promotion is, well, obviously, free.
But, this trade-off can be worth it for traffic and reviews.
A Free E-Book can Also Boost Traffic For Your Other Books
A free book can be an excellent strategy for introducing your readers to your book ecosystem (your collection of published books). It works well for fiction authors. They give away the first in a series for free to hook the readers into buying the rest.
For non-fiction, reviews are the main reason we do it. Think about it; if you’re experiencing a recent dip in sales, reviews can turn that around by providing social proof.
A free giveaway may not put money in your pocket while it’s happening. But, if those free readers post a review, you are boosting your potential for money-making opportunities in more ways than one.
What To Consider Before Doing Free Book Promotions
I’m not really a big fan of giving non-fiction books away for free. Before you run a free giveaway promotion for your non-fiction book, consider these:
People Seldom Value Free Stuff
In many non-fiction books, like my book, “Self-Publish and Succeed,” you’re gaining tons of knowledge, strategies, and resources equivalent to thousands of dollars of advice and mistake avoidance.
That’s high value. But as soon as you make it free, you run the risk of devaluing it in the eyes of your readers. Remember, people rarely associate quality with things they don’t pay for, which leads to my second reason.
Non-Fiction Doesn’t Get Fully Consumed by All
I’m not a huge fan of free non-fiction books because they often don’t get read through. Maybe you give away 100 books, and possibly five read it. Well, I’d rather sell 20 books and have ten people read them.
Free Book Giveaways Often Don’t Attract The Right Readers
Now, this might sound counterintuitive but hear me out. In non-fiction, you’re rarely trying to get readers into your book ecosystem. Fiction authors often have a series of books and a free book that is easily read and is really enticing leads the reader to NEED to buy the next book in the series. That usually isn’t the case for non-fiction. You might have more books for them to read, which can be a consideration, but usually, a reader wants a problem solved and won’t pick up the next book in your series immediately.
If you’ve written non-fiction, chances are, you’re also drawing readers in to check out your business, product, or service. You might be hoping that they’ll reach out and hire you to do something beyond just reading your book.
Well, free doesn’t equal commitment, which gives you a slight chance of getting all these beautiful things you hoped would happen.
Still, there’s no stopping you from opting for these Amazon ebook deals if it makes sense for you and your strategy. Read on to find out how you can successfully do one.
Tips to Doing a Successful Kindle Countdown Deal to Sell More E-Books
A Kindle Countdown Deal starts your sale price low and increases it slowly over a set number of days until it returns to its regular price. Your sale can last from five to seven days, and you can set your pricing in whatever increments you want. So it’s really more of a count-up deal.
This video on Kindle Select E-Book Sales gives you some visual support:
Stick to Five-Day Sales to Run an E-Book Sale
On average, we see the best results with five-day sales. They tend to have the best traction; they’re shorter, so you won’t get that one-day sale hit that Amazon doesn’t like. The deal could also get missed if it only lasted one day. By running it for five days, more readers will see it.
On the flip side, if you run a sale that’s too long, it can also not work in your favor either. So five days is kind of a sweet spot.
Use An Ideal E-Book Pricing Strategy
Pricing your book takes consideration. Our five-day sales always start at $0.99 and increase a dollar each day. Now you don’t have to start at $0.99. You can drop your price to 0.57, 0.24, or even $0.13. But a $0.99 price tag tends to grab the most attention and the most sales. It’s just what people most commonly see.
We also run the $0.99 promos for clients that aren’t in Kindle Select. We just manually set the price down to $0.99 and run the paid promos.
Kindle Countdown deals include these two little features that help get readers to buy:
The first is the placement of a promotional price. You’ll see this right next to the regular price, showing readers how much they’re saving.
The other is the slightly anxiety-inducing countdown clock, letting them know how much time is left until the price raises to put the pressure on.
You don’t get these features if you’re not in Kindle Select.
Amazon also features countdown deals on a dedicated page. Readers can browse the books on sale that week and find new books to try without a financial commitment. So you’re not simply potentially upping your sales. You’re upping your discoverability too.
Okay, so that’s the logistics of setting the price. Now you have to promote it.
Tease The E-Book Sale On Email and Social Media
You’re going to want to promote your sale through social media, your email list, and your website. Now time and time again, I’ve said email list is one of your most valuable tools as an author.
Need tips on building a great website? This video is what you need:
You can also tease the upcoming sale at the end of one of your newsletters or social media posts. A week or so before the sale, promote it by sharing the reason behind it – why you’re celebrating and why you’ll have the special offer. Don’t forget to Include specifics like the beginning date and the price.
Of course, you’ll need to announce it on the day of the sale and make sure to send out another reminder the day before it ends. It never hurts to share a few posts to your Facebook or Instagram story.
Use eBook Promotional Sites to Run an E-Book Sale
Now, aside from your promotion, you should be doing other things to gain traffic. What we do is purchase ad space from ebook promotional sites. We test many different sites for our clients, but we consistently use Bargain Booksy and Fussy Librarian, which have reasonable rates and sizable audiences.
This page from Kindlepreneur shows a gigantic list of ebook sites you can test. But, a lot of them are only well-suited for fiction. We non-fiction authors do have some limitations.
eBook promotional sites work by sending daily newsletters to readers advertising that day’s ebook sales. Ad space ranges from $20 to $110, but variances are based on what packages you choose.
Usually, we purchase three to five ads for a five-day sale, spreading them out throughout that promotion. Sure, this costs you money, but you’re potentially reaching a whole new audience that specifically signed up for emails to find new things to read.
Word of warning, though, these promo sites can fill up quickly. So it’s beneficial to plan your sale dates well in advance.
At Book Launchers, we purchase space three to four weeks in advance for our authors and longer during holiday seasons. These sites have limited space available, and some have an approval process before running your ad.
How to Run Your eBook Sale
Now that you’ve picked your dates, purchased your ads, and got your promotions lined up, you’re ready to run your sale. Well, here’s what you do.
First, go to the marketing tab in your Amazon author account.
In the run-up price promotion, select “Kindle Countdown Deals” and click “Create a Kindle Countdown Deal.”
If you have multiple books, select the one you’re going to promote and click continue.
Enter your selections for marketplace, date and time, number of price increments, and starting price.
After you hit continue, you’ll see a table pop-up. Edit the price increments and start times you’d like, and then finish up by clicking Add Promotion.
What If I’m Not On KDP Select?
If you’re not in Kindle Select, you’ll have to do what I do and set a reminder to drop your price the day before your promotion starts. Go in and do it, and then put another reminder to raise your price when your promotional period is over. We don’t get that cool countdown, nor do we get that promo price notice, but we get to sell our books wherever we want, and we haven’t given Amazon all the power. So there are trade-offs, right?
All right, something to keep in mind before you rush over to Amazon to run your promotion. Once you schedule your Kindle Countdown, you won’t be able to edit or stop it within 24 hours of its starting time throughout the whole deal.
Also, Amazon doesn’t allow you to change your book price 30 days before and 14 days after the promotion. Surprising? There are more surprising facts about Amazon you need to know as an author.
And if you still haven’t heard about A+ content on Amazon, well, you definitely need to watch this video right here.
Did you enjoy this article? Here are a few more on successfully marketing your non-fiction:
A Book Launch Marketing Plan – Epic Guide Blog Post
An Epic Guide to YouTube Video Marketing for Authors
Want next-level sales on Amazon or any major outlets? Book a call with us to learn more about how we can help.