You’ve probably heard about Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Free Promotion program where authors can give away digital copies of their ebooks for up to 5 days. In the past, KDP Free Promotions were an incredible way for authors to attract hundreds, thousands, and even tens of thousands of new readers in less than a week. But when Amazon announced their new Kindle Countdown Deal program, we knew it might be a game-changer. So we had to see for ourselves.
We started testing the new Kindle Countdown Deals extensively right when they launched just two months ago and we’ve seen some incredibly promising results so far. We’ve launched over 40 Kindle Countdown Deals as of December 15, 2013 and I’m going to share with you an overview of the results from these initial promotions.
Because there are so many variables in marketing, I wanted to make sure that we really got a feel for the effect of a Kindle Countdown Deal itself. Would just scheduling a Kindle Countdown Deal promotion lead to an increase in sales and income for our publishing clients all by itself without any additional marketing? That would be a very hard question to answer if all of our testing was done with clients who were promoting the book during the deal and with us promoting the books as well.
So, in addition to schedule KCD’s for clients with additional marketing activities, we also scheduled over 20 KCDs for either my own books or clients without ANY extra marketing whatsoever (in some cases we didn’t even tell clients we were testing the new KCD’s – sorry John, we didn’t want you to accidentally mess up our test results!). I wanted to make sure that whatever results we witnessed were based on the change to a Kindle Countdown Deal and not changes in other marketing activities. We also tested deal periods ranging in length from 23 hours to 160 hours to see what effects a longer KCD might have.
For these KCD tests, the books ranged in price between $2.99 and $5.99 before the promotions started, and every promotion price was set to $0.99 for the entire promotional period.
The following are results from Kindle Countdown Deals for books with absolutely no additional marketing whatsoever.
Every book we’ve run a Kindle Countdown Deal with so far has seen an increase in sales and some have seen huge increases in sales from the no-marketing Kindle Countdown Deals. On average, we saw a 905% increase in sales (how many books were sold) and a 246% increase in net income (how much money the author made) per hour. In every single Kindle Countdown Deal we’ve run so far, each book saw an increase in number of sales and in revenue. The smallest increase in sales was 153% and the smallest increase in revenue per hour was 33%.
One book had a whopping 6,525% increase in sales and a 1,789% increase in net income per hour generated by the author (from 4 sales in the prior week to 261 sales in 160 hours during the KCD promotion). And remember, this was all without any additional marketing!
If you remove the book with the 65-fold increase in sales from the data, the average increase in net income per hour was 213% and the average increase in book sales was 617% – still incredible results. So it wasn’t just one or two outliers that was causing these huge improvements in sales as more than 25% of the KCDs generated a 500%+ increase in sales.
But these are just the results during the promotion!
Results after the promotion have been incredible as well. As a result of the dramatically improved sales momentum, many books which were not on bestseller lists jumped on the bestsellers lists while other books that were already bestsellers climbed significantly higher on the charts. This lead to continued strong sales at regular prices after the KCD ended. The average increase in sales and net income during the week after the KCD promotion was 73%!
We found the books that did best during a KCD were either already on a bestseller list or close to being on a bestseller list but not quite there. Books that were nowhere near being on a bestseller list saw the least overall improvements in sales. To me, this is just a confirmation of what I’ve been preaching for years – most sales will come just from being on Amazon’s bestseller lists! (See The Kindle Publishing Bible for a detailed discussion of exactly how to get on the Amazon Kindle bestseller lists).
With a little bit of intelligent marketing behind a Kindle Countdown Deal, just about any good book should be able to reach a bestseller list and see a dramatic increase in sales based on our experience so far.
So when you add up the increased sales and revenue generated during a Kindle Countdown Deal and the improvement in sales and revenue after a KCD, it’s a no-brainer! KDP Countdown Deals work and they are a fantastic way to improve your book sales – without ANY extra marketing. Of course, just imagine the kind of results you could get with some serious marketing power behind your next Kindle Countdown Deal.
I’m currently working on some training videos and material for you that will show you how to do just that. Who wants to settle for a 246% increase in income when you can do better?
If you’ve had some experience with Kindle Countdown Deals and would like to share your results or questions about the process, please post your comments below!