Amazon Rankings and Promotions

Today marks the first day of my very first countdown deals promotion. My promotion for Storm Without End is scheduled to run from 12:00 am December 09, 2013 to December 14 and 12:00 pm PST. This is 168 hours.

What is a countdown deal?

A countdown deal is a limited time promotion where amazon allows you to mark down your book in $0.99 increments (0.99, 1.99, 2.99 and so on…) over a set period of time. You can choose the number of days (up to 7) and the number of increments. Only KDP Select members can take advantage of this promotion type.

Unlike other royalty programs with Amazon, countdown deals use the royalty percentage of your novel at full price versus the percentage when the book is set to $0.99. So, if you sell your book at $5.99 normally, you have a 70% sales bracket, which means you'll earn 70% of $0.99 instead of the normal 35%.

What to Watch Out For

If you have your book enrolled in other sites (like smashwords) and you want to become a KDP Select member to take advantage of countdown deals, you need to make certain that your novel is off of all other digital vendors before you enroll in KDP Select. While amazon will permit you into KDP Select, if your book has remnant presences on other sites, they will deny your countdown deal and you will have to wait until your next KDP Select cycle in three months.

Also, you can only run one countdown promotion per 90 day period.

The Impact of my Countdown Deal

My promotion has been running for 17 hours at the time of this posting, and I'm going to be bluntly honest about my sales figures and royalties.

Before the countdown promotion started, I had 3 sales and one lending library borrow of Storm Without End for the month of December.

Within the first 17 hours of the promotion, at $0.99, I earned 21 new sales.

So, what does this mean in terms of royalties?

3 sales earned me $12.42 in royalties. 21 promotional-rated sales has earned me $13.09 in royalties. So far, I've done a complete week worth of sales in the first day of my promotion. But the real benefit wasn't necessarily in the sales, but rather in the increase of rank.

Impact on Ranking

After watching the ranks all day, and being familiar with what one sale at the $5.99 marker does, I've come to the conclusion that in order to get the same rank movement I need to sell ~5-6 copies at $0.99 to get the movement of one sale at $5.99. Mileage varies a little, as it's little jumps versus one big jump — which actually does make a notable difference. So, let me clarify that. If five or six people bought Storm Without End at the exact same time, it would have the same impact as one sale at $5.99.

Before the promotion, I was riding at approximately 150,000-200,000 in ranking.

This is a screenshot of Storm Without End's ranking during hour 17 of the promotion.


Prior to the promotion, I wasn't listed on any top 100 lists at all, and at the time of this screenshot, this was the highest ranking the book had ever earned.

So, there are definitely short-term benefits to running a countdown promotion. What the long term benefits will be?

Only time will tell.

More tomorrow on the Countdown Deals promotion system.

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70 Hours into a Countdown Deals Promotion says December 12, 2013

[…] a bit more about my countdown deals promotion with Here’s a very brief recap of this post. First, only KDP Select members may attempt a countdown deals promotion. All previous contracts […]

Avery K. Tingle says December 15, 2013

So would you say the short term benefits are worth it? Also, did you release Storm Without End exclusively in the KDP Select Program, or did you release it across other platforms and then go exclusive to KDP?

    RJBlain says December 15, 2013

    I released Storm Without End exclusively on amazon, because my experiences with smashwords were less than pleasant.

    The short term benefits… yes. I think they were worth it. It was a huge amount of exposure.

J.J.Hartly says December 30, 2013

Great information to know RJBlain, I’ve been wondering about how the deals work with Amazon KDP Select.

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