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Archived Marketing No New Posts > Running my 1st KDP Select Promo - what was your experience?

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message 1: by April (last edited Aug 14, 2015 03:27PM) (new)

April Wilson (aprilwilson) I'm running my first Amazon KDP Select promo - my book is on sale for .99 cents for one week (Aug 11 - 18). Today is the halfway point. Since the promo started, I've noticed three things:

1. Book sales climbed 4-5 fold.
2. Number of pages read through KU plummeted.
3. My number of Twitter followers jumped up quite a lot.

Have you run a KDP Select Promo? What did you see? Was it helpful? Hurtful? Neutral? I'm curious to see what others think of it.

It's too early for me to draw any conclusions, but I have an idea what my conclusions will be. But first, I have to let the promo finish its run, and then I have to see what the metrics look like in the week(s) following the promo.

April


message 2: by J.N. (new)

J.N. Bedout (jndebedout) | 115 comments How did you get the word out?


message 3: by Maurice (new)

Maurice Miller (mauricegmiller) | 116 comments I ran a two day free giveaway and it moved me up to #3 in my category in the Top 100 Free.
Note that I believe if you do a free giveaway for any amount of days, you can't do a Kindle Countdown in the same 90 day period.


message 4: by April (new)

April Wilson (aprilwilson) J.N. wrote: "How did you get the word out?"

I got the word out through Twitter and Goodreads.

My goal was to test the book price variable. My novel normally sells for $2.99. I wanted to run it at .99 cents and see what affect that had on book sales. Book sales increased, which I expected, but the number of KU pages read decreased, which I didn't really expect... and that hurt. I do most of my traffic through KU pages read (about 75% of it).

Yes, you can choose only one promo per 90-day period of enrollment in KDP Select. I chose the Countdown Deal promo because I wanted to test the price variable.

April


message 5: by Max (new)

Max Nightjar (maxnightjar) | 5 comments That's good to know because I haven't marketed my book with kindle promo. Is there a KDP without Select, promo?

Thanks Max


message 6: by April (new)

April Wilson (aprilwilson) Max wrote: "That's good to know because I haven't marketed my book with kindle promo. Is there a KDP without Select, promo?

Thanks Max"


I'm new at this, but I think if you are in KDP (without Select) you can run your own promo anytime you want, starting at .99 cents and up (unless you manage a free book, which has to follow some rules).

KDP Select requires you to price your book at a minimum of $2.99, so you have to use a "promo" deal to temporarily lower your price to $1.99, .99 cents, or FREE for a period of 1-7 days, once during your 90-day enrollment period.

April


message 7: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 2491 comments I have to ask. Where did you see that you had to price your book at 2.99 if you wanted to join KDP Select? Sure the countdown deals won't work if not that price but for the rest it wouldn't matter.

Just wondering because I was thinking of going the KDP Select route with my next book but I'm not too sure about the 2.99$ :/


message 8: by Ken (new)

Ken (kendoyle) | 364 comments You don't have to price your book at 2.99 to be in Select. You can't run a Countdown promo if your book is 0.99, but that's a separate issue.


message 9: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Waltz (andreawaltz) | 10 comments I've done a free KDP promo and spent some $ listing on all kinds of sites. Ended up with 2500 downloads and very few "readers" as far as I can tell. Free is worth what you paid in the eyes of the buyer. I did a countdown deal reducing my 2.99 book to .99 and sold about 30 books. Spent probably $100 promoting on various sites. I am not saying these things "don't work" I just see that they no longer have the specialness or effectiveness as they did 1-2 years ago.


message 10: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) The $2.99 minimum only applies to the eligibility for the 70% royalty. You can price at .99 and still be in KDP Select.


message 11: by April (new)

April Wilson (aprilwilson) Ken wrote: "The $2.99 minimum only applies to the eligibility for the 70% royalty. You can price at .99 and still be in KDP Select."

Thanks, Ken. That rings a bell now. I knew there was a minimum price of $2.99 -- and that's the reason -- it's in order to get the 70% royalty (instead of 35%). Thanks for clarifying that.

I want to test the price of $2.99 (and earning 70% royalty) against the price of .99 cents (and earning 35% royalty) to see if the increased sales at the lower price can offset the reduction in royalty.

April


message 12: by April (new)

April Wilson (aprilwilson) Ken wrote: "You don't have to price your book at 2.99 to be in Select. You can't run a Countdown promo if your book is 0.99, but that's a separate issue."

Ken, I'm in Select now, listed at $2.99. Can I change my price to .99 cents in the middle of an enrollment period? I know that my royalty rate would drop from 70% to 35%, but that wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing if the number of books sold rose enough to offset the lower royalty rate. I'm trying to identify the "sweet spot."

Right now, I get most of my business through KU, and I don't want to lose that. Can I go Select, price at .99 cents, and still be eligible for KU?

Thanks for any guidance.

April


message 13: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) Yes, you can set your price to 99 cents and be eligible for KU. However, for the one book I have in KU, a short story collection, I put the price at $2.99 for two reasons: to get the 70% royalty in case I actually sell one, and to leave the impression that the "free" KU book saves the buyer $2.99 instead of 99 cents. A small point, maybe, but everything helps.


message 14: by April (new)

April Wilson (aprilwilson) Ken wrote: "Yes, you can set your price to 99 cents and be eligible for KU. However, for the one book I have in KU, a short story collection, I put the price at $2.99 for two reasons: to get the 70% royalty i..."

Hmm. Ken, that's an interesting point. The psychology of pricing books is fascinating. I'll have to mull that over.

April


message 15: by Owen (last edited Aug 15, 2015 06:54PM) (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 1509 comments April wrote: "I want to test the price of $2.99 (and earning 70% royalty) against the price of .99 cents (and earning 35% royalty) to see if the increased sales at the lower price can offset the reduction in royalty..."

We've tested this in the past, and for our novels, it has never paid off. You have to sell 6x as many books at $0.99 just to break even, the difference between $0.99 and $2.99 doesn't seem to be that important to readers.

When we do a $0.99 countdown deal that has always worked well for us; 3 to 4 days seems better than running all week, though. We usually see a similar bump to yours, and our other books get a bump as well.

We haven't seen a correlation between countdown sales and KU, but with so few data samples, that's hard to tell. At other times, it seem when sales go up, KU reads go down and vice versa. Other times they fall and rise together. I can't see any strong correlation between the two.

Edit: We have never done any sort of promo, or attempted to get the word out, for our countdown deals, beyond a post in our blog (when we remember, which we often don't).


message 16: by April (new)

April Wilson (aprilwilson) Owen wrote: "We've tested this in the past, and for our novels, it has never paid off. You have to sell 6x as many books at $0.99 just to break even, the difference between $0.99 and $2.99 doesn't seem to be that important to readers. "

Thanks, Owen. This is exactly the type of analysis I'm trying to do. I'll have to isolate a number of variables and then analyze the data. I'm thinking there might be some strategy here. I'm hoping to find just the right mix. Of course I only have one book right now. Once there are more, I expect the strategy will change significantly.

I never thought I'd be using algebra and statistics! My high school and college math teachers were right!!

April


message 17: by Owen (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 1509 comments April wrote: "Hmm. Ken, that's an interesting point. The psychology of pricing books is fascinating. I'll have to mull that over."

When we released our first book at $2.99, some people said they were reluctant to buy it because the price was "too low". And I've also gotten a sense that a novel priced at $0.99 is not seen as a "deal" by some readers, but as "evidence" that the author rushed the book out there before it was ready. This seems to be true in our genre (sci-fi), but I can't say about others.

When pricing a book, it's a good idea to canvas the other book in your genre and see what the pricing is like. That is what drives reader's expectations.


message 18: by Owen (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 1509 comments Maurice wrote: "Note that I believe if you do a free giveaway for any amount of days, you can't do a Kindle Countdown in the same 90 day period..."

In KDP Select you have the option each enrollment period of running a (1) countdown deal or selecting a free promo. You can't do both. The free promo option allows 5 free promo days to whenever you like during the enrollment period.

If you run a countdown deal, you cannot change your book's price for 30 days thereafter. You get the 70% royalty, even though your book is priced below $2.99 (the 70% cutoff).

If you are not in KDP Select, you can change your price more-or-less at will. If you price it below $2.99, you drop to the 35% royalty.

Also, Amazon promotes Countdown deals, so keep that in mind.


message 19: by April (new)

April Wilson (aprilwilson) Owen wrote: "If you run a countdown deal, you cannot change your book's price for 30 days thereafter. You get the 70% royalty, even though your book is priced below $2.99 (the 70% cutoff). "

That's a bummer. I would like to play with the price a bit, but if I have to wait 30 days after my Countdown Deal to change the price, that stinks.

April


message 20: by Owen (last edited Aug 15, 2015 08:31PM) (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 1509 comments April wrote: "That's a bummer. I would like to play with the price a bit, but if I have to wait 30 days after my Countdown Deal to change the price, that stinks..."

It makes sense, in that if people can change the price at will, it dilutes the point of having a sale in the first place. People don't like it much when a "sale" gets advertised, only to see a "new & better" sale the next week. The effect is that they don't buy, because the faith that a sale means something is not there.

It's a good idea to keep in mind that Amazon actually wants to sell books (and everything else) even more than we do. Their existence depends on their ability to sell -- very few of us can make that claim. Our investment is more emotional than practical. That doesn't make it worthless -- far from it -- but selling is not our sole reason for existence and few of us are experts at it. Amazon is. When it comes to selling on-line they are the best on the world. So when they set (and change) policies, it's because their expertise say that change is beneficial from the sales POV.

So do experiment, but also keep in mind that no price experiment less than about 3 months is going to yield meaningful data, and if you can't do a genuine A/B comparison, that makes things even dicier.

PS: I checked your sales ranking. Your book is doing quite well right now. If you will excuse a bit of unsolicited advice, don't experiment when your book is selling this well. Most (like 90%) of experiments are failures, and you have something to lose at this point. Wait until your book sales cool off (and we can hope that never happens), and then experiment. For now, just enjoy your success -- and keep writing!


message 21: by April (new)

April Wilson (aprilwilson) Owen wrote: " If you will excuse a bit of unsolicited advice, don't experiment when your book is selling this well. Most (like 90%) of experiments are failures, and you have something to lose at this point. "

Thanks, Owen. I appreciate your advice - unsolicited or not - very much! And thank you for the kind words. How did you check my sales ratings? Are you referring to the numbers that are provided right below the book's details on the book page? Like the rankings for All Paid Kindle, and the rankings for my two sub-genres?

Thanks again. I am really happy with how the book is selling and the reviews/ratings that are coming in. I certainly didn't expect this. So, as you said, I shouldn't mess with things when they're going well. That sounds like good advice, and I will certainly heed it.

April


message 22: by Owen (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 1509 comments April wrote: "How did you check my sales ratings? Are you referring to the numbers that are provided right below the book's details on the book page?"

Yes, this: Amazon Best Sellers Rank: (Paid in Kindle Store). Keep up the good work!


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