The Surreal Killer

The Surreal Killer
Machu Picchu. Peru

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


            Amazon KDP recently announced a new book promotion opportunity.  For up to seven days you can reduce the price on your KDP entry to any amount you want on any kind of staggered schedule you might care to try.   The incentives are (1) there’s a special promotional page on Amazon where your book is announced as a participant, and (2) you get the full 70% royalty on sales, even if the price is below the normal threshold for the 70% royalty.   It seemed a fun thing to try---the worst-case scenario was nobody would be interested in a book I put on this promotion.   That would have been OK, as I chose a book with low sales at this time but one that is an excellent entry point into my series because it features pretty much all of the recurring characters in five shorter stories.

            The new promotion started on a curious date, 11/12/13.   I announced the promotional price, $0.99, a substantial reduction from the normal price of $2.99 for this novel-length anthology, on a couple of dozen Facebook sites and on my own Facebook page.   The promotion was set to run for seven days, through the 18th. 

           It began with a scare for me.   After posting blurbs on all of the Facebook sites it suddenly occurred to me to check the current price on the Amazon book page.   Sure enough, it was $2.99!   OOOOOOPSIE!   Of course, I should have done this first.   Visions of writing hundreds of apologetic e-mails and Facebook messages danced through my wee little head.   I probably should also point out this was before I’d had my first cup of coffee of the day.  For those who don’t know me, I’m not at my best until the coffee has had its effect.    I waited a while and rechecked the Amazon book page.   Lo and behold, it was $0.99 now.   Lesson learned:  Amazon starts their promotional day at 8 AM PST, or I forgot to set the time to begin at 12:01 AM when I set up the promotion.   Maybe the Amazon IT guys and gals need their first cups of coffee before starting, too.

I plan to check results daily and report the outcome to anyone who has read this far.   While success of failure with this type of promotion will tend to vary with genre of book and how authors promote the promotion (I’m just using Facebook, so not investing any money in the advertising campaign this time.  Mostly, I’m curious to see how the experience goes.  I also submitted an announcement for posting on “Awesome Gang”.).  The book has a catchy title (“Five Quickies for Roger and Suzanne”) but is an anthology of short stories, which may turn some potential readers off.   But there’s only one review up on the book’s Amazon site.   And it’s early for Christmas shopping, which may be either a good or a bad thing in turns of how much competition to expect.

The blurb potential buyers got to see on Facebook looked like this (The content of the stories is mentioned in the reference to the book’s URL at the end of the blurb.   Suggestions for improving my blurb style are most welcome!): 

Special Promotional Price on Amazon KDP ---Nov. 12-17, 2013.  Thousands of readers have enjoyed a series of mystery novels set in South America and California featuring Los Angeles-based private detective Roger Bowman and his wife biochemist Suzanne Foster.   “Five Quickies For Roger And Suzanne”, a novel-length anthology of five stories---three short stories (including “The Dog With No Name” for dog lovers), a novella, and a novelette---features the regular characters from this popular South American mystery series.  Enjoy the quickies, which introduce several of the recurring series characters from this series and are a great place to begin it!  Normal list price is $2.99. Promotional days only, $0.99.

            Day 1, 9 PM (13 hours elapsed).   Total net sales during promotion = 0.   I used Facebook and a single web site (Awesome Gang) for advertising the promotion.  The book was listed as #131 in the category Mystery/Thriller/Suspense on Amazon KDP’s Promotion section.  This was kind of disappointing.   I hope tomorrow is a better day for this promotion.

            Day 2, 9 PM (37 hours later).  Total net sales during promotion still = 0.

Day 3, 3 PM (55 hours later).  We got our first (and only, thus far) sale.  Total net sales during promotion = 1.

Day 4, 8 AM (72 hours later).  Still just at 1 book sold at the promotional price.   Better than none.

Day 5, 10 AM (98 hours later).  There’s a second book sale to report.  Now at 2 books sold at the promotional price.   A little better than none, but not going to make me rich!

Day 6, 6 PM (130 hours later).   Book #3 sold some time last night or this morning.   There’s only one more day left in this promotion.   So far, not much (but significantly better than nothing.   The lack of reviews may be a problem, but that’s a large part of why I ran the promotion---I hoped to get more reviews if there were more copies of the book out there.

Day 7, 6 PM (154 hours later).   We’re still at only three total book sales for the entire promotion.   Even though it’s just a Monday, I put my blurb back up on several high volume sites on Facebook.   Let’s see if we get any last minute sales!

Day 8, 8 AM (168 hours later).  This is the official end of the promotion.  Still only a total of three books sold.   That could be three more than if there hadn’t been a promotion, I guess, but I find the results very disappointing.  Was it the wrong style or genre of book?   Not enough buzz in the various book groups?   Not enough reviews?   Does the Kindle Countdown Deal promotion just not work in competition with hundreds of freebies?   Is it all of the above?

And there, dear blog readers, is an account of my experience with Amazon’s newest sales gimmick.   Has anybody had a similar experience?   Has anybody had a better experience?

No comments:

Post a Comment