Experiments in Marketing: Kindle Countdown Deal

May 29, 2014 by

Experiments in Marketing: Kindle Countdown Deal

It’s been a while since I did one of these posts, but I’m finally getting back into the marketing game. Starting today, I have a weeklong Kindle Countdown Deal going on the Brides of Pemberley box set in both the US and UK Kindle stores.

What exactly is a Kindle Countdown Deal? In simplest terms, it’s a timed sale. You can put your title in a countdown deal for up to 7 days in a three month period. Of that 7 days, you decide how long you want it to remain at various price points, and then Amazon automatically adjusts the price as the clock ticks down. Then to remind the customer that this great price won’t last, the book’s page looks like this:

Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 11.29.07 PM


So as you can see, the box set is currently 99p in the UK, but the price will go up to 1.99 on Sunday. It will remain there until the sale ends on Wednesday.

The ticking clock is not a new mechanism to drive sales. Grocery stores do it all the time, with weekly ads. With the Countdown Deal, Amazon is making that available to authors and publishers as well.

I did my first countdown deal in January with the box set, and had phenomenal results. According to the chart Amazon generates, my royalties per hour in the US were 1300% what they had been the previous week. 1300%. That is a runaway success.

I did a second countdown deal on His Good Opinion in April which generated a 400% increase. While not as jaw-dropping as the first, that’s still a significant improvement over where sales had been (or have been since, to be honest).

I suspect part of the difference is a single title versus an omnibus. It’ll be interesting to see if that turns out to be accurate when I see the results from this second sale on the entire box set.

One note: The Kindle Countdown Deal is only available to titles in the KDP Select program. Participation in this program means selling your ebook exclusively in the Kindle store for three months. In the past, I didn’t feel the benefits outweighed what you lose out on. After the results of these sales, I think they just might, and I’ll probably continue to rotate titles through on an occasional basis.


  1. Ceri

    I love kindle countdown deals, takes the guesswork out of how long I can be indecisive about whether to buy something before the price goes up! Good luck with your sale!

    • Nancy Kelley

      Yes, exactly! And from our point of view, urgency makes people m0re likely to by things.

  2. Thanks for sharing your experience, Nancy. That’s very interesting and I didn’t know about the countdown deals. There’s just nothing like the “ticking clock” device.

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