Kindle Countdown Deals: A New Promotional Tool For Authors

kindle countdown deals
Amazon has recently announced the launch of a new book promotional tool for KDP Select authors called Kindle Countdown Deals. I suppose they are adding this tool as a way of sweetening the pot for authors to choose to enroll their books in the KDP Select program. A program which entails publishing your book to Amazon exclusively for a period of time (no selling on B&N, iBooks, Kobo, or even your own website).

Kindle Countdown Deals does address an issue that many indie authors were having with running promotions for their books and what many authors will still have to deal with if they don’t use this tool. For example, say you want to run a promotion and offer your book which is typically $2.99 for .99 for a period of time. You’d have to log into KDP and manually change the price of your book and WAIT for Amazon to administer the change. The waiting on Amazon part is what would be a problem for some authors because you may have already announced to your community that you are running the promotion but Amazon has yet to make the change so readers cannot buy the book at the promotional price. The rule of thumb was to give Amazon at least 24 hours to change your pricing, but that wasn’t always guaranteed and a lot of promotions ran into glitches.

So Kindle Countdown Deals addresses this issue by Amazon offering their own built-in promotional program. This is how it works:

1. Set Time-Bound Promotions

You can control how long your book is discounted and the time remaining for your promotion will be visible for customers to help generate excitement for the price discount. Obviously this is going to work well because Amazon has put in place the infrastructure to make these changes work as soon as you set them.

2. Customers See Both Prices

Readers will be excited because they can see the great deal they are getting. The listing will include the regular price of your book right alongside the promotional price. When we did it manually, the reader would only see the promotional price because in essence you were changing the price of the book – not running a limited promotion.

3. Retain A 70% Royalty Rate

This is a biggie. You will earn royalties based on your regular royalty rate. So if you are using the 70% royalty rate option by pricing your book above 2.99, you will still earn 70% even if the promotional price is below $2.99.

4. Increased Discoverability

Customers can easily browse live Kindle Countdown Deals to see what books are on promotion (which you know readers love to do). This is a great way for your book to get discovered. Take a look at current deals here: http://amazon.com/kindlecountdowndeals

5. Monitor Performance In Real-Time

A new KDP report will display sales and royalties at each price discount side-by-side with pre-promotion performance, so you can compare results. Love that! You know I’m a stats girl:)

So in my opinion, Amazon has created a great tool for indie authors to really build momentum for new books or to breathe some life into stalled titles. Of course the trade off is that you have to commit to the KDP Select program for at least 3 months, but seeing that Amazon is the big player in the marketplace – this may be a trade off that you can live with.

* Kindle Countdown Deals are only available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk

Kindle Matchbook

Kindle Matchbook

Amazon has released a new program called Kindle Matchbook. If you purchase or have purchased in the past a physical book from Amazon, which use to be the only option prior to the release of the Kindle reader, they now offer the digital copy of the book to the owner at a lower price point: $2.99, $1.99, $0.99, or free. You can read these on your Kindle or using your Kindle reader app. I believe that providing a digital copy of a book is up to the publisher’s discretion so there may not be a ebook copy for every book you own, but here’s how you can find out:

1. Go to Kindle Matchbook main page and check out Q&A if you like.

2. Login to your Amazon account and click on the Find Your Kindle Matchbook Titles button (found on the Kindle Matchbook main page up above). This will automatically look through your physical purchase history and then pull up which books offer a digital version.

find matchbook titles

3. When I tested this, only one book came up, but that’s probably because only about 74,000 books are currently part of the Matchbook program at the time of this writing. You can continue to check back as I’m sure Amazon continues to add more titles. But as you see from this example, when I pulled up one of the books that I own: Taming Your Gremlin, it shows that I qualify to buy the Kindle version at the $2.99 price point rather than the regular Kindle price of $9.78.

matchbook example

 

4. Another way you can search is to scroll through the list of Matchbook eligible titles. This is where you’ll see the list of over 74,000 titles to choose from. But don’t panic, you can search through the titles using the categorized links in the left hand sidebar.

kindle matchbook titles

I think this is a great program offered by Amazon. It really provides an author with a backlist of paperbacks to offer readers an opportunity to enjoy the book again on their eReaders. You’d be surprised how many people will take advantage of this upsell. I’d definitely purchase my non-fiction books in both formats. One for marking up and the other for reading on the go.

5. If you are an author and want to learn more about enrolling in the Kindle Matchbook program, login to KDP and then read their Q&A on the program.

matchbook kdp program

What do you think of this new program over on Amazon? Hurtful or helpful for authors?

New Amazon Kindle Models: Fall Release

New Kindle Fire HD

Source: BGR

If you’re a techie like me, it probably doesn’t phase you to own several devices that do many of the same things. So while I have an original Kindle (which basically looks prehistoric now!) and an iPad (which is old too), I’m itching to upgrade. Luckily I noticed that the Kindle HD has been on sale over on Amazon a couple of times this year which is a strong indicator that a new model is coming out soon, and I was right. After a little searching I found an article on the details of the release of 3 new Kindle models, their features, and some vague information about price points although it looks like pricing will basically stay the same. The models are due to release this fall (September probably) and I will definitely purchase at this time.

Here’s the exclusive article originally posted at BGR:

Amazon is planning a complete overhaul of its Kindle Fire tablet lineup for 2013 and BGR has learned exclusive details about the forthcoming devices. As the first company to put a significant dent in Apple’s tablet market share following the iPad’s debut, expectations are always high when Amazon prepares to launch new hardware. Kindle slates are still the second most desired tablet series behind Apple’s iPad lineup according to one study, and while Samsung passed Amazon last year to steal the No.2 spot in terms of global tablet shipment volume, Samsung is stumbling right now and its new tablets are anything but impressive. As Amazon’s top bookselling rival backs away from tablet hardware and clears some extra space for Amazon to thrive, CEO Jeff Bezos and his team will look to push ahead with brand new devices set to debut in the coming months.

Trusted sources tell BGR that Amazon is currently prepping at least three new Kindle Fire tablets that will launch ahead of the holiday shopping season this year. BGR has previously reported exclusive details about Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet plans on several occasions.

The first new slate from Amazon will be a replacement for the 7-inch Kindle Fire, the company’s entry-level tablet currently being sold for $159. While the display’s diagonal measurement will remain the unchanged, our source says Amazon has gone with a new panel that features a higher resolution of 1,280 x 800 pixels, the same pixel count presently found on Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD. The current base Kindle Fire model uses an IPS display with 1,024 x 600-pixel resolution.

Read The Rest Of The Article Here

#1 Mistake Self-Published Amazon Authors Make

kindle grammar errorAttention All Self Published Authors! The #1 Mistake You Are Making When Publishing Your Books On Amazon Are Simple Grammar Errors. (GAHHH!)

If you are considering writing a book and publishing it on Amazon.com then I highly recommend that you hire an editor because there is nothing more embarrassing then seeing reviews for your book that love your topic or your story but couldn’t get through it because of the amount of errors:

amazon bad editing reviewkindle publishing errorsWhile I am a writer by trade (and passion:), I am also an avid reader. I buy a LOT of fiction from Amazon and read it on my iPad with my Kindle App. I am amazed by how many errors I find in these books. In fact, I’ve run across a few where I had to reread passages in order to try and make sense of them. Basically trying to figure out what the author intended to say.

While it doesn’t discourage me from reading self published authors (there are plenty of fantastic books written by self published authors), it does discourage me from purchasing from that particular author again.

As an author, avoiding the reviews that you will receive (like those I’ve shown above and they aren’t the worst of it!), are worth the investment of hiring an editor.

If you are on a super tight budget and can’t pay anyone, then another thing you could try is to form an alliance with another author and agree to proofread each other’s work. You can find other authors in your area quite easily through social media. Just put it out there and people will be very willing to connect you with others.

Read about more common grammar errors many writers make…

Updating Your Amazon Profile Page

Lisa Angelettie's Daughter

A Tip For Updating Your Amazon Profile Page

One of the first reasons why I started surfing around the web years ago was to buy my daughter’s Christmas gifts on Amazon. When I had my first daughter Autumn, I admit that I became sort of a hermit. I breastfed her for a year and then I got pregnant again with my second daughter, so I started shopping online:) I bought a LOT of stuff for the girls on Amazon and pretty early on in my online practice (GirlShrink), I completed the profile page for myself at Amazon.

Amazon’s profile page is for Amazon customers and are typically utilized by folks who want to buy and review products, books, and more. I would casually and randomly review products over the years until I realized that when someone searched for my name, my Amazon profile page would come up on page 1 of those results. The positions have changed over the years, now it is currently #8 on page 1 for a search result of my name. That position is good enough for me to pay a little more “personal” attention to my profile page.

So the other day I decided I’d update it because it really had outdated information on it from when I was a full time psychotherapist. When I went to update the profile, I ran into a glitch, and that was in the “In My Own Words” section of the profile.

Lisa Angelettie Amazon Profile

When I first added a small bio/introduction paragraph there I also added urls to a few of my relevant websites. Well, Amazon doesn’t allow that any longer but I didn’t know that. And they don’t tell you anywhere on the site (which is a little nutty)!

So every time I tried to make an edit to the section it would tell me that I couldn’t use “profanity” in the section — when clearly I hadn’t. S#!$$ :) I mean it drove me crazy! I called customer service and while they tried, the first rep I spoke to didn’t even know what an Amazon profile page was. Need I say more?

Quick Note – when you call a customer service number for many major online companies such as an Amazon or a web hosting company, you often get the Level #1 support rep. When you run into major trouble, you always need someone at a level #2 or better. Typically you’ve got to get to those people via email.

So that’s what I did. Problem solved.

Adding the url addresses in that section was the problem. Once I deleted them, all was well and I was able to update the page.

There is a place for you to add a live link to one of your sites in your profile page by the way. It’s right above the “In My Own Words” section. I’m actually going to talk a lot more about how to take advantage of profile pages on major websites in my updated, revamped, made over foundational article marketing program — Articology in early 2012.

Your Content Marketing Assignment:
So if you have ever bought something from Amazon, it’s a good idea to go in your account this week and complete your profile page. Search engines rank ’em high! So it’s great to have and add to your visibility platform.