No More Amazon Giveaways for Kindle eBooks?

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KINDLE EBOOK GIVEAWAYS AT AMAZON—GONE?

You can run an Amazon Giveaway for many new products at Amazon.com.

Basically, if you scroll down to the bottom of a product page and see an offer to run an Amazon Giveaway for that product, then that product is eligible.

Amazon Giveaways used to apply to Kindle eBooks.

However, for the past couple of days, I haven’t seen the option to run an Amazon Giveaway for a Kindle eBook at the bottom of product pages for Kindle eBooks.

I still see the option available for print books and other new products.

I checked the giveaway FAQ’s yesterday, and it still stated that you can run giveaways for Kindle eBooks. Yet I didn’t see the option to do so.

Well, I was able to host a giveaway for unclaimed prizes for a previous giveaway. I just couldn’t create a new giveaway for any Kindle eBooks.

UPDATE: There is a trick you can use to run a giveaway for a Kindle eBook, if you’ve ever run a giveaway for that same book in the past: https://chrismcmullen.com/2018/06/13/how-to-run-an-amazon-kindle-giveaway/.

Has anyone else had a similar problem in the past couple of days?

There are a few alternatives:

  • Run an Amazon Giveaway for the print edition, if you have one.
  • Run an Amazon Giveaway for any eligible product. A gift card or popular product can help you generate interest or gain followers.
  • Run a Goodreads Giveaway for the Kindle eBook.

The Goodreads Giveaway option is interesting. At first it seems expensive, but if you give away 100 copies, the cost per book is reasonable.

Plus, you don’t have to pay for the Kindle eBooks: You just have to pay the setup fee. (However, if you choose a print book giveaway instead, then you do have to pay for author copies, shipping, and packaging in addition to the setup fee.)

With an Amazon Giveaway, you can give away just one book, which is an inexpensive way to help generate some interest. You can still do this with a paperback copy, even if the Kindle eBook option isn’t showing.

But if you want to give away a large number of copies, like 100 copies, as some authors do, then Goodreads is reasonably priced (especially if your list price is $2.99 or higher).

Maybe the option for Kindle eBooks will return soon. Or maybe there is a simple explanation for why it’s not showing to me presently. It’s too soon to jump to conclusions. But it’s always wise to pay attention and make plans for “just in case.”

Copyright 2018

Write Happy, Be Happy

Chris McMullen

Author of the Improve Your Math Fluency series of math workbooks and self-publishing guides

Nice Exposure for Countdown Deals on Amazon

Countdown Amazon

COUNTDOWN DEALS: HOW WILL ANYONE FIND THEM?

Yesterday, I saw this cool banner on the top of Amazon’s homepage, advertising Kindle Countdown Deals.

When I clicked on it, I was taken to the Countdown Deal homepage.

I thought this was pretty cool. It’s a small step (not too small—advertised on Amazon’s homepage) toward helping publicize Kindle Countdown Deals.

This is good news for authors with books in KDP Select.

I noticed that 6 of the books on the first page of the Countdown Deals had the #1 bestseller tag. Obviously, some authors are making effective use of this promotional tool.

And the top selling books that happened to have Countdown Deals running yesterday probably received a nice boost from Amazon’s ad.

It’s a nice step in the right direction. I actually sent a suggestion into Amazon about this about a week ago.

Countdown Deals need more publicity. How does anyone find them?

Well, you could find the book itself, then you see it’s on sale and maybe feel more compelled to purchase the book.

But you’d really like to attract customers who wouldn’t have otherwise discovered the book. That’s the goal.

Of course, it helps if you advertise it on BookBub, E-reader News Today, or one of several other similar services. See a list here.

Yet Amazon is where you really want your Countdown Deal advertised. KDP advertises that one of the benefits of KDP Select is that the Countdown Deals are advertised on Amazon.

They are, just not as well as they could be.

Where are they? Visit Amazon’s homepage. Hover over Shop by Department, hover over Books & Audible, and click Kindle Books.

Look under Kindle Book Deals. You’ll usually find Countdown Deals on the list.

But here’s the problem. Imagine you’re a customer who has no idea what a Countdown Deal is. Here are the options that you see:

  • Kindle Daily Deals. (Sounds good, right?)
  • Monthly Deals, $3.99 or less. (Low prices, sounds good, too.)
  • 50 Kindle Books for $2 each. (Great price, that’s enticing.)
  • Kindle Countdown Deals. (What on earth is that?)
  • 30 Kids’ Books for $1. (Great price again.)

You see the problem: Kindle Countdown Deals has the least compelling name on the list. It doesn’t mention price, % off, and it doesn’t sound like a good deal.

But many of the Countdown Deals are 99 cents or $1.99, with discounts of 50% to 90% off. The deals are a lot better than the name suggests. So what’s to attract Kindle customers to this option?

I feel like it could be merchandised better. I think Amazon wants to help KDP Select books (at least, those with better potential to engage readers), and wants to attract indie authors into KDP Select. So why not merchandise this better? There is an opportunity here.

This advertisement on their homepage is a good sign. It shows that Amazon wants to help merchandise KDP Select books and make the program more compelling for authors.

If you want to check out some Kindle Countdown Deals, click here to visit Amazon’s Countdown Deal page.

Write happy, be happy. 🙂

Chris McMullen

Copyright © 2015

Chris McMullen, Author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers

  • Volume 1 on formatting and publishing
  • Volume 2 on marketability and marketing
  • 4-in-1 Boxed set includes both volumes and more
  • Kindle Formatting Magic (coming soon)

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Creating a Highly Marketable Fiction Book

M. Louisa Locke, author of the Victorian San Francisco Mystery Series

Today we will examine the books of a highly successful fiction author to learn some valuable marketability tips.

Historical fiction author M. Louisa Locke has a popular series called the Victorian San Francisco Mystery Series. The first book in the series, Maids of Misfortune, has over 500 customer reviews on Amazon.

Click on the image to view this book’s detail page at Amazon.

You can learn some things about marketability just by visiting the detail page for Maids of Misfortune:

  • The cover fits the genre very distinctly. This is incredibly important for a book to be highly marketable. You want your target audience to see the book and instantly recognize that it’s a perfect fit for them. One glance at the cover and you know it’s historical fiction. Your book will be seen in your marketing, search results, customer also bought lists, and more. If you want a significant percentage of the people who see your book to buy your book, you need the cover to grab your target audience.
  • Not only that, but the cover is appealing, looks elegant, and the title and author name are easy to read in the thumbnail. The challenge is to make the font interesting, yet still very clear, and fit the genre. This book pulls it off very well. Don’t underestimate the effect that font issues have on sales.
  • Check out the other covers in the series. They all fit together, which helps greatly with branding, yet each is distinct.
  • The blurb is divided up into short paragraphs. Shoppers have a short attention span, and this blurb addresses that. If the blurb doesn’t interest the buyer immediately and continue to engage the shopper, the shopper will hit the back button of the browser.
  • The first sentence of the blurb describes trouble. Now the reader is concerned. The second paragraph starts with a secret, the third introduces a problem, and the last speaks of murder. Each paragraph begins with some way of engaging the reader. Everything reads well and clearly, and no paragraph is too long.
  • Look at the categories. Normally, having too many categories poses a problem, but upon closer inspection, each subcategory is very specific and actually is appropriate to the book. You want your book to get into specific categories that are highly relevant for your book, but not to get into categories that aren’t highly relevant (buyers see this, become confused, and back out). Check out this page to learn some Kindle keyword tricks (thanks to S.K. Nicholls and others for pointing this out to me). Check your detail page periodically and contact Author Central if your book gets into a category that isn’t highly relevant.
  • M. Louisa Locke’s author photo is a perfect fit for her profile—a Victorian author and retired professor of U.S. and women’s history. Her qualifications certainly help; although she is a fiction author, her expertise relates to the subject her novels.
  • The 500 reviews really stand out on the product page. Excellent marketability and effective marketing help to earn sales, and a fraction of those sales may result in customer reviews. One way to help improve this percentage is to encourage customers to contact you and to mention that you would appreciate a review on Amazon. Check out the second paragraph of M. Louisa Locke’s biography.
  • If you write fiction, Shelfari offers many book extras that you can add to your product page. Check out the book extras on this product page.
  • This book is available on Kindle, paperback, and as an audio book.
  • The cover grabs the attention of the target audience, the blurb draws interest, and the reviews lend credibility, but it isn’t a done deal yet. We still have the Look Inside. This Look Inside seals the deal. The cover looks great not only as a thumbnail, but also in the much larger Look Inside. The book comes right out and draws interest right off the bat. You want to develop your story slowly, but readers don’t have such patience for a new author. Come out swinging with your best stuff. Grab the reader’s attention and don’t let go. This book draws interest immediately, and each paragraph starts, like the blurb, with some word or phrase that will draw the reader’s curiosity. The Look Inside fits the genre well, which is highly important, reads well, and appears to be well-edited. These three points can make or break a sale, even when everything else is perfect.

There is more to success than just creating a highly marketable book and product page and throwing it out there. But it’s not a secret. Many popular authors reveal tips that made them successful.

If you visit M. Louisa Locke’s blog, you’ll see that you can learn a great deal there about marketability and marketing. Especially, read these two posts and study the details:

M. Louisa Locke’s paperback books will be participating in Read Tuesday, a Black Friday type of event just for books on December 10. All authors are welcome to participate (it’s free).

Learn more about M. Louisa Locke: website, author page.

Chris McMullen, author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers, Vol. 1 (formatting/publishing) and Vol. 2 (packaging/marketing), Facebook page, Twitter