We are always looking for new ideas to deliver even greater results for our clients and to sell more books. One idea that we’ve explored is discount promotions. Through Amazon, authors and publishers can reduce the price of the Kindle edition to 99-cents for a short period of time.
There are other options, too. BookBub runs price reduction promotions for books it accepts, and then sends an email blast to its extensive list to promote the sale.
These promotions are relatively easy to pull off, but they don’t always make the most sense for a title.
If a book has the potential to make any of the national bestsellers lists such as the New York Times, Publisher’s Weekly, or the Wall Street Journal, a price reduction won’t have much of an impact. Discount sales are not counted in the overall sales needed to make any of these lists.
We also don’t recommend these discounts during launch week. During a launch, we want all attention focused on the quality and value of the book we’re promoting. A discount during this time can often give the impression that the author or publisher don’t stand behind the book or there is some reason it needs to be discounted on release. Neither are positive reflections on the book.
During a launch, we prefer to drive interest and sales through tried and true methods: creating a launch team, media outreach, social media and email marketing, webinars, and Amazon ads.
We do think price-reductions can be a great way to revive interest in a book. At the 6-month, or one-year, mark after release, reducing the price for a week and launching a marketing and ad campaign can get stalled sales moving again.
Like all the book launch marketing tools, a discount can do wonders for sales when used strategically and with full marketing support.
With that said, we lean towards BookBub promotions when possible because their promotional emails are very powerful and expose books to a much wider audience. There is one caveat- BookBub accepts very few leadership titles, so it can be difficult to get a discount promotion through this company. It’s still worth a try.
Another consideration- these promotions do not come cheap. An Amazon price reduction will impact an author’s revenue from the book. If the book only sells on Amazon for 99-cents, the author is getting a percentage of that 99-cents- not the full list price.
Bookbub charges a fee for its various promotions that authors will have to pay in order to participate.
In conclusion, we support discount promotions when they make strategic sense for a book title and an author. These are not a one-size-fits-all option to sell books.
Christy Kirk, Vice President of Client Services, is a social media strategist, writer, and former television journalist, who’s done everything from launch a news department to create social content and strategy for Fortune 500 companies and brands including Pampers Diapers, Pantene, Luvs Diapers and Carlson Rezidor Hotels. Now, Christy manages marketing projects for Weaving Influence, with an emphasis on social media marketing. She is also a wife and mother of three children, one dog, and one cat. She loves reading, baking, running, hiking and exploring new places.