Author Topic: What is a "Rolling Countdown" and why am I doing it?  (Read 9219 times)  

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What is a "Rolling Countdown" and why am I doing it?
« on: March 28, 2014, 09:18:17 PM »
A) It's a longer "marketing campaign," where you put all the books in your series on Countdown promo, one after the other.
B) Because KDP suggested it, and, gulp, I figure (I hope!) they know what they're doing.

If you have a series in Select, you might be interested in this idea. I've just started it, and so far, it seems to be doing well, but because it's such a long-term thing, the real proof will be what happens over the next month, and then thereafter.

Here's what I did (for a series that currently contains 5 books):

Days 1-5: Put Book 1 (normally 99 cents) up for Free, via Select. Used a BookBub ad for this one (Day 1), other ads for the following 4 days. Got to #1 on my BB day, stayed pretty high (10 or below) for the remaining days.
Days 2-8 (we'll call this "Week 1", starting on Saturday): Put Book 2 on Countdown promo: 2+ days @ 99 cents, 2+ @ $1.99, 2+ @ $2.99.
Weeks 2-4: Doing the same thing, one week at a time, for Books 3-5

Where I am right now: at the end of "Week 1." I haven't done any advertising for the other books, decided my best bet due to the larger numbers of people that will download for "free" was to front-load all my advertising, use it on the free book at the beginning.
Despite no ads, Book 2 got to #105 in the store during the 99-cent period--but Amazon featured it in an email, so that definitely helped! Before that, it was about #600.
Right now, Book 1 (back at 99 cents) and Book 2 (about to revert to $3.99 again) are both in the 600's or 700's, and the other books have taken a definite turn upward as well. Tomorrow, Book 3 goes to 99 cents--we'll see what happens then.

The idea is that you build momentum, that you get a big spike in visibility on an ongoing basis, ratchet yourself up to the next level, rather than the "BookBub effect" where you spike high and then fall off. We will see. If you're interested, I guess you can follow along with me and see if it works, and if it seems worth a try for your own books.

Here are the things I planned my promo around:

1) First and second audiobooks released (which are Books 1 & 2 in this series). First one came out beginning of this month, second one comes out mid-April, right about at the end of this promo period, and pre-order should be happening in a couple days here, while I've got some visibility.
2) That "My Voice" thing in the KDP Newsletter--this was serendipity, didn't know it'd happen and would fit in so well.
3) Novella coming out (as part of multi-author boxed set) in the series: April 2, during Week 2 of the promo.
4) Ads on the free book, as above.
5) (I hope) pre-order for the next book in the series, around the end of the campaign. (Assuming that writing it is going along to plan at that point.)
6) First book coming out in German, about them time the promo ends. (via Amazon Crossing.)

The idea is that it's not one promotion, it's a whole campaign, built around several "events" that are happening around the same time--the audiobooks, the novella, the German book, and, as it happens, the newsletter thing (but I would have done this without that--it just worked out that way).

I am doing this with Select and Countdown, but you could of course do the same thing without being in Select.

Of course, you lose the revenue you would have earned at the higher price point. But as a visibility technique, it made sense to me, and I thought it was worth a try. My goal this year, and I'm gulping even to say it, is to break through to that next level. Nora Roberts, look out! (No, not really. But some less-than-Nora bestselling-romance-author level, that's what I'm daring to say that I'm aiming for.)
« Last Edit: March 29, 2014, 12:29:50 PM by Rosalind James »

Offline Rinelle Grey

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Re: What is a "Rolling Countdown" and why am I doing it?
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2014, 09:27:37 PM »
Really interested to hear how it goes! Sounds like a viable plan.

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Offline SunshineOnMe

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Re: What is a "Rolling Countdown" and why am I doing it?
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2014, 09:29:28 PM »
This is going to work, I can just tell! I am so excited for you!!

Offline R.V. Doon

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Re: What is a "Rolling Countdown" and why am I doing it?
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2014, 10:37:53 PM »
Interesting strategy. Can't wait to see the final stats.

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Re: What is a "Rolling Countdown" and why am I doing it?
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2014, 11:16:08 PM »
I'll be watching!  :)

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Re: What is a "Rolling Countdown" and why am I doing it?
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2014, 10:16:16 AM »
Thanks for sharing, Rosalind. Sounds like a great plan! I thnk part of what will work well is you have several other books for sale.
 
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Offline Philip Gibson

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Re: What is a "Rolling Countdown" and why am I doing it?
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2014, 11:54:33 AM »
Sounds like a great way to build a sustainable campaign and avoid the 'falling off the cliff effect' after a one-off promo. Best of luck with it (Actually, I don't think you need luck at this point), and I look forward to seeing your results should you care to post them.


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Re: What is a "Rolling Countdown" and why am I doing it?
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2014, 11:56:45 PM »
For anyone interested in the strategy--Book 3 just broke the Top 100 overall on its first full day of "Countdown." Yep, 99 cents, but, hey, first time I've broken that without any ads, so that says something about how this thing is working. The other books in the series are still doing quite well too, so it's feeling pretty successful so far.

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Re: What is a "Rolling Countdown" and why am I doing it?
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2014, 02:43:46 AM »
Quote
For anyone interested in the strategy--Book 3 just broke the Top 100 overall on its first full day of "Countdown." Yep, 99 cents, but, hey, first time I've broken that without any ads,

Thanks for sharing the results! May I ask what free advertising you used, if any?
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Offline Roz Marshall

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Re: What is a "Rolling Countdown" and why am I doing it?
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2014, 06:20:42 AM »
This sounds like a really interesting and hopefully successful plan, Rosalind; I too am curious to hear how it goes.










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Re: What is a "Rolling Countdown" and why am I doing it?
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2014, 07:17:48 AM »
By the 4-5 paragraph, I was already bookmarking this thread. I'm working hard to get my 4th in a series out. Then, I'm going to do a "big picture" look at a marketing campaign rather then the hit-or-miss approach I've been taking. Great info as always, Roz! Thanks!
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Offline Christian Price

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Re: What is a "Rolling Countdown" and why am I doing it?
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2014, 11:21:28 AM »
I'm going with this strategy starting Tuesday.  It took about a month, to get my titles aligned, so they could roll like this.  Thanks for starting this thread!

« Last Edit: March 30, 2014, 11:23:54 AM by Christian Price »

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Re: What is a "Rolling Countdown" and why am I doing it?
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2014, 11:43:19 AM »
Thanks for sharing the results! May I ask what free advertising you used, if any?
For the first book, the "free" book, I did BookBub, BookSends, Kindle Nation Daily (the "Kindle Fire" sponsorshop), fkbooksandtips, umm . . . think one more, can't remember. Haven't advertised on the other books, because, of course, BookBub will only take the same author once a month, and that's the only one that really gives you a big boost. BookBub did work its usual magic, got eyes on the series to start out with.

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Re: What is a "Rolling Countdown" and why am I doing it?
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2014, 11:30:27 PM »
OK, update, because there have been some posts about Select lately.

I am halfway through. Book One got to #1 in its "free" period (thanks to BookBub) to kick me off, Book 2 got to #105 on Countdown, Book 3 got to #100 on Countdown, both without any advertising (though Amazon did feature me on the "Countdown" page, and I'm sure that didn't hurt.) Book 4 goes up in a day. Sales are up considerably for not just this series, but all my books. So far, I'd call it a good success. The idea, the hope, is that it builds buzz over a whole month-long period, and that seems to be happening to some extent--one week after my last update, Book 1 is in the 400s, and the book about to come off Countdown is in the 300s, a good improvement from the positions at the end of Week 1. We'll see what happens with Books 4 & 5
« Last Edit: April 04, 2014, 02:45:05 AM by Rosalind James »

Offline Roz Marshall

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Re: What is a "Rolling Countdown" and why am I doing it?
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2014, 01:17:28 AM »
Thanks for the update, Rosalind.

Am I right in understanding the Select rules that you will do this for a little over a month, but then you'll need to wait for another 6 weeks or so until your next Select period before you can do it again?










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Re: What is a "Rolling Countdown" and why am I doing it?
« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2014, 02:35:42 AM »
Thanks for the update, Rosalind.

Am I right in understanding the Select rules that you will do this for a little over a month, but then you'll need to wait for another 6 weeks or so until your next Select period before you can do it again?
Yes, I had to line it up so all the books would be eligible, one after the other for four weeks. I wouldn't do it again right afterwards, but if I wanted to, there'd be a wait for the books to be eligible again.

Offline LBrent

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Re: What is a "Rolling Countdown" and why am I doing it?
« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2014, 06:23:31 AM »
Is the limit 4 weeks total at a time for an entire promotion?

I ask cuz you have more than 4 books to promote.

Or did the first book being free and the subsequent books falling into the weekly countdown make them fit the promotion parameters?

« Last Edit: April 04, 2014, 06:26:17 AM by LBrent »

Offline Gabriela Popa

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Re: What is a "Rolling Countdown" and why am I doing it?
« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2014, 07:07:00 AM »
Rosalind,
Congrats on your success!  I was looking for that Countdown page where you said amazon featured you, where is it?
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Re: What is a "Rolling Countdown" and why am I doing it?
« Reply #18 on: April 04, 2014, 11:09:03 AM »
Is the limit 4 weeks total at a time for an entire promotion?

I ask cuz you have more than 4 books to promote.

Or did the first book being free and the subsequent books falling into the weekly countdown make them fit the promotion parameters?


No, there isn't a four-week limit. I'm just promoting the books in one series, since all the "stuff" i have going on is around that series (the New Zealand series), and since my other series is newer and was selling pretty strongly already. It is getting the cross-promotion from new readers finding me via the NZ series, though.

I also forgot to say, the promo on the Kindle books seems to have been very good for the "Just This Once" audiobook, too (my first). It was released on March 1. It's been in the 40's in Contemporary Romance on Audible for the past few days (wasn't nearly that high before); pretty cool. As I have the second book in the series coming out on Audible mid-month, getting exposure for that one is great. And the whole idea of this deal was to create synergy, where each thing reinforced the effect of the other.

If you go to the "Kindle Countdown Deals" page (which isn't that easy to get to), I'm in the "Featured Authors" section at the top (my book will sometimes be on the first screen and sometimes not--isn't now), and also in the list of Countdown books at the bottom of the page (right now my book is #2). The one that Amazon did for me is put me in the "Featured Authors" section--you earn your spot on the list below, I'm pretty sure--I think it's by sales. Here's the link to show:
http://www.amazon.com/b/ref=amb_link_398498782_3?ie=UTF8&node=7078878011&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=merchandised-search-leftnav&pf_rd_r=088R7N64KZ4EDXAWMH1S&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1769302002&pf_rd_i=154606011
« Last Edit: April 04, 2014, 12:02:10 PM by Rosalind James »

Offline SunshineOnMe

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Re: What is a "Rolling Countdown" and why am I doing it?
« Reply #19 on: April 04, 2014, 11:42:41 AM »
I'm so happy for you Rosalind!

In other news, you show up on my page at the bottom. You are in the list of, instead of buying this viewers bought... :P

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Re: What is a "Rolling Countdown" and why am I doing it?
« Reply #20 on: April 04, 2014, 11:43:37 AM »
I'm so happy for you Rosalind!

In other news, you show up on my page at the bottom. You are in the list of, instead of buying this viewers bought... :P
Oh. Eep. Sorry! I bought your book, though!

Offline SunshineOnMe

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Re: What is a "Rolling Countdown" and why am I doing it?
« Reply #21 on: April 04, 2014, 11:56:41 AM »
You don't have to be sorry!! I thought it was kind of fun, and I'm happy for you.

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Re: What is a "Rolling Countdown" and why am I doing it?
« Reply #22 on: April 04, 2014, 12:00:35 PM »
Ohhh, ok.

Gotcha. Thanx!

Offline Jim Johnson

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Re: What is a "Rolling Countdown" and why am I doing it?
« Reply #23 on: April 04, 2014, 12:05:55 PM »
Days 2-8 (we'll call this "Week 1", starting on Saturday): Put Book 2 on Countdown promo: 2+ days @ 99 cents, 2+ @ $1.99, 2+ @ $2.99

Sounds interesting, congrats on the success so far. Question on the bit I quoted--are you going in and manually changing the prices to these, or does the Countdown system itself automatically move the prices around?

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Re: What is a "Rolling Countdown" and why am I doing it?
« Reply #24 on: April 04, 2014, 12:12:18 PM »
Sounds interesting, congrats on the success so far. Question on the bit I quoted--are you going in and manually changing the prices to these, or does the Countdown system itself automatically move the prices around?
You set up your "sale periods" via the Countdown interface when you set up the promo. You can do up to three price increments, or keep the book at one increment for the entire period. I chose three equal increments.