Do you know how many Kindle ebooks are available for download on Amazon? As of 2021, there are already over 6 million books posted on the popular retailer. With all these choices, a budding writer will find it extremely difficult to get his work recognized and read. And if there is one thing that authors hate, it is for their work to stay unread.
So, what can you do to make more readers see your book? Offer it at a discounted price! Who doesn’t love a good deal? People who are looking for a new read often check out discounted ebooks to see if a title can catch their interest. And if they like your book, they are more likely to buy your other works.
There are several ways to discount your ebook on Amazon. The process is different if the ebook is just published through Kindle Direct Publishing or if it is also enrolled in KDP Select. You can set the discount on the dashboard, request for a price match against a free ebook from another retailer, or run promotional deals.
Benefits of Discounting your Books on Amazon
Before you learn about the steps to lowering the prices of your books on Amazon, you might want to learn why selling cheaper is beneficial to you as an author. It might sound counterintuitive to sell your work for a lower price but there are numbers that would back this strategy.
According to Amazon, during a period of observation, certain ebook titles that were priced at $9.99 sold nearly twice as many copies as those that were sold for $14.99. This translates to roughly 16% more revenue for the authors. But the benefit is not just the higher royalties. The cheaper books were read by 74% more readers.
Based on the numbers, the retailer claims that pricing any ebook at $14.99 or higher is simply too much for the average reader. Plus, that price is unjustifiable considering that publishing ebooks is much cheaper.
Granted that lowering the price of an ebook would mean the author won’t earn too much per sale, the benefits could potentially outweigh the loss in initial revenue. More buyers would mean more views. You have a higher chance of gaining loyal readers who would come back and check out your other titles.
And most readers nowadays post their recommendations and reviews. Good reviews will attract more potential readers. Growing your fanbase would mean it would be easier to market your future releases. If you are planning to write a series, those who have read and liked your first book will probably buy the rest as well.
Discount through the Author Dashboard
This first option to offer your ebook at a discounted price is applicable to books that are published through KDP or Kindle Direct Publishing. If you don’t know what KDP means, it is simply Amazon’s platform that helps authors self-publish ebooks, hardcovers, and paperbacks for free.
It is important to note that the lower you price your books, the lower the percentage of royalties you will be receiving. To give you an idea, if your book is priced at $2.99 and higher, you will receive 70% of the sale price. However, if the ebook’s price is between $0.99 to $2.98, you will only receive 35%.
You can edit the price of your content on the author’s dashboard. Simply log into your KDP account and go to the dashboard. Find the title of the book that you wish to offer at a discounted price. Click on the ellipsis button or the existing price of the ebook and select the option to edit the ebook pricing. This will appear on the pop-up menu.
Look for the section marked “Royalty and Pricing”. This is where you can reduce the price of your book. If you choose to mark it below $2.99, you have to tick the 35% royalty plan option. Once you have this chosen, you can go ahead and price that specific title to as low as $0.99.
Note that the price points only work if your primary marketplace is Amazon.com. For others, the price breakpoints will vary. You can easily find the breakpoint information if you check your book’s pricing dashboard.
Additionally, it would be a good idea to keep an eye on international stores. Amazon bases its pricing on the exchange rates, and since this fluctuates throughout the day, the price of your ebooks would go up or down as well. To keep it at the price you want, you should set it manually.
Are you planning to keep the price of your books low the whole time, or will the discount only be applicable during a sale period? To date, Amazon does not offer any feature to apply discounts during a given sale period. You have to go make and make the changes yourself.
So, if you want a particular title to go back to its original price, you need to go back to the dashboard. Change the royalty amount and then input the regular price. Double-check this because many authors go in to change the price but forget to edit the royalty share. You’d be earning less even if the books are sold at their regular price.
Sell Your Book at $0.00 by Having Amazon Price Match it
As mentioned above, the lowest price you can set for your ebook is $0.99. If you want to set it to $0.00, you won’t be able to do that on the author’s dashboard. Instead, you have to offer the ebook for free on another retailer like Kobo, iTunes, or Barnes & Noble. After that, you can contact Amazon to price match that.
Other websites call this technique making your book permafree. Obviously, this tip will not work if your book is enrolled in KDP Select. Once you do that, you are committed to exclusively distributing your book digitally through KDP for at least 90 days. You can only post 10% samples of your ebook outside Amazon.
Additionally, when you make your books free on other digital retailers, immediately notify Amazon of your request for a price match. Pricing your books lower on other platforms is a violation of the agreement that authors sign upon signing up with Kindle Direct Publishing. It might appear that you are trying to get around this agreement.
The steps to having your book's price matched by Amazon are quite easy. First, you need to log into the author’s dashboard of your KDP account. Click on the “Contact Us” link. You will find this at the bottom of the webpage. Look for the “How can we help?” heading. Click on that and go to the “Pricing” category.
Once you are at the pricing menu, look for the sub-category marked “Price Matching”. You will be given an option to call Amazon or send an email. Choose whichever method is convenient for you. If you choose the call option, you will need to leave your contact information, and an agent from Amazon will call you.
If you choose the email option, you will see a template-type form to fill out. You will be asked to provide the retailer’s link where your free book can be found, so be prepared with this information. Make sure to indicate on the subject line your intent to get your book price matched so that it can be processed accordingly.
Amazon deals with numerous transactions per day, so it would be ideal for sending your price matching request at least a week ahead of your scheduled promotion date. This will give the staff enough time to reply and process your request.
Note that even if you request for a general price match, Amazon may still opt to match on stores in some countries and not in others. To ensure that your book is priced at $0.00 worldwide, you may have to contact Amazon multiple times. Make sure to indicate on your request the countries where your ebook is not free.
Run a Free Book Promotion for your KDP Select Enrolled Books
If the book you want to discount is enrolled in KDP Select, you can opt to run a Free Book Promotion. This feature enables you to offer your ebooks for free. You can choose to do it one day at a time or multiple days in a row for a total of five days. You can only run this once every enrollment period.
To run this promotional campaign, you have to schedule it one day before the desired start date. You need to go to your Bookshelf and click on the Promote and Advertise button beside your selected book’s title. Look for the category “Run a Price Promotion” and select the Free Book Promotion option. Next, click on Continue.
You will be prompted to enter the start and end date for the promotion. Once you have chosen the dates, click on the “Save Changes” button. You can also edit, delete, or stop the scheduled promotion on this page. The deal starts right after midnight and ends exactly at midnight of the end date.
As mentioned, you can end the Free Book Promotion anytime for any reason. However, if you’ve announced this deal on your social media accounts, it is a bad idea to end it early. This will make your readers upset if they expected the deal to run for the entire announced schedule.
Run a Kindle Countdown Deal
Another way to discount your book is to run a Kindle Countdown deal. This will let you price your book to as low as $0.99 for up to seven days. The benefit of this is that even if your book’s price is lower, you will still get the 70% royalties rate. This promo is only applicable to books on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.
Scheduling this deal is more complicated than scheduling a Free Book Promotion. There are numerous eligibility rules that you have to observe. For example, to run this, the book must be enrolled in KDP Select for thirty days. Plus, the price of the book must not have changed 30 days prior to and 14 days after the Countdown.
You must also schedule the deal at least 24 hours before the desired start date. There are more rules to check out regarding eligibility and pricing. It is advisable for you to check out the details for this promotion on the KDP website.
To run a Kindle Countdown Deal, you need to go to the tab for Marketing. Under the Run a Price Promotion, choose Kindle Countdown Deal. Click on the Create a Kindle Countdown Deal option.
You will be prompted to select the ebook that you want to feature. Click on Continue after selecting the title. Provide all the needed information such as start date, starting price, and price increments.
Edit the table that will appear after you click on Continue. Note that the default marketplace for this deal is set to Amazon.com. Once you have provided all the correct details, click on the Add Promotion option. You will find the promotion on the book details page under the tab for KDP Select Benefits.
You will be able to edit or cancel the Countdown up to 24 hours before the start time. Once that period has elapsed, you can no longer make any changes. This is to ensure that all the customers who’ve seen the announcement get to take advantage of it. Note that you have to schedule the deal for the US and UK marketplaces separately.