You know, if I paid $4.99 for a book and then found out that it went on sale for $0.99 I would feel, if not cheated, certainly slighted. And I’m sure some people who buy my books have felt that way. It makes me feel badly, but I don’t know what to to about it.
Here’s the thing. As most authors, I occasionally put one of my novels into one of Amazon’s sales events. They have two which we are allowed to use. Incidentally, I am not allowed to offer such deals from my own web site http://johnbeckmanbooks.com or I would do so. No, no, it is not allowed by Amazon. Any sales promotion must be done through them.
The reason writers offer their work at a reduced price is simple – we want more people to read it. Because the more who read it, the more who might be encouraged to try some more of our fiction. So, once every 90 days any book enrolled in Amazon’s KDP program (their lending library or their new subscription service) can be put on “sale.” There are two ways to do that. I can offer a book “free” for a five day period, or I can do what they call their “countdown deal” where the book starts a 7 day period at $0.99 and incrementally goes up to the regular sales price at the end of 7 days. Anytime during that period a $4.99 book can be picked up for lower than normal price.
These are good deals. They put more books into the hands of readers at a reduced price (or free) and that gives an author more exposure. However, there is no way for me to alert readers when one of these deals is coming up – except through this blog, or a link on Facebook and Twitter, or if someone checks my web site. Since few people visit the web site and even fewer view this blog, and Facebook and Twitter users are not readers, therein lies the problem.
Of course I would love to be able to alert everyone when one of my novels is going to be on sale. But you can see my dilemma. If, for instance, you are reading book #1 of the Jack Steven’s Adventures you are not going to be checking on book #2 until you finish the first one. So you likely will miss out on the sale of book #2. I wish there was some simple way to let you know about these opportunities, but other than the few ways I have listed, there is nothing I can do about it. So if your friend chides you with, “I just bought that book you paid $4.99 for, for $0.99.” please don’t get mad at me. If you know of a way to “advertise” a sale other than the ways I have mentioned, I would love to hear about it.