Amazon just announced a new feature for consumers which will alert them to which titles have been steeply discounted, along with a countdown clock that shows how long that title will be available at that lower price. Only available so far in the US and UK, it is also limited to titles that are available exclusively through Amazon.
“We’re always looking to build features that customers love, and to help publishers and authors get their books discovered—Kindle Countdown Deals achieves both,” said Russ Grandinetti, Vice President of Kindle Content, in a press release. “And with more than 400,000 books available only in the Kindle Store, there are lots of opportunities to use this feature.”
In its spirit of placing as much control as possible in the hands of authors and publishers, Amazon allows the rights” holder to determine the amount of the discount, the length of time that it will sell for at that price, and will demonstrate the sales at that discounted price in a side-by-side format with the book’s regular-price royalty report.
One of the major outcomes of this incentive is the 70% royalty option. Right now, books must be priced at $2.99 or higher to pay the 70% royalty to the author or publisher; since participation in Kindle Countdown Deals requires a discount of at least $1US, books that therefore fall below the $2.99 requirement will still pay out at 70% on sales at the discounted price.
This incentive program is another way to draw authors into the KDP Select program, which requires that the book be available only through Amazon.com, and not through any other sales channel or distribution platform.