Stunned, I was. It was beyond my wildest expectations.
And my birthday, too!
256 books sold on Monday 5th February, 2018-one day.
Let me explain.
I have a number of books for sale on the Kindle publishing platform. A few years ago I decided to take advantage of what Jeff Bezos has created with Amazon and Kindle publishing. At its essence Kindle publishing allows small business owners like me publish what we like, when we like.
The good news is that there are no gatekeepers now, nobody whose permission I require. No seal of approval required.
And I could care less for anyone who looks down their nose at ‘self publishing’, as somehow a lesser form of writing and publishing.
Kindle countdown deal
Last week I decided to do my first price promotion since 2016. It’s called a Kindle Countdown deal.
It works like this: the regular price of one of my Kindle books is £9.99. The Kindle countdown deal allows me to discount this book to £.99 and increase the price in 5 increments over the following 5 days, reverting back to its previous, regular price of £9.99.
To recap, the promotion started on Monday 5th Feb at 8 am and the price of the book was £.99.
Then the price of the book increased each day for 5 days as follows:
£.99 (Monday 5th Feb)
£9.99 (original list price) (Monday 12th Feb at 12 am)
I did a Kindle countdown deal for four of my books:
The results are as follows:
5th Feb: 256 units sold
6th Feb: 33 units sold
7th Feb: 12 units sold
8th Feb: 1 units sold
9th Feb: 4 units sold
Total sold over 5 days 306
Promotion of the deal
I promoted the deal in two main ways:
- I sent two emails to my email lists of subscribers (the 3 main lists comprise 6,824 subscribers)
- To my employment rights Ireland Facebook page which has 18,085 fans (yes, 18,085!)
Why publish on Kindle?
Two main reasons: 1) it’s easy to do, and 2) it allows a person in a particular field or niche to position themselves as an expert, a trusted authority.
Lessons for entrepreneurs and small business owners
There are broader lessons, however, that you can learn from this.
- You don’t need permission.
If you are an entrepreneur, small business owner, a grinder, hustler, budding entrepreneur, or wannabe writer, the good news is you don’t need permission or a seal of approval from anyone anymore. Amazon and Kindle allow you to just do the work now and publish your own story, thought leadership, expertise, or, quite frankly, whatever you want.
You can also publish on your own blog or YouTube channel or podcast.
2.Traditional bookstores are screwed.
Last week it was a long established, much loved book shop in Cork that closed down. The previous week I listened to a bookshop owner on the Sean O’Rourke radio programme who is struggling in Dublin. She even told the story of a lady who came into her shop, had a coffee and read her book on her Kindle, and then complimented the shop owner for such a ‘charming little shop’ after spending an hour there and having a coffee while she read her Kindle.
Fighting against Kindle, fighting against Amazon, fighting against the convenience and price of shopping online for books when you live in a rural area and have virtually every book ever published downloadable within 10 seconds, many of them for free (the classics), is a futile exercise.
I love books and have read copiously for years. I have spent years trawling bookshops, but not in the last few years. I cannot remember when I bought a physical book in a shop last.
On a wet, miserable, February Saturday like today I can download a good book in a matter of seconds at a great price. I live in rural Ireland. The alternative is to get into my car and drive to Liffey Valley shopping centre, go into Easons and hope they will have what I am looking for.
It’s unlikely they will have what I want because I read a lot of obscure books which are often specialist in a particular area of activity-for example law, or a particular area of law such as advocacy.
The regular bookstore simply cannot match the choice or price or convenience of shopping on Amazon and reading on my Kindle.
And when you get to my age the eyesight for reading disimproves and the text in a physical book is too small. On Kindle I can simply enlarge the text size, and choose the font.
3. Learn and understand digital marketing
The four big factors in selling these books, and promoting the growth of my business and new client acquisition are:
- blogging/publishing good content on my websites
- Email marketing
- Facebook marketing and advertising
- YouTube publishing
As long as I have access to these four tools I can generate clients and grow my business.
And the two critical common areas between blogging and publishing my own Kindle books and creating my own videos and growing my YouTube channel?
Firstly, I don’t need permission to do any of it, and secondly I can establish a position of expertise in whatever I publish about. And I can publish with words or video or audio.
So, if you can’t write, whip out your phone and make a video and give something of value to your potential customers/clients. You might be surprised at the outcome.