Chris Gardner

The joys of self-publishing.

Kindle Countdown Deals–What do you think?


I haven’t given up yet. In theory I prefer the idea of a short-term discount on my books to giving them away. Give-aways are useful and I have one on now, Sanctuary, but only because its usual price is too low to qualify for the discount deal. They have to be at least 2.99 and most of mine are less than that. I cleverly thought, okay, I’ll increase the price of Sanctuary to 2.99 so I can then discount it to .99 for the Countdown Deal. Makes sense, right? And yet, for some unknown reason the system didn’t take on the price change. I waited patiently for a couple of weeks but it still didn’t happen so I made it free instead, until December 12th. This will be the last time it’s free because I’m taking it off Kindle Select and publishing it on Smashwords in January. I have a couple of books there now, including ‘What Did You Say‘, which is free all the time. There’s also an interview and I’d be happy for any suggestions you might have to add to that. Anything you think people might want to know?

The problem I have with give-aways, or problems plural, is that a lot of people, me included, download freebies and don’t get around to reading them and also I wonder if it’s off-putting for those who normally buy books to find the book they bought last week is free this week. So I’ve decided to make it a once only for any books now. When I download a new book, if it’s under 2.99 I’ll make it free for one week, once only and if it’s 2.99 or over I’ll discount it once only through the countdown deals. That sounds all lovely and organised doesn’t it? Then, after that exclusive 90 days with Amazon they’ll all go to Smashwords too. That’s a bit trickier and I’m not entirely sure it’s worthwhile but that’s the plan. Yay I have a plan!

Had a busy couple of weeks–Son number 4 was married on the 30th November, in Melbourne. It was a very unusual and wacky wedding and I loved every minute. Had a great time. I won’t bore you with all the details but I will say that the bride and groom entered dressed as a unicorn . . .

Then yesterday we had another trip to Melbourne to see son number 5 in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, which was not what we were expecting at all. I tried to watch the 1996 movie the other night to get an idea of the story because I thought I’d have trouble following it on stage. The movie was so boring I gave up and I must admit I had reservations about the stage version, which turned out to not be exactly a stage version at all. It was in a book/coffee shop and the action was just everywhere. It’s impossible to describe without taking a couple of pages and I wouldn’t do it justice but it was funny and touching and just an amazing show, performed by new theatre group, The Carving Theatre Company.

So Christmas is nearly on us. My 5 year old grandson decorated our tree ( okay, I did tweak it a little after he left!) but honestly I don’t get the effort some people put into all that stuff. I love having all the family here and that’s the only thing that matters to me. We will eat a hot turkey and ham for lunch, no matter what the weather is, because that’s our family tradition. A lot of Aussies have swapped the turkey dinner for a barbecue or seafood and I’m not that bothered myself but we are having a Boxing Day barbie this year at son number 2’s new house, so that makes a change.

Sanctuary, by the way, is a sci-fi novel about a world in the 25th century, where two different cultures live–one underground and one in a converted shopping centre. No-one can live outside because the sun is deadly. It’s an adventure with a touch of romance–I wrote this one for young adults but I’ve found most of the readers are adults so don’t let the YA label put you off. If you’re in the UK, you can get it here. Positive reviews would be much appreciated!


Author: cmsgardnerblog

I'm a writer of fiction and non-fiction, for teens and adults. I live in Central Victoria, Australia and my books are available at

8 thoughts on “Kindle Countdown Deals–What do you think?

  1. I just got on Kindle and gave my book away because I did not know any bedtter. They say I am on some kind of probation becuse my books are published else where on my online store at …I will stay for a while and see if I can make it work…

    • I got into trouble as well once, because although I knew Amazon required exclusive rights while your book is on Kindle Select, I didn’t know that cancelling one I had on Smashwords wouldn’t necessarily go through to all their outlets. I had to chase them all up myself.

      • Per your comments, I am going to try Smashwords..not sure I understand all requirements…I have Microsoft doc already to go as well as front cover designed..have to read more later.
        Hank ( )

  2. Good luck with that Hank. I do have some on Smashwords but I sell a lot more on Amazon. Might be worth doing both.

  3. Hi Chris, I’m sooo appreciative of your discussion here…thank you. To be honest, I’ve been struggling with the free book thing. But it’s not because I’m unwilling to offer free books for a period of time. It’s because I’ve heard from other authors that people who provide reviews in return for free books have a tendency to be extremely harsh. One author commented how she thought it was almost a form of entertainment for some of these folks. I have no experience with this yet, but she suspected these were young people who were bored and intent on creating havoc. Any comments on this topic are very welcome…I’m learning here. Best wishes, Danica 🙂

  4. I have heard similar stories but that’s always a risk isn’t it? If you put your work out there someone’s bound to rubbish it. I’ve had a real assortment of reviews and I don’t know how many are from free readers and how many are paid, but more good than bad. If, as often happens, the negative ones are full of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes you can only laugh really. Feel free to check mine out–the UK ones tend to be more favourable than the US and it’s certainly possible that many of the US ones are from freebies.

  5. About FREEBIES, I think most people do not appreciate a thing that is free. When I was a reg.nurse in UK “well-baby clinic” we had a kitchen that had a huge TEA KETTLE for any mother to help herself. Most of the mothers walked, pushing their prams and so a cup of tea would have been appreciated. The biscuits (OK cookies) were ignored. No one seemed to help themselves. I decided to put a small notice by the teapot and the cookies. Tea 4 pence. Biscuits 2 pence each. Please put used cups in the sink. Thank you. Believe me the tea disappeared quickly and so did the cookies . . .I think this does not relate to free books, but it could.
    My book, “Through Her Eyes – An Infidel’s Perspective.” self published with Xlibris, is not selling well.

    • I don’t know anything about Xlibris, Cynthia. All I can say is I’ve had no trouble giving books away on Amazon and I do think the free promotions have led to sales. Impossible to tell really.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s