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Thursday, 24 July 2014


My novel TALL DARK AND KILTED – Notting Hill Meets Monarch of the Glen - is currently on Amazon Kindle Countdown and has been running for a couple of days. This isn’t the first countdown deal I’ve organised so it’s worth sharing my findings on the scheme in the hope that it might help other writers.  When Amazon offered Countdown to indie authors last September I was quick to jump on the bandwagon. In those days, Amazon actively promoted Countdown on their front page(s) and had a ticking clock saying how many days and hours the promo had left to run. First time ‘out’ I sold over 600 copies of Tall Dark and Kilted – and at 70% of 99p I was very happy - thank you Amazon. Then, as with all good things, it came to an end. Or I should say, it changed. The Countdown offer is still out there but is now harder for readers to find your novel in the mangrove swamp of books out there.
So, how can they find Countdown, your novel and purchase it?
I direct them to the Countdown deal and Tall, Dark and Kilted - Notting Hill Meets Monarch of the Glen, using the following link on Twitter, Facebook Pages etc.
Or, if they’re savvy, they can go through their kindle and scroll through the top 100/640+ titles until they find a novel they like (hopefully your novel). A bit hit and miss in my opinion. Alternatively, they can go onto the main Amazon Kindle page, scroll down to COUNTDOWN and narrow the search using the categories provided. (see first photo) If you’re lucky and your novel is selling well, you will appear high up on the list. That’s where Tall Dark and Kilted is currently sitting - under the category HIGHLANDERS.     

The refining of categories is something I hadn’t noticed before but it’s well worth authors noting the categories and what sells well for when they’re marketing future novels. As we all know, the cover and the title is what draws the reader to your book in the first place.
For example, I didn’t realise how fundamental it is to have HIGHLANDER somewhere in the title of a novel about Scotland. Apparently, that is what many readers (particularly Americans) type into the search bar. My next novel will be titled: Scotch on the Rocks (subtitle) – a contemporary romance set in the Highlands of Scotland. Or something along those lines.
I won’t go into the rules and regs regarding putting your book on Countdown. You can find that on the Amazon website. But here are a few tips which have worked for me.

     Before I put my book up there I look to see if the list is swamped with contemporary romances. If it is, I keep my countdown promo for another week
·        Put your book on promo around about Tuesday (remember, it takes about 24 hours for it to go ‘live’). That way, it can gather a head of steam so that, by the weekend, it will be higher up the charts and more visible to readers

·        Promo for all your worth. You HAVE to stand out. So use Twitter, Facebook Pages, hashtags, recruit your friends to retweet for you etc. ALWAYS return the favour
·        Tweet/promo in the morning (UK), afternoon (east coast USA) and evening
·        Don’t be shy about putting your Amazon ranking in your promotional tweets etc. You’ve worked hard to get there, so be loud and proud - shout it out
·        I don’t bother to change the price for the length of the promo these days. I keep it at 99p – but the choice is yours
        Finally, I keep the book at 99p for about a week after the promo, just to draw in a few more readers – although, of course I don’t get 70% of the price during that time
·        When your promo is finished, put your book back up to £1.99 and wait another three months and repeat

Here’s are some sample tweets (I also include a photo of book cover wherever possible)
#TallDarkandKilted #kindlecountdown £0.99 for 5 days've gotta lurve a man in a kilt! #share #bookbuzzr #
#TallDarkandKilted #kindlecountdown  £0.99 #1 Highlander novel   #share #bookbub #BYNR
Finally, don’t forget, if you put your tweet online via your pc. That way you can ‘pin’ your tweet to the top of your twitter feeds to make it more visible. I don’t think you can do this on your iphone or tablet, but I stand to be corrected.

Good luck.


Fliss Bagshawe longs for a passport out of Pimlico where she works as a holistic therapist. After attending a party in Notting Hill she loses her job and with it the dream of being her own boss. She’s offered the chance to take over a failing therapy centre, but there's a catch. The centre lies five hundred miles north in Wester Ross, Scotland. Fliss’s romantic view of the highlands populated by Men in Kilts is shattered when she has an upclose and personal encounter with the Laird of Kinloch Mara, Ruairi Urquhart. He’s determined to pull the plug on the business, bring his eccentric family to heel and eject undesirables from his estate - starting with Fliss. Facing the dole queue once more Fliss resolves to make sexy, infuriating Ruairi revise his unflattering opinion of her, turn the therapy centre around and sort out his dysfunctional family.  Can Fliss tame the Monarch of the Glen and find the happiness she deserves?


Take an up-for-anything reporter.  Add a world-weary photo-journalist.  Put them together . . . light the blue touch paper and stand well back! Posing as a bride-to-be, Charlee Montague goes undercover at a boot camp for brides in order to photograph supermodel Anastasia Markova. At Charlee’s side and posing as her fiancé, is Rafael Ffinch award winning photographer and survivor of a kidnap attempt in Colombia. He’s in no mood to cut inexperienced Charlee any slack and has made it plain that once the investigation is over, their partnership - and fake engagement - will be terminated, too.  Soon Charlee has more questions than answers. What's the real reason behind Ffinch's interest in the boot camp? How is it connected to his kidnap in Colombia? In setting out to uncover the truth, Charlee puts herself in danger ... As the investigation draws to a close, she wonders if she’ll be able to hand back the engagement ring and walk away from Rafa without a backward glance.


  1. It didn't work for me despite my Facebook, Pinterest, Google Plus, and Twitter finger being worn down to the first knuckle. But maybe it's because my book was nonfiction, maybe fiction goes better.

  2. Hm, Thanks for the feedback, Chris. Recently a friend sold less than 10 downloads, whereas another sold over 200. If we knew how this 'game' worked we would be better at it.