Home » Amazon, Bestsellers » What’s the Impact of Amazon’s Sunshine Deal on Ebook Sales?

What’s the Impact of Amazon’s Sunshine Deal on Ebook Sales?

14 June 2011

Dan Lubart continues to provide excellent data on the sales of Kindle books in various price bands.

Here are the bands he tracks:

Band 1 – Super-discount: $0-$2.99
Band 2 – Discount: $3-$7.99
Band 3 – Value: $8-$9.99
Band 4 – Premium: $10+

Today’s post analyzes the impact of Amazon’s “Sunshine Deal” price promotion of about two weeks ago that highlighted some books by well-known authors at a discounted price.


So what we appear to be seeing is that the higher-price eBooks – typically the equivalent of new releases and trade paperback from known authors – have rebounded from the initial impact after about a week and regained their prior share of the Bestsellers list.  Discount eBooks – more the equivalent of mass market paperbacks – have not recoverd and continue to be supplanted by Sunshine Deals – many if not most of which were probably in that $3-$7.99 price band before the promotion.

I think that we’ve seen Amazon flex its marketing muscles in a new way (although they have done this in the MP3 space since they began so it’s just new to eBooks) and the market reacted very strongly.  They have the power to move the market, or at least a segment of it, for at least a limited period of time.   Yet the segment buying high-price eBooks, despite lots of outcry against such pricing, has proved resilient and returned to these books after dipping their toes into the less expensive end of the market.

This got Passive Guy thinking (it happens only sporadically) about Amazon’s in-house publishing program. Combine the house books of Amazon with Amazon’s promotional abilities and you end up with a powerful combination that can move books in large numbers.

One more reason why it’s not as much fun being a Big Six executive as it used to be.

Link to the rest at eBook Market View

Amazon, Bestsellers

6 Comments to “What’s the Impact of Amazon’s Sunshine Deal on Ebook Sales?”

  1. The Sunshine Deal is hurting those of us with Indie pubs too. Our books are priced low, but we – authors – can’t adjust the price like the self-pubbed authors can. We are stuck with the price point our publisher sets.

    • Julia – Pricing at retail is just one of the things publishers don’t really understand. This area is a giant advantage for Amazon.

  2. I’m seeing a slow-down in my admittedly not-huge sales since the Sunshine Deals started. I commented in an earlier post of yours that I think this was a deliberate move by Amazon to test some marketing ideas before they launch their own titles. Win for them…

    • Anthea – I’m sorry about your slowdown and think you’re right about Amazon testing marketing ideas.

      I predict we see some very interesting marketing from Amazon when they launch their own titles. I do hope this interest doesn’t depress indie sales, however.

  3. Like Anthea, I’ve seen sales tank completely since the deal began. I’ve gone from steadily around the overall #50 in the chart to dropping out of the top 100, which represents sales dropping to about 30-40% of what they were, and it will take a long ime to recover as the reduced books will have worked their way into the recommendation algorithm and leapfrogged books like mine in the “customers who bought” lists that had previously kept sales so buoyant.

    So as a self-publisher with absolutely no intention of looking for any kind of publisher, how do I feel? Well, the surprise take-off of my books a month or so ago has just about stopped the bailiffs coming and kept up rent payments I can’t meet from a day job alone, so on a practical level it’ll hit hard. Really hard. But that’s not Amazon’s problem, and I find it odd the amount of vitriol authors have shed (not in these comments refreshingly). When you go indie you sign up to a rocky road and trying to find your own market. I consider that I got ridiculously lucky getting picked up by Amazon’s algorithms. Fortunately that didn’t make me lazy. I’ve just released book 1 of a 7-in-1-year series, am mid way through a tour of live shows, have joined the Summer Book Club (http://www.facebook.com/summerbookclub) where alongside authors like HP Mallory and Victorine Lieske we’ll be offering readers unprecedented opportunities to talk directly to bestselling authors about their books, and I’m inolved in a whole host of things locally to get my books into the hands of readers.

    The last year has been a goldrush on Amazon for indie authors. I think a lot thought it was a golden ticket for life. The ones who come through will be the ones (as well as habving lots of great books) who didn’t.

    • Dan – Thanks for the detail. I haven’t seen anything written about the negative impact of Sunshine Deals on indie authors.

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