Between December 3 and December 14, Amazon ran its “12 Days, 12 Books” promotion, which saw limited supplies of 12 books reduced to bargain prices over 12 days. While it’s not surprising that the steep discounts led to a boom in sales, what is noteworthy is just how much of an impact the promotion had.
Every book used in the promotion sold out of stock before the time ran out, with the exception of Tom Wolfe’s Back to Blood, which managed to sell out 75% of its stock. Many books sold out in under an hour, with Stephen Colbert’s America Again selling out in less than 30 minutes at $3.99. No book was put on sale for more than $4.99, and the cheapest book, Jeff Kinney’s The Third Wheel, was priced at $1.99.
The effect on sales was tremendous across the board: all 12 books saw big increases in Amazon sales rank for the day of their respective promotions (with many going to #1 overall), and all 12 books had big increases in their total weekly sales over the week prior, according to BookScan. Weeknights with Giada from Clarkson Potter saw the biggest jump in Amazon sales rank, going from #554 to #11 after its price was reduced to $3.99 in the deal; it also gained the most in terms of weekly sales, with BookScan reporting nearly 7,000 copies sold during the week of the promotion, up from 2,000 copies the previous week—a 278% increase. The Third Wheel, which has crossed the one million sales mark on BookScan since its November publication, saw an 11% increase in weekly sales, and sold 193,000 copies during the week of its Amazon promotion.
Though the “12 Days, 12 Books” promotion focused only on bestselling titles, the relative brevity of the deal (each book was on sale for three hours or until stock sold out) shows that the retailer needs only a small window to feature its product and its low price to make a big splash.
Amazon’s 12 Days, 12 Books Results
|BOOK||BookScan Percent Increase||Total Units Sold During Week of Promotion|
|Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn||73%||34,505|
|The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan||22%||33,274|
|Barefoot Contessa Foolproof by Ina Garten||27%||57,619|
|Winter of the World by Ken Follett||65%||19,108|
|Killing Lincoln by O’Reilly/Dugard||29%||45,003|
|Quiet by Susan Cain||55%||4,858|
|Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman||126%||6,831|
|50 Shades Box Set||145%||38,663|
|America Again by Stephen Colbert||68%||36,528|
|Weeknights with Giada by Giada De Laurentiis||278%||6,893|
|Back to Blood by Tom Wolfe||107%||5,878|
|The Third Wheel by Jeff Kinney||11%||193,184|