Since BookBub launched in India, authors and publishers have come to us with questions about discounting their books there. While discounting can be complicated no matter the country, factors like currencies, time zones, and region-specific retailer options make international discounts even more complex.
First, it’s important to note that Amazon does not allow Countdown Deals in India. This means that if you’re Amazon-exclusive, you’ll have to accept a 35% royalty rate across all regions, including the US and UK, if you want to manually discount your book to $0.99 or $1.99 and include India in your promotion.
While Amazon Countdown Deals only work for the US and UK, KDP Select free promotions automatically discount your book to free in all markets where you have territorial rights. However, KDP Select requires Amazon exclusivity for 90 days, so we don’t recommend this option. Our partners find most success when their books are available across as many retailers as possible.
Below we’ll provide some tips on how to include India in your next promotion.
Update 8/27/15: Smashwords no longer distributes to Flipkart, so we have updated the instructions below with the latest best practices. While Flipkart is still one of the country’s largest online booksellers, it is currently impossible to discount your book with them directly, and since such a limited number of distributors work with Flipkart, we can’t recommend discounting your book there.
Step 1: Ensure that you have the territorial rights to promote your book in India
While many authors and publishers hold worldwide rights to their books, it’s worth confirming ownership before scheduling a promotion outside the US. Since many of our partners distribute directly to Amazon, we’ve outlined how to check territorial rights in the example KDP Dashboard below:
On your KDP Dashboard, click Edit Rights, Royalty and Pricing.
Confirm that you have Worldwide rights. If you don’t, confirm that India is one of the selected countries.
Step 2: Schedule your discount with your distributor
Log into your distributor dashboard (e.g. Smashwords or BookBaby) and lower the price of your ebook. You can change your price at any time — simply enter your new price as you typically would in US dollars, and the distributors will lower the price across all retailers and regions for you, and will auto-convert to the different currencies for you. There’s not a way to specify different prices in different regions.
This price drop typically takes about a week to go into effect, so be sure to change your price at least one week before you want to promote your price drop with services like BookBub to make sure the discount is in place at the time of your Featured Deal.
Step 3: Schedule your discount through other retailers (if necessary)
If you use your distributor for all retailers, this step may not be necessary. But if your distributor does not change the price on all of your retailers, or if you prefer to work directly with specific retailers such as Amazon, you may need to set up the discount yourself. You have a couple discounting options, depending on whether your book is offered for free or a reduced price:
Option 1: Manually adjust the price of your book. While exact processes vary based on the retailer or distributor, booksellers including Kindle, Kobo, and Google offer additional information on their websites, as do many third-party distributors. Note that Google and Kobo change pricing globally unless you specify otherwise. Also, iBooks and Nook in India isn’t yet up and running, so you won’t be able to run price promotions on either platform for India. General advice can also be found on writers’ forums such as KBoards.
Amazon makes it possible to adjust a book’s price on the Edit Rights, Royalty and Pricing page of the KDP Dashboard. From there, you can choose to either automatically set the price in each international territory using current exchange rates, or manually change it to a value of your choosing (e.g. ₹130).
While the automatic option is generally easiest, we recommend making sure the deal price aligns with your marketing goals in each region. For example, an author might choose to set a standard price of ₹130 even if the automatic conversion for a $1.99 deal is lower (approximately ₹126 at current exchange rates).
If you’re running a BookBub Featured Deal, please remember that all discounts must begin no later than midnight Pacific Time on the day of the deal.
Option 2: Run an Amazon KDP Select free promotion. These automatically include all markets where the author or publisher holds territorial rights, so there’s no need to take additional steps to make a book free in India if you’re using this method. Note that if you use KDP Select, you cannot distribute your book on any other retailer.
Step 4: Double check the details
You should now be ready to promote your book in India! But before the big day, we recommend confirming information like the timing and price of your discount to ensure everything runs smoothly.
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