Amazon's launched a new program that's going to give Kindle owners discounts on ebooks — albeit in a rather high-pressure fashion. Kindle Countdown Deals are basically ticking-clock sales: users can visit the page for the Kindle edition of a participating book and see the discounted price, along with a bubble that counts down the minutes until the deal expires, complete with a warning about the pending price increase.
Amazon is positioning Countdown Deals as a way for books to gain additional exposure, with choices about the length of the sale and price put into the hands of the publisher. There are some guidelines, however. Ebooks must be exclusive to the Kindle to opt into the program, and the deals need to run between one day to a full week (Amazon is also mandating a minimum discount of $1). There are currently scores of books listed under the program, with most of the prices listed at either 99 cents or $1.99.