The Kindle Daily Deal, on Amazon, and the Nook Daily Find, from Barnes & Noble, are typical of the approach, with readers e-mailed notifying them of a 24-hour price cut to as little as $1.99.
Sales of between 10,000 and 30,000 copies of a book within that time period have been achieved via this method.
"It makes it almost irresistible," said Liz Perl, senior vice president for marketing at publisher Simon & Schuster. "We're lowering the bar for you to sample somebody new."
Russ Grandinetti, Amazon's vice president for Kindle content, explained that it was a way of helping people find their way through the huge choice available in terms of both books and other entertainment forms.
"People are looking for ways to offer their authors a megaphone, and we're looking to build more megaphones," he added.
Sales of 10,000 copies in a day where only one unit was previously shifting daily are impressive, but not necessarily profitable.
"We've found that one of the key opportunities with it is the halo effect," noted David Steinberger, the chief executive of Perseus Books Group.
"It's hard for it to be highly successful economically at these very low prices, even if the volume goes up for a single day," he said. "But if you create awareness for the book, it can make a lot of sense for the author."
"It's the Groupon of books," Dominique Raccah, the publisher of Sourcebooks, told the New York Times. "For the consumer, it's new, it's interesting. It's a deal and there isn't much risk. And it works."
Marketers in the world beyond the book trade remain to be convinced, however, as a recent survey discovered.
Social Media Examiner, an online social media magazine, polled 3,025 marketers asking how they were planning to change their social media use in the near future.
Around two thirds indicated they would increase their use of sites like YouTube (69%), Facebook (66%), LinkedIn (65%) and Twitter (64%), but daily deal sites like Groupon and LivingSocial were at the bottom of their list.
In fact, 80% said they had no plans to utilise daily deals or were even reducing their efforts here.
Data sourced from New York Times, Social Media Examiner; additional content by Warc staff