Goodreads Authors/Readers discussion

53 views
Young Adult Fiction > Can pricing a novel too low hurt sales?

Comments Showing 1-16 of 16 (16 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Hi everyone,
So I have my 70,000 YA horror novel set at $0.99 and from what I was hearing from other authors, most of their novels are at $1.99 and above. Could pricing it too low actually hurt my sales? I mean; I'm doing ok but I think I could be doing better. Would people not buy it because it's priced too low? Should I make it more like $1.99 or $2.99? I don't want to discourage readers because of the price and I thought too high would discourage but I'm afraid too low might do the same. Should I up the price a little?


message 2: by Yzabel (new)

Yzabel Ginsberg (yzabelginsberg) | 262 comments MissyDevoursDelishReads wrote: "Possibly only have a day or two for .99 sale & then up it. May get more attention at first..."

What I was about to suggest, too. (But make sure to advertise the special "sales day" somewhere—do it the right way, of course, not by spamming—otherwise it won't attract much attention.)


message 3: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Rockefeller (laurelarockefeller) | 144 comments I priced my books too low the first few months. Then I realized it was hurting sales because if it's 99 cents or free, people assume it is crap that no one will pay to read. Kindle select giveaways are different, as are sales run by amazon that you have no control over. I got some rather acceptable results when Amazon was marking down my books during my three months on kindle select.


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

Thanks for the advice guys :) I have been worried about that for a while and it seems I have been pricing it too low. I put it at $2.99 so hopefully that helps. Thanks again :)


message 5: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 2160 comments I think I'm having the same problem but the opposite, I think my price is set too high. I have my book at $9.95, a bit too high?


message 6: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Rockefeller (laurelarockefeller) | 144 comments Justin wrote: "I think I'm having the same problem but the opposite, I think my price is set too high. I have my book at $9.95, a bit too high?"

For a single book? Yes!! For three or twelve books in a single file, no.

After I finish the Anlei's Legacy arc books in my Peers of Beinan series, I plan on releasing all of the books in a trilogy edition. That trilogy edition probably WILL be $9.99 -- which works out to about 4 cents more than buying them individually.


message 7: by Kaine (new)

Kaine Andrews (kaineandrews) | 48 comments This is something that's perplexed me for some time as well. I sort of just finally said "eh, whatevs" and put my novels all at $2.99, since that seems to be the most common "going rate." (Though Blogs from the Basement and For Her... both being shorter fiction, I left them at .99).

I think there might be a small amount of stigma attached to the low price tag - the mentality of "you get what you pay for" - but I've seen some things out there that are completely bonkers - several pieces of short fiction going for $5.99 or more, several "first novels" that are as much as $12.99 - and honestly don't think that helps much either. (Ironically, those with the "bonkers" pricing seem to be selling well enough, based on their ranking, so perhaps I'm the only one who thinks that's a little much.)

Personally, 3 bucks seems decent enough for an eBook (about 1/3rd of what most mass market paperbacks go for = an acceptable formula, to me), and .99 cent ones please me (because if the blurb looks intriguing, it's really not hard to part with a buck, even for someone in a bad financial situation such as myself. The second half of "you get what you pay for" is "Ehh. T'was only a dollar!"

In either case, hopefully pushing that number up a bit helps. :)

And, Justin, yeah, I would personally say $9.95 is a bit much for an eBook, unless it was something akin to getting The Stand and Dark Tower 7 "together at last" or some such. Again, going back to mass market paperbacks, most of them I've seen lately are between 8-11 bucks for 400+ pages and paying around that for digital only format seems rather steep to me. But that may just be my opinion.


message 8: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 2160 comments No, my paperback is 9.99, my ebook is 4.99. It's hard to tell sometimes how to price a book. Maybe its better to have it too low then too high.


message 9: by Kaine (new)

Kaine Andrews (kaineandrews) | 48 comments Ah. misunderstood. 10 bucks isn't too terrible for a paperback, I suppose. I wish CreateSpace would let me bring the pricing down a bit for mine, but the page count tends to be too high (plus the Extended Distribution option jacks up the pricing). But $4.99 is still on the border of bonkers-territory, at least to me.

Then again, I'm of the tribe that despises most technology that doesn't involve owning a physical product, be it eReaders, MP3 players or the trend towards digital downloads for movies and games, so I'm somewhat of a Luddite in that department anyway. XD


message 10: by R.A. (new)

R.A. White (rawhite) | 361 comments Kaine wrote: "Ah. misunderstood. 10 bucks isn't too terrible for a paperback, I suppose. I wish CreateSpace would let me bring the pricing down a bit for mine, but the page count tends to be too high (plus the E..."

When you say extended distribution, do you mean Europe and so forth? Or do you mean the $25 deal that makes the book available to bookstores and libraries? If it's 'b', how much difference do you think it makes? I haven't signed up for it, yet, and would like any info on it before I do.
My novel is 488pages, currently priced at $14.99 if that makes any difference.


message 11: by Kaine (new)

Kaine Andrews (kaineandrews) | 48 comments R.A. wrote: When you say extended distribution, do you mean Europe and so forth? Or do you mean the $25 deal that makes the book available to bookstores and libraries? If it's 'b', how much difference do you think it makes? I haven't signed up for it, yet, and would like any info on it before I do.
My novel is 488pages, currently priced at $14.99 if that makes any difference.


The latter, that lets it crop up via B&N and the like without the questionable virtues of Stork Media and their ilk. In terms of pricing difference, it tends to jack the minimum up by 3-5 bucks, depending on page count. (Disciple of Grief is something like 410 pages, minimum pricing before ED was around $11, went to $14.98 by adding it.) It's also murder on the royalties, at least through the ED vendors (B&N grants me $0.01 per sale made through that venue), but the increased exposure I felt was worth more than the in-pocket amount, at least at this stage of the game.

On the other hand, if you're doing well from Amazon and self-distribution alone and have got a reader base on the rise, I would probably avoid doing it. It's $25 outlay, a forced price-hike (so they can discount it again, wonderful logic) and a shrinking income for an unknown number of potential readers. Your mileage may vary.


message 12: by Rinelle (new)

Rinelle Grey (rinellegrey) | 38 comments I've heard before that people think a 99c book mustn't be any good, but I'm not sure that I agree with it. I suspect that the other advantages (especially for YA fiction, where you're marketing to people with a limited income) of people being willing to take a chance on an unknown author/unknown book outweigh them.

I'd love to see some hard data on this. Ie differences in sales when book prices are changed on a specific book, and more importantly, differences in income.


message 13: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Rockefeller (laurelarockefeller) | 144 comments Kaine wrote: "R.A. wrote: When you say extended distribution, do you mean Europe and so forth? Or do you mean the $25 deal that makes the book available to bookstores and libraries? If it's 'b', how much differe..."

Since all my books (except the Complete Anlei's Legacy Arc Data Files -- which will expand by another 1/3rd once I write book three) are available in large print, which so far has only given me a couple sales, what I'm doing is making the regular 12 pt Garamond font paperbacks with full expanded distribution on createspace and not doing that with the large print. When you factor in the royalty difference, it just does not make sense to do large print in extended right now.

And of course the content and details on the large print ARE identical to regular print -- except in font size and page count.


If you are NOT doing large print, this low vision author suggests you do so (unless you like the missed sales opportunities and do not care about accessibility). Yes, that pushed my $15 Ghosts of the Past to $20 and nearly doubled the page count (which is why it IS $5 more) on an already rather big book. But I feel it is worth it.

And for those of you who wonder why I rarely do read/review -- no one has ever offered me a large print copy to read and review! If I cannot see it, obviously I cannot read it!


message 14: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 2160 comments I just wrote a blog post about this very issue. It talks about what determines the price for an author and goes back and forth between high and low prices.

http://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_...


message 15: by A.L. (new)

A.L. Butcher (alb2012) | 848 comments Rinelle wrote: "I've heard before that people think a 99c book mustn't be any good, but I'm not sure that I agree with it. I suspect that the other advantages (especially for YA fiction, where you're marketing to ..."

I increased price from 2.99 to 3.25 and it didn't hurt sales at all. If I do anything with the short stories I will probably price at 99c just because they will be short. Reader wise I buy a lot at 77p, I also get a lot at higher prices and free.


message 16: by R.A. (new)

R.A. White (rawhite) | 361 comments Kaine wrote: "R.A. wrote: When you say extended distribution, do you mean Europe and so forth? Or do you mean the $25 deal that makes the book available to bookstores and libraries? If it's 'b', how much differe..."

Thank you, Kaine. I'll keep all that in mind.


back to top