Connecting Readers and Writers discussion

135 views
Writer's Station > The Price of Indie Books

Comments Showing 1-50 of 54 (54 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1

message 1: by Everly (new)

Everly Anders | 207 comments Mod
I just read an interesting article on Joe Konraths blog.
http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/
It's all about how we are all pricing ourselves out of existence with just charging .99 cents. The women made a lot of sense. It really made me think about brining up the price of my book. We need to realize that we put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into our work and we deserve so get more out of it. I think we need to all stand together on this. What do you think?


message 2: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Lynne (patricialynne07) I'm not a fan of 99cent novels either. I think it underminds the work that has gone in to it. Which is why I priced my debut novel at $2.99. For sales or promotion I will do 99 cents or 50% off, but only for a limited time.

My hubby pointed out that, sure, lots of people may buy your book at 99cents, but how many of them read it? Became a fan? Will buy future books? Of those people that did, how do you know they wouldn't have bought if it was $2.99 if that had been the price?


message 3: by Irene (new)

Irene Pynn (irenelpynn) | 10 comments I have been thinking about this a lot after reading the discussion here and also looking at some grumblings about Amazon's new lending service. My blog covers some of my thoughts (too long to post here). I'd love to know what you think!


message 4: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Lynne (patricialynne07) Nice post Irene, I commented on it.


message 5: by Heather (new)

Heather Albano (heatheralbano) | 6 comments I think it depends what you're trying to do. It may make sense to price a debut novel (or downloadable game - I do both) at 99 cents to get impulse buys, and then price subsequent games and books at a more profitable level. I'm viewing the first book as more or less a loss leader anyway - I don't think I'm going to get rich off it - so I want as many eyeballs on it as possible. There's at least one study (which I can't find my link to at the moment, but I've seen it) suggesting that the downloads is not just higher but exponentially higher at the 99 cent price point.


message 6: by Mhairi (new)

Mhairi Simpson (mhairisimpson) | 28 comments But do more people actually read it at that price point? If you're going for a loss leader strategy tiu want to make sure people actually read it so that they come back for subsequent offerings. If they don't read it, the whole thing collapses. I'm thinking of pricing my first book at 2.99 to start with and then dropping the price when I release the next book. I don't think the .99 price point draws in readers like it used to, rather than people who are just one-click happy, at least partly due to market saturation at that price point.


message 7: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Lynne (patricialynne07) Mhairi, I read an article that was talking about readers enthusiasm over 99cents dwindling that said what you said too. Possibly because people who don't put as much effort into their books as others price there so readers have to filter through more crap. Whereas, maybe $2.99 gives the impression that the book has been edited thoroughly, formatted properly, and there's a bigger chance the reader will enjoy the book.


message 8: by Mary (new)

Mary Findley | 110 comments Lady Gaga produced a CD that sold for 99 cents and sold a bazillion copies. It was a temporary, intro price. When they pt it up to where they wanted it to be, sales fell off to a phenomenal degree. She is supposed to be successful and popular. But people didn't value her work when she sold it cheap. I think selling a full-length book for 99 cents hurts all authors, unless it is very temporary or introductory. It makes me angry when people buy an e-reader and then start looking for free or 99 cent books. And they aren't looking for public domain classics. They want your blood, sweat and tears. E-books shouldn't cost what paper books cost, but they shouldn't be giveaways or nobody will ever value them.


message 9: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Lynne (patricialynne07) I saw that CD for 99 cents and actually passed. That's the big problem w/ the 99cent price point, the people who buy are mostly buying because it's super cheap. They're caring about quantity not exactly quality (doesn't stop them from complaining later about quality) All we can hope to do enough people who buy at 99cents become fans and come back.


message 10: by Paula (new)

Paula Millhouse (pmillhouse) | 133 comments I'm still on the fence here.
I had my books both ways - in December I dropped them from 2.99 to $0.99.
Now they're back up to 2.99 and I've gotten modest sales.
When everyone else figures this one out would you email me?
Thanks,
Paula


message 11: by Bridget (new)

Bridget Bowers (bridgetbowers) | 15 comments I think there is a bit of a difference between $.99 and free. Yes, I think a lot of people will download a free book and perhaps not read it. But with people having less money to spend, $.99 can be something they can afford and if they have spent money on a book, I think they are more likely to read it.

When you're a new author looking to build a following, you have to find out what works for you to get noticed. A good book offered at a reasonable price might just entice a reader to come back for more and that is what everyone really wants.


message 12: by Larry (new)

Larry Moniz (larrymoniz) Elle wrote: "I just read an interesting article on Joe Konraths blog.
http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/
It's all about how we are all pricing ourselves out of existence with just charging .99 cents. The women ma..."


Joe's absolutely right. We're also letting the pirate operations, including major ones like Amazon and Google take away author's rights without a fight.


message 13: by Larry (last edited Jan 17, 2012 03:30PM) (new)

Larry Moniz (larrymoniz) Bridget wrote: "I think there is a bit of a difference between $.99 and free. Yes, I think a lot of people will download a free book and perhaps not read it. But with people having less money to spend, $.99 can be..."

There's an old saying about charging what a product is worth. If an author spends several months working on a book, then only wants 99 cents for the EBook version, that tells me that's all the author believes his/her work is worth. I accept their wisdom and buy something else.

Self-Promotion for Authors by Larry Moniz Murder in the Pinelands (Inside Story) by Larry Moniz The Rebellion by Larry Moniz Dead Storage by Larry Moniz


message 14: by Larry (new)

Larry Moniz (larrymoniz) Irene wrote: "I have been thinking about this a lot after reading the discussion here and also looking at some grumblings about Amazon's new lending service. My blog covers some of my thoughts (too long to post ..."

If it's worth reading, then it's worth sharing here.


message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

Gregory wrote: "99c for book one, then 2.99 for the rest is working really wel for me. Konrath's article did make me rethink that, but I'm waiting a little to see. If it ain't broke, don't fix it... and it's diffe..."

I think I tend to agree with you Gregory. For my Talon's Epic series however, the books are little more than novellas, around 30K words, real quick reads. .99cents I believe work good for those books. I released a book in October at 2.99 but lowered it to .99. I think I'll go with Gregory's idea and the second book in the series will be 2.99. We will see how it goes.


message 16: by Paula (new)

Paula Millhouse (pmillhouse) | 133 comments Charles wrote: "Gregory wrote: "99c for book one, then 2.99 for the rest is working really wel for me. Konrath's article did make me rethink that, but I'm waiting a little to see. If it ain't broke, don't fix it....."

So...
Would everyone agree the price depends on the length of the work?

Like, <50,000 words, price at $0.99
And upwards from there?

I don't know - I've read some really good shorts that certainly deserve more than a dollar.

Paula


message 17: by Leslie (new)

Leslie Deaton (lesliedeatonbooks) | 12 comments I started out charging $7.99 for my ebook, then realized that maybe more people would give it a chance if it was a bit cheaper. So I dropped the price to $2.99. Like many of you, I do have special 99 cent sales from time to time.

Check it out for yourself
A Marked Past (The Mercer Legacy #1) by Leslie Deaton

www.amarkedpast.com


message 18: by Armand (new)

Armand Rosamilia (armandrosamilia) | 24 comments For me (and my opinion) a 99 cent eBook is usually a short story or an intro to a series, while a $2.99 price-point is what most novellas/novels should be... however, because I have three years of releases, I recently put a few of the older, original eBooks on sale from $2.99 to 99 cents... any new release will be $2.99 unless it is a short story or under 20k, which will then be 99 cents and hopefully introduce me to some new readers...

I have a couple things at $1.99 but think it's a worthless price-point and doesn't do much for sales for me...

Armand Rosamilia
Death Metal


message 19: by Larry (new)

Larry Moniz (larrymoniz) Paula wrote: "Charles wrote: "Gregory wrote: "99c for book one, then 2.99 for the rest is working really wel for me. Konrath's article did make me rethink that, but I'm waiting a little to see. If it ain't broke..."

Sorry, but absolutely not. I write for a living as I have for most of my adult life.


message 20: by Lynne (new)

Lynne Cantwell | 22 comments I started out charging $3.99 for my first indie novel, then dropped the price to $2.99 when I saw that was sort of the going price on Smashwords. I did drop it to 99 cents with a coupon for an intro weekend and sold several copies.

The next book will be (the gods willing...) the first of a series. I will probably either publish it at 99 cents to get some interest going, or wait 'til book 2 is ready and then drop book 1 to 99 cents. I'm also hoping to put a sample chapter for book 2 in the back of book 1. I'm sort of trying a bunch of stuff and hoping some of it sticks. ;)


message 21: by Larry (new)

Larry Moniz (larrymoniz) Lynne wrote: "I started out charging $3.99 for my first indie novel, then dropped the price to $2.99 when I saw that was sort of the going price on Smashwords. I did drop it to 99 cents with a coupon for an int..."

While I totally oppose books that are worth more selling for 99 cents, the exception is as a loss-leader to stimulate sales for a short period of time. Having said that, I've experimented with various price points for the same book and found little or no difference in the number of sales. In fact, one of my book sold better at $8.98 than comparable books at 99 cents.


message 22: by Lynne (new)

Lynne Cantwell | 22 comments Interesting, Larry. And yes, the whole idea of 99-cent pricing, for me, is to hook some readers. Very likely I would not keep the price that low forever.


message 23: by Julie (last edited Jan 18, 2012 08:07PM) (new)

Julie Reece I think somewhere along the line, friends warned me anything for .99 probably wouldn't be edited very well or might be written poorly. I just believed them.

I now know that is not always true, there are some great writers at that price point, but how do you find them? I'm not a snob at all, but I still usually pay 2.99 to 4.99 for something hoping the writer will be more seasoned. I don't know. You all seem more informed than I am. But if I buy five books for .99 that prove to be unreadable, I might as well have bought the 4.99 book I had a good feeling about with the tempting blurb, right? For me, it's the story, not the price. Am I alone?

I may not be saying this very well.


message 24: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Nolan (rnolanauthor) | 4 comments The way I try to price my work is on a sliding scale so anything under 5k is 0.99c or sometimes free if it didnt take long to write and edit. Anything under 40k is between 0.99c to $2.99 depending on time and effort editing etc and then upwards of 40k is $2.99 to $4.99. That way if people are unsure of my writing and skills they have a chance to buy something without taking to much of a risk. Though I dont have much say when publishers are pricing my work.


message 25: by Larry (new)

Larry Moniz (larrymoniz) Rebecca wrote: "The way I try to price my work is on a sliding scale so anything under 5k is 0.99c or sometimes free if it didnt take long to write and edit. Anything under 40k is between 0.99c to $2.99 depending ..."

Julie wrote: "I think somewhere along the line, friends warned me anything for .99 probably wouldn't be edited very well or might be written poorly. I just believed them.

I now know that is not always true, ..."


Julie actually, you put your thoughts together quite clearly and succinctly. What you said makes a great deal of sense.


message 26: by Larry (new)

Larry Moniz (larrymoniz) Rebecca wrote: "The way I try to price my work is on a sliding scale so anything under 5k is 0.99c or sometimes free if it didnt take long to write and edit. Anything under 40k is between 0.99c to $2.99 depending ..."

Rebecca, not sure if you're talking words or file size in the 5k, etc., numbers you specified. The problem with your rationale is that you're not buying a container of food at the supermarket. Books aren't meant to be sold by weight or size.

A book is far more than a collection of words slapped between covers or downloaded from the internet. It's the end result of the work a writer put into developing a story concept, preparing an outline, writing and editing the chapters and further editing the product into a finished work. Such a completed effort can take months or years of full-time endeavor. Successful authors also usually, not always, have also studied their trade for years, sometimes decades, before they write a book. They hopefully have developed spelling, composition, punctuation and writing style far beyond the capabilities of the average reader. That's why people buy their books. They wish to have a pleasing experience being entertained, education or both.

Using your technique, William Shakespeare's sentence: "To be or not to be, that is the question," would be worth little even in today's book market, yet it's one of the more famous lines in literature. He was also the leading and financially successful playwright of his time.


message 27: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Biro (stephenbiro) | 1 comments I started my book at 7.99 and then gave away some copies for reviews, dropped it to 99 cents for a weekend then joined the KDP select program since smashwords was saying I wasn't haveing any sales even though my account was credited money.

Reviews have been coming in and my book is now 6.99 on Amazon and it's been selling well enough for Amazon to use it as a loss leader so it's actually 2.99 for now.

Reviews have been great so far and due to the subject matter and difference my book is from most, I will always keep it at 6.99 for Kindle.


Hellucination
Stephen


message 28: by Bryn (new)

Bryn Hammond (brynhammond) I am so new to this, but I've just put my first book up at $5. To charge less just feels... as if I undervalue four years work, extreme care and attention. It is over 200,000 words and I have 50% as a sample. I don't expect to earn - I'll be lucky to make back what I've spent on research books - but I have to attach a value.

However, on Smashwords, where I am, the vast majority seems to be $2.99.

I'll find out whether my price is silly, I guess.


message 29: by Peggy (new)

Peggy Henderson (peggyhenderson) | 21 comments When I pubbed my first book in January, I charged 99cents. As a complete newbie to this, I thought this might help, although it does feel like I'm giving my books away. Then I started reading about how 99cent books are considered "low quality". I was really reluctant to go up in price, since I released my second book, which is part of a series. I did increase my price to $1.49, which still feels way underpriced. But, I am afraid to go up to $2.99, which is really where I would like to be. I may go up once Book 3 is pubbed. Oh, what to do....


message 30: by Mary (new)

Mary Findley | 110 comments Peggy wrote: "When I pubbed my first book in January, I charged 99cents. As a complete newbie to this, I thought this might help, although it does feel like I'm giving my books away. Then I started reading about..."

We started out at $4.99 and $9.99, unillustrated and illustrated books, and then dropped to $2.99 and $6.99 after Christmas. I won't do the KDP Select free programs, but I have recently put out a couple of Short Stories/Novellas for 99 cents and made them free on Scribd. Our full-length books have value, and I'm not ready to make them 99 cents or free. We are not bestsellers, but sales are growing slowly, kind of in 3 month bumps, since we really started trying to promote in August/September. :-)


message 31: by Peggy (new)

Peggy Henderson (peggyhenderson) | 21 comments I started out really well (for me) in January. Just over the last week (ironically after I began twittering and learning about promo), my sales dropped to near nothing, on Amazon. I am getting a few more buys on B&N. I don't know what it all means.


message 32: by Mary (new)

Mary Findley | 110 comments I have really had no sales outside of Amazon. Many other authors on facebook groups I belong to said their sales are off just now. It takes time. One author who is pretty successful and well-known (published 16 years) said that a book she wrote six years ago had just begun to sell. I don't know what it all means, except a growing awareness that we and our books exist. :-)


message 33: by Susan (new)

Susan Paula wrote: "Like, <50,000 words, price at $0.99
And upwards from there? I don't know - I've read some really good shorts that certainly deserve more than a dollar...."


even 50,000 words is a LOT of work tho! and altho paperback books should cost more due to the price to produce them... don't you think we should value our hard work and imagination at more than .99 ! I do!


message 34: by Bryn (new)

Bryn Hammond (brynhammond) Lately I've seen a fair number of indies at prices of $7-8-9 the ebook. As far as I can determine - er, by their visibility to me, and by the reviews - this hasn't killed them. The price isn't mentioned in the reviews. I thought I was being unusual, to charge $5, but now I scout about, people have been 'braver' than me and priced decently. I'm tempted to put my price up... but I mean to go up to $6 for second book.

To those in doubt... oh, I can only encourage you in your feelings that your piece of work is worth more than 99c.


message 35: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Eliason (RachelEliason) | 102 comments My short story collection is set at 2.99 currently. I had it at 99 cents for awhile but that didn't seem to have any effect on sales. I don't think readers are averse to paying three bucks for a good book. However as a reader I won't pay much more than five dollars for an ebook (primarily because you can't give it away or re-sell it when you are done). I don't think pricing makes much difference until you start setting your price over that mark. However I am by no means an expert.


message 36: by Frank (new)

Frank Mundo | 19 comments I let my publisher post my ebook and they charged 9.99, which I thought was outrageous. The paperback is 14.95, which amazon ruthlessly discounts. But it sold pretty well, even at that price. However, I lost the right to control the online publishing process for 1 year, but have recently got them back. I have pulled the ebook from all distributors and will post it myself at a lower price and cut out the middleman. In the meantime, I posted a collection of 12 short stories for 99 cents, which means I have to sell 20 copies just to make what I made for one ebook sale of the other book. Once I have the other book back online, I'll probably reconsider the price for the short stories, since it also include the first chapter of my other book.
http://www.amazon.com/Frank-Mundo/e/B...


message 37: by Allison (new)

Allison Levine (allisonblevine) | 55 comments Thanks to all this discussion on this subject I've changed my kindle version from $6.99 to $4.99 I do hope that it comes out to be more successful.

A Demon Love Story Part One: The Obsession


message 38: by Susan (new)

Susan I listed my book on Amazon for $4.99 - THEY decided to slash that to $2.99 making the point that the price was saving the purchaser 20% or some such garbage.

how dare they?


message 39: by Susan (new)

Susan Digital List Price: $3.99 What's this?
Kindle Price: $2.99 includes free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
You Save: $1.00 (25%)


The $3.99 is marked thru...I just lowered the price yesterday...


message 40: by Ian (new)

Ian Loome (lhthomson) | 68 comments To each their own, but I can't see myself charging more than the minimum required to get Amazon's max royalty, which is $2.99. It's not that the work isn't worth more, it's just market reality for indies of getting recognition.


message 41: by Greg (new)

Greg Scowen (gregscowen) Susan *ARK* wrote: "I listed my book on Amazon for $4.99 - THEY decided to slash that to $2.99 making the point that the price was saving the purchaser 20% or some such garbage.

how dare they?"


They dare because it is in their terms and conditions. You are selling the book on Smashwords for $2.99, why should a buyer pay $3.99 on Amazon?
The Amazon price matching policy is clearly stated all over KDP. If you don't like it, you will have to remove your book from Kindle of raise the Smashwords price.


message 42: by Greg (new)

Greg Scowen (gregscowen) L.H. wrote: "To each their own, but I can't see myself charging more than the minimum required to get Amazon's max royalty, which is $2.99. It's not that the work isn't worth more, it's just market reality for ..."

I am with you here, L.H.


message 43: by Susan (new)

Susan Greg wrote: "Susan *They dare because it is in their terms and conditions. You are selling the book on Smashwords for $2.99, why should a buyer pay $3.99 on Amazon?
The Amazon price matching policy is clearly stated all over KDP. If you don't like it, you will have to remove your book from Kindle of raise the Smashwords price...."


aha! Thanks Greg! I will amend - one or the other.


message 44: by Greg (new)

Greg Scowen (gregscowen) All part of the friendly service, Susan.


message 45: by Mary (new)

Mary Findley | 110 comments Do they pay attention to Scribd for price matching? I guess I wouldn't mid if my two shorts went free, but I wonder. And I also wonder why it is that I have 250 free reads on Scribd for one book, a historical fiction with what I think is a mediocre cover (I made it, so I can say that), and the other is, I think, a pretty cool cover, and only has about 50 reads. Maybe it's the difference between the Crusades and the Civil War?


message 46: by Greg (new)

Greg Scowen (gregscowen) As far as I know, they pay attention to everywhere they can think of. That includes if you are selling the eBook on Goodreads.
Certainly B&N and other known eBook vendors.

Is the civil war or crusades selling? I am guessing crusades and that it is because a lot of people might link them to medieval and gothic themes. ?.


message 47: by Mary (new)

Mary Findley | 110 comments You'd be wrong. :-) The Civil War one is the big "seller" (Remember these are freebies on Scribd). I thought the Medieval one would do better also, and it's got plenty of dark elements -- slavery, torture, impossible choices. The other one is also about deafness, sign language and spying. Those could be draws, I guess.


message 48: by Greg (new)

Greg Scowen (gregscowen) Oh cool. I love being wrong - it's a chance to learn.

Hmm, very cool that the civil war one is about deafness and signing. Two very interesting topics.


message 49: by Mary (new)

Mary Findley | 110 comments Our daughter is hard of hearing, and she was kind of the inspiration for it. Although she says my deaf character can do things she can't, even with partial hearing. She thinks he is a little too good to be true. I'm thinking of a continuation where I explain why that might be so.


message 50: by Greg (new)

Greg Scowen (gregscowen) If she has issues with his abilities, then a continuation is probably necessary. But get some guidance from her as to how his abilities could be so. You have a fantastic resource in your daughter.

I used to work with intellectually impaired children, autistic children, and amputees and also had some experience with a class of deaf children. It is quite likely that my next novel features a character with such an ailment.


« previous 1
back to top