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General > US sales drying up... pondering price increase!

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message 1: by Robert (last edited Feb 18, 2012 04:34PM) (new)

Robert (valdieron) | 108 comments Hi All,

I have had a sharp drop in US sales for my two books, which at one point were selling at 10 - 20 per day, now they are down to that per month. On the flip side, my UK sales are now getting close to where my US sales once were! Perhaps this has something to do with the economy, or perhaps the US market is much more volatile at the moment, with people buying more from the 'free' range, or perhaps even the Borrowing revolution is seeing people using up all of their time reading these borrowed books that they do not get around to buying books any more.

Has anybody else seen this happen, or have an opinion?

I have not done any more marketing in the UK as opposed to the US.
So I am also pondering whether a price increase will make my book more appealing to people who might now be thinking about the Price Vs Quality. Or perhaps if I make them both higher priced and put them into KDP Select, it might generate more borrows? I have looked into the most popular books in my genre, and only about 10 in the Top 100 are $1 or less.

Any thoughts or shared experiences greatly appreciated!


message 2: by Scott, Fabled Reviewer o' Tales! (new)

Scott (bookblogger) | 1315 comments Mod
You could try Jeff's method of first book free to drive up interest in the second. If you go that route I'd say price book II in the 2.99 to 4.99 range. Although honestly I have no idea about royalties and all that since I haven't published anything.

message 3: by Jeffrey, Lentarian Fire Thrower (new)

Jeffrey Poole (authorjmpoole) | 2287 comments Mod
Rob, give it a try! It certainly jump-started sales on my books!

Presently in Phoenix for my sis's wedding. Man, I hate Phoenix... *sigh*

message 4: by Rosen (new)

Rosen Trevithick (rosentrevithick) | 56 comments I would advise against putting the price up. For ages I stubbornly priced my books at a relatively high price to imply quality. It doesn't work. People expect to pick up even the best indie books for pennies.

The books I price at 77p (26p royalties) sell more than four times as many copies as the ones I sell for £1.51 (£1.01) royalties.

KDP Select on the other hand - brilliant idea. It could boost your books back into the charts and get them selling quickly once again.

message 5: by J.H. (new)

J.H. Sked (jhsked) | 115 comments Interesting. My low priced stuff sells ok in the UK. Not brilliant, but ok. I only started seeing USA sales when I upped my price though.

message 6: by Jeffrey, Lentarian Fire Thrower (new)

Jeffrey Poole (authorjmpoole) | 2287 comments Mod
Yeah, I noticed the same. I originally started out with a "huge" price tag for my first book, at $7.99. Unsurprisingly, very few sales. Then I dropped it to $4.99. Unchanged. Then I dropped it to $.99 USD, which I expected would generate a flood of sales. Nope, only the barest trickle.

Then I tried the 70% royalty cutoff, namely $2.99 USD, and the sales increased. Not by much, but at least it was semi-sorta respectable.

It wasn't until book II came out, priced at $2.99 (again, very few sales) that I came across another author's blog who recommended if you have more than one book in a series released, make the first book free, hoping it'll generate interest (& sales!) in the next book.

So I dropped it on Smashwords and got Amazon to price-match. The results? Over 10,000 downloads of book 1 in the first month. Blew me away. Then the sales to book 2 took off. It's tapered off considerably, but I still make more sales a day than I used to in a month before all this happened.

Every download, every sale is a thrill to me. It tells me that someone read book 1, liked it, and was interested enough to plunk down $3 for the second. And I have to figure the thousands of people that have purchased book 2 would be interested in book 3 when it comes out, so life is good! :)

Big J

message 7: by Robert (new)

Robert (valdieron) | 108 comments I did the price increase, with little noticeable effect on sales. Have since reduced price of Book 1 but left Book 2 slightly higher.

I have just made Book 1 free on Smashwords, to hopefully get Amazon to make it free. Then I can do a comparison. So if anybody wants to help me out and dob on me to Amazon, that would be greatly appreciated.

Smashwords link

Amazon link


message 8: by Mia (new)

Mia Darien (mia_darien) | 425 comments Will you be distributing it free through SW to B&N? As Amazon doesn't often seem to care if it's free at SW, but (usually) takes notice if it's free at B&N.

message 9: by J.H. (new)

J.H. Sked (jhsked) | 115 comments I'm starting to think the only rule about increasing sales is get as many books up as possible, & make them as good as you can. I'm keeping my head down & concentrating on writing as much as possible right now.

message 10: by Jeffrey, Lentarian Fire Thrower (new)

Jeffrey Poole (authorjmpoole) | 2287 comments Mod
Rob, I reported the lower link to Amazon for you. Good luck! Here's hoping you get tons of new sales!!

message 11: by M.R. (new)

M.R. Jenks (mjenks6) | 74 comments The only thing I would say about that is, just on a whim, I checked the Kindle Top 100 Paid, or the current cream of the crop. About 10% of them were Indie self-published authors, AND of that 10%, almost all were priced at $2.99. I had been thinking of increasing the price of my book Hearth: Exile, but after seeing this, I decided to keep my price at $2.99. What does it take? I already know from Reviews that the quality of my book is just fine. Sigh . . .

message 12: by Mia (new)

Mia Darien (mia_darien) | 425 comments How are y'all determining your prices before this? I mean, I was going off length compared with other digital publishers. (Finding what their price was for a certain length and then going a bit lower than that, not having their overhead.) So I priced my 50K story at 1.99, which seemed fair, but now it seems like every book is at 2.99, but probably longer than mine.

message 13: by Robert (last edited Jun 08, 2012 02:53AM) (new)

Robert (valdieron) | 108 comments Jeffrey wrote: "Rob, I reported the lower link to Amazon for you. Good luck! Here's hoping you get tons of new sales!!"

Well, I logged on today, and found that Demon Gates is now free on Amazon!
Imagine my surprise when I saw the following:

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,674 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
#2 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Fiction > Genre Fiction > Horror > Dark Fantasy

But then I looked at the list, and found only 4 in the free category hahaha. Oh well, better than 4th!
The proof will be in pudding as to whether a free Book 1 will equate to more Book 2, but here's to hoping! If anything, I hope it will make for a few more reviews.


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