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Monday, November 9, 2015

What to price my book

What to price one's book is a bit of contention in indie circles.

I see many indies who price their books at .99. That's about .33 per book through Amazon and maybe a whopping .50 through other outlets. So let's look at the expense of publishing a book, cover - cha-ching, editing - cha-ching, beta readers - cha-ching, marketing, cha-ching. Get the picture?

If the author sells 100 books at .99, receiving .33 per book, they would make $33. That's not enough for a tank of gas! If they sell 1000 they'd make $330, that might pay their car insurance for the month, forget recouping the hundreds/ thousands they put into the book.

There are many arguments over perma-free. None of the arguments I've found are from authors with perma-free books. Instead we encourage other authors to courageously jump into the perma-free world. Not every book! Choose one, like the first in a series or a short story. Perma-free makes you more visible, therefore, gaining more readers. Sure, people will download the book and never read it. But the ones that do and enjoy the authors brand of fiction/nonfiction will comeback for seconds, thirds and so on.

When I published my first novel, As Snow Falls, I priced it at .99 and sold a handful of ebooks. A year later I repriced it at 2.99, low and behold people started buying the book. In the meantime I started publishing the Baby Girl shorts at .99. After revamping them last spring with further editing and snappy new covers, I repriced them but I staggered it. Book 1 is perma-free, Book 2 is .99, Books 3 and 4 are 2.99. They also include extras. They sell far better at 2.99 than they ever did at .99.

Last fall I released Eye of the Storm at 3.99. I have now permanently reduced the price to 2.99 because Volume 2 in the series is making its appearance this Friday 11/13. It's also priced at 2.99, but that's limited. December 1, it will go up to 3.99.

Now, many publishers are pricing their ebooks at 7.99, 8.99. Really? Are they selling? The popular authors are but what about new authors? I can't answer that question but I can say if I'm going to spend that much on a book it won't be in digital format.

Getting back to indie authors, I did a ton of research on price points as I muddled through Elle Klass Marketing 101 and learned 2.99 - 5.99 are the best selling price points. They suggest quality. And people are more willing to buy quality over taking a chance even if it's only .99. 

The worst price point I discovered is 1.99 and I knew authors using this price point and not selling a single book. I suggested changing their prices to 2.99 or 3.99. Wow! Now they are making sales. They may not be independently wealthy but they are making sales, and gaining readers.

My last gripe over price points is the cash put into a book. Indie authors don't sell yourself short. If the big publishing houses are charging 7.99 and up I think you can take a chance with 2.99 and up. You have spent thousands of man hours, hundreds/thousands of dollars, don't be ashamed and don't think more than .99 is too much. It's not! Don't sell yourself short. You have personal money invested in this. Your book, your time, and personal investment is worth a lot more than .33 per book in royalties.

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