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What is the best price for selling with Kindle and other ebook sources?

Hi Folks, 

 

My publisher recommended $5 per book, but I see many go for a lot less... what is a good price to sell and why?

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Sean - I have been playing with this quite a bit.  I know alot of authors put their books up at $0.99 and do great. Some feel that $2.99 is a great price.  I did a little test and put my book that normally runs for $4.99 down to $3.99 for a month - then put it back up to $4.99.  I found that when I put it down to $3.99 I sold twice as many.

 

I'm thinking that although the payout is a bit lower, I am getting more of them so it works out better. Just put my book back down to $3.99 again today. Want to test that theory again before the second one comes out.

I honestly don't know Sean. I did read an interesting article I bookmarked ages ago at the LA Times. This could give you another perspective.

 

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/jacketcopy/2011/06/independent-auth...

 

The comments are worth reading too under that article. 

 

The lowest price of all can bump up the sales numbers. So is it better to have the sales numbers to brag about and that you can use in future promotional efforts coupled with a smaller profit per book, or not have such great numbers, no promo benefits but a larger profit margin per sale? That's the question.

Selling thousands more at a lesser price doesn't necessarily mean you'll make less in the end than you would by selling fewer books at a higher price. 

Think about that before you recoil in horror at the idea of any author selling their book on Kindle for 99 cents. :)

 

Another point: With Kindle still breaking relatively new ground, I think many new Kindle users will stick with the 99 cents books at the beginning until they know if they are going to like it and use it much. 

 

In the runup to Christmas, think about how many people will buy Kindles as gifts and want to give them with some books preloaded. I wouldn't give an empty Kindle. And I'd pick a dozen books at a buck, rather than two at $6 or 3 at $4, in a genre I think they would like to puff it up and get them going.

 

(You may make your publisher cry if you suggest it because it doesn't leave them much of a cut if they are involved on that side too LOL)

 

Where did your publisher come up with $5, out of interest? I'm assuming you asked them the same question you're asking here. :)

Thanks for the comments Stacy and Scribbler.

My current publisher suggested $5 to balance the price with the real book price and profit, but I think for new authors like me, getting known in the market place is the most important thing so I will be dropping my price. I am thinking 99 cents for the first book and then a higher price for those that follow (maybe $2.47). I am also on the prowl for a better traditional publisher/agent to help me reach more readers and help me improve / advise me. Non of us are too old or young to learn...

 

You got to be careful because people will generally think the 99p book is of lesser quality then the £3.99 or the £5.00 book.  It’s great to use 99p as a promotion if people know that the price will go up.  In general terms the price should reflex the quality of the book/story.

Sean - I know a few people who price their book at $0.99 for a couple of months when a book is released then up it a bit once thier next book comes out.  It depends on how often you intend to publish, there are some people I know that can put out smaller novels every couple of months. 

 

I have had people tell me they don't want to see my book any lower then $2.99 because they feel it cheapens the book.  I'm not sure how I feel about that.  I think that if I was putting out multiple books a year, I might go more towards the .99 price point - but since I invest a nice chunk of change into my book during the publishing, I feel better about keeping it above $2.99. 

The problem I have is... How do peps know you have a quality product unless they are buying it and why would they buy it in the first place? I do feel that price can be one way to attract readers initially at least. I know I would pay for quality and that the prices we are talking about are so small it shouldn't matter, but not everyone thinks that way. Selling for less to many more will make money too (which we all need), but more importantly it will create a fan base for future works.

I have set my latest prices to $0.99 for the first adventure and $2.99 for the second. We shall see how that turns out..

Sounds like a great choice Sean.  Let us know how it goes.  I'll let you know how mine goes this month too - as the prices have changed again.

 

Toby Whaymand said:

You got to be careful because people will generally think the 99p book is of lesser quality then the £3.99 or the £5.00 book.  It’s great to use 99p as a promotion if people know that the price will go up.  In general terms the price should reflex the quality of the book/story.

 

Maybe the price should reflect that, but it doesn't always. I've read some crappy books in my time that I didn't get much change out of $30 for. And bestselling hardback authors have been known to share teasers of upcoming books for $0.99 or even give them away. 

 

It's fine for authors to decide their book's worth more than that and to hold out for a higher price. That's their choice. But as Sean said, how is anyone going to find out they are that good if the readers don't buy it?

 

Some simply won't. They think it's too expensive at more than a dollar. That doesn't mean it's fair or right, but that's how it is. Now say there are thousands of Kindle readers out there whose main considerations are 1) does it sound good and 2) is it under a buck. You miss out on them ever discovering your book if you only fulfill one of those. Plus we've all made impulse buys online and when a product is cheap, the decision's very easy. 

 

I feel you need to get a name for yourself first and worry about increasing prices later for your books.

 

How many filter their Amazon Kindle book searches by price point first and then browse for a book? I don't know but I do know Kindle users that do that. I asked how it works. Turns out it's easy. They select the genre in the Kindle section at Amazon.com then put "$0.99" (without the inverted commas) in the main search box. It brings them all up, page after page of $0.99 books. 

 

These regular Kindle users know that they can filter them more from there by popularity, best rated, publication date etc. But that's where they start, with a query for $0.99 books. 

I tried it and sure enough, it does that. You don't even need to choose a genre: you can go to the Kindle ebooks section and put $0.99 in the search box to get everything.  So if your book's not on that list, even for a short time, you could miss out on all the dollar readers who spend all they want to within that search alone and never leave it.

 

No-one demonstrates that this technique works more than Amanda Hocking. She's a millionaire at 26 and her ebook success went on to later land her a major publishing house deal worth $2 million with McMillan. And all because she'd already shown off her talents by selling millions of low priced ebooks. McMillan knows whatever she puts out there will sell. 

 

Welcome to disruption. 26-year old Amanda Hocking is the best-selling "indie" writer on the Kindle store, meaning she doesn't have a publishing deal, Novelr says. And she shouldn't. She gets to keep 70% of her book sales -- and she sells around 100,000 copies per month. By comparison, it's usually thought that it takes a few tens of thousands of copies sold in the first week to be a New York Times bestselling writer.

 

The comparison isn't entirely fair, because Hocking sells her books for $3, and some $.99. But that's the point: by lowering the prices, she can make more on volume, especially impulse buys. Meanwhile e-books cost nothing to print, you don't have to worry about print volumes, shelf space, inventory, etc. And did we mention the writer keeps 70%?

 

See this thread about her success: http://www.authors.com/forum/topics/a-good-reason-to-sell-to-the

 

I'm looking forward to seeing how Sean and Stacy get on with this. Keep us posted, guys. :) 

 

I have mine currently at $1.99 35%royalty I make 70cents per sale they seem to sale better then the $2.99 even though at $2.99 I'd get 70% royalty. 99cents I make 35cents per kindle. So for now I'm sticking with the $1.99


Wow I like this.  It's pretty cool but generally some people do post *BEEP* when it comes to self publishing and so the middle man (A decent publisher) does play an important role but I really like the 'Amamda Hocking' thing - That's just amazing:


scribbler said:

No-one demonstrates that this technique works more than Amanda Hocking. She's a millionaire at 26 and her ebook success went on to later land her a major publishing house deal worth $2 million with McMillan. And all because she'd already shown off her talents by selling millions of low priced ebooks. McMillan knows whatever she puts out there will sell.

Check out your competition as to the same subject, page length, and date published.

Write them all down on a sheet of paper and average out the price between the highest and lowest.

That way you will find the middle price and you won't be too high or low.

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