Price. Money. Mulah. Paper. Dollar Bills. Dough. You get the point.
The financial aspect of Indie Publishing is not something I speak much about or that I hear much about in the blogging world. Maybe its because money has always been that personal thing that belonged to just us. In many ways, this is true. How much is in your bank account is not something you sound a trumpet about nor should it be. Not only that, but there’s a lot of things I’ll never tell you about my financial life. Even in relation to Book Publishing. Some things are just best kept on the low.
But, what I will share is some important tips for pricing your books. Specifically, your eBooks. Believe it or not your book price has a role to play in your books overall image. What do I mean by image? I mean that when someone comes along, or scrolls along, through Amazon’s list of reads and sets their mind on which one to pick, there are a few things that make up the books overall image in the mind of the reader. This is not something that we, as readers, are always consciously aware of, but it is something that we do on that subconscious level. We are looking at:
– Book Title
– Book Cover
– Book Description
– Book Price
Usually in that order, but this is not always the case. Remember that when I write posts like these they are based on my personal experience in this field because I think experience is just a good teacher. So, in my experience (you may have done your own research), usually readers tend to decide to purchase a book based on these elements and in this order but not always in this order. In the event a reader is not judging in this order it usually has something to do with the price. This is when book pricing takes on a greater role and rises from the bottom of the list to the top.
I believe that the relationship between marketing and buyer habits is connected. Meaning that by paying attention to how people buy books, this can give me some insight on how to better market or sell them. So as an avid reader, I pay attention to myself in how I go about purchasing a book and usually I’ve been known to bypass books based on price. If the book looks interesting but the price is extremely too high, I may skip it. Not that I won’t come back to it, but you don’t want to give me the room to come back. You want me to make a purchase out the gate, sorta speak. Books I skip based on price tend to look something like this:
– The Title is not very encouraging, but it will do
– The book cover is plain, but I can work with it
– The price is too high
In this list I’ve ignored the other mediocrities and made up my mind to give the book a try. However, I looked and saw that it was $6.99. For the most part, these are instances where I just can’t. These are also instances where price can be the first determining factor in eBook sales even against the title, description, and cover. Sometimes all of these can be on point but the price is still too high. Now, prices of books can also be too low! But we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. For now, lets get some insight on how we should price our eBooks and what these prices should be based on. Now, I’m going to let someone a bit more experienced discuss this part. This excerpt is from an article written by Laurence O’byran whose services I acquired not too long ago to assist with the launch of the final book in the Stella series. Laurence is the author of three traditionally published novels from Harper Collins and runs a book promotion service I’m sure you’re tired of seeing on Twitter ; ).
Only if you have a closely linked series and book number one can be priced at free to get readers started on your series.
If you are a new author and you want make it easy for people to buy your book, and you want to increase your total earnings. This price can be used for a short period to get your book onto a best seller list and then you can move the price up. When deciding a price do not consider the effort put in to write and produce it, consider what total earnings you want. By pricing at .99c, and then increasing the price you can achieve higher earnings. I have seen this working.
.99c can be used during a launch period, for a relaunch with a new cover, or for when you add a new book to your series. How long you stay at .99c will depend on total sales and whether you are continuing any paid promotion periods. It will also depend on if you have a new title coming out in the near future and what level of buzz you already have for the title. If there’s a lot of media attention on the title your period at .99c may only be a day or two.
This is the recommended price long term. It’s considered by many to be the sweet spot for long term Kindle book sales. This price may also be appropriate if the first book in the series is $.99c. Your earnings should go up when you reach this price point. The period at .99c is used to gain you exposure, build that vital word of mouth and get you as high up the rankings as possible, with as many reviews on Amazon as possible.
And that is pretty much the extent of the primary cost brackets that are good for eBooks. Yes, just these main three. Anything else is going to be too expensive if its not a popular read by a well-known author or the other components (book description, title, cover) are not up to par. And even then anything over 2.99 is too much. I’m speaking from personal experience. I realized too late that the first book in my Stella Trilogy was too high and because I published through Lulu at the time, I have to re-submit blah blah blah to change it. So what happened is that the other two books did much better financially than the first. So, don’t be like me. Although $3.99 is not extremely too high, it is something I need to change, even possibly marking Book One in my series down to $.99 or even $1.99. Paperback books is a completely different subject matter and this is where you make your money at if you want to set high prices. Paperbacks are supposed to be more expensive because of the cost to print and so you can reap a nice profit from those print book sales. For eBooks however, though profit is to be made, it requires a little more strategy because of the competition. Like I said, marketing your book how you yourself buy books can come in handy, for instance:
When comparing your book to the pricing of others, consider that a big percentage of book sales are now going through sites such as BookBub, where free and .99c books are the norm. If a reader can buy a known top name author’s ebook for .99c or your ebook at $4.99 or more, what do you think they will do? – L. O’Bryan
What would you do? Exactly.