2.04.2014

Welcome to Did I Price That Right?

Sometimes pricing our work would be easier if we could simply reach up toward the sky and chant some little incantation like, "Dollar sign, cent symbol of ease. Tell me what this ebook should be priced at please." If anyone actually tries this and it works, circle back to me :-)

In reality, pricing takes a great number of things to consider. For example, when I first released Neverlove, I priced it at $2.99. I was a newbie in the industry and didn't want to price it too high. The amount invested for the cover alone could have warranted an initial price of $3.99. Not to mention the time invested in producing a very professional product that could stand toe-to-toe with a traditionally published book (multiple rewrites/revisions, editing, and formatting). Then I heard about the first-in-series strategy. With this option, the author prices the intro book as free or as a 99cent bargain then prices the rest of the series higher. This is dependent, of course, on readers enjoying the first book then wanting and willing to pay more for the next books in the series.

But...

Does this hurt or help? To some readers, setting the price at 99cents may be a detriment because it then falls into the ever-growing pit of 99centers. Also, quality is often linked to price. Being 99cents may be a deterrent instead of the lure to give me a try as a new author.

The price debate is ongoing. $2.99 is referred to as the sweet spot in more instances, $3.99 in others. So what are your thoughts on the higher/lower price = higher/lower quality of the product?

*** I'm still in the process of figuring out if this is working for me. I lowered Neverlove to 99cents and am pricing upward in one dollar increments. Time and a bit of effort will tell the tale. ***

18 comments:

  1. I think anywhere from $2.99 to 5.99 is a good starting point. When you have several books, letting one go for cheap or free is a good idea.

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  2. I think you know where I stand - first book free, then go up. Backworlds 1 is free, the 2nd is 1.99 then i went up to 2.99, now 3.99 will be where the books are priced.

    For The Rifters, first book will be free, then the 2nd book will be either 2.99 or 3.99 with the goal of getting to 3.99 books. I'll probably go to 3.99.

    The book that doesn't sell so much, I upped it to 2.99 to make a little money. When I write the sequel, I will most likely drop it to free.

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  3. My first book began at $3.99, then I lowered it to $2.99 when the second book came out. Then I made the second book $3.99. I think I keep going in increments like that. I'm just not really prepared to put my first book free or nearly free quite yet.

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  4. You mean that incantation doesn't work for you! ;)

    I think $2.99 and $3.99 pricing points do work, even for the first book in a series. That way, you can run sales on that first book from time to time. Now, if the entire series is out, then that's can be more incentive to lower the price of book one to lure people to the series. Having book one out for free or $0.99 when there aren't any other books out in the series might not help in the long run because if people do read it, then they are more likely to forget about it if book two isn't already out.

    They say price-pulsing works well too by keeping a book at one price for a while and then changing it here and there. It can help you find the sweet spot for pricing your book by trying different things.

    For The Fate Challenges, I plan to price book one at $2.99, book two at $2.99 or $3.99, and book three at $3.99 or $4.99. I am toying with the idea of putting book one for cheaper once the trilogy is complete, but I haven't decided one way or the other yet.

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  5. It must be so hard weighing options. I know Talli Roland posted about what worked and didn't work for her way back. Good thing a lot of self-pubbed authors are weighing in above!

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  6. These are the kind of posts that are helpful. I still have a hard time thinking in terms of buying an e book. A hard copy book that I can put on my shelf seems like the better investment. Paying more than $3.99 for digital space in my computer or a reader seems less tangible and therefore less of an investment. $1.99 or .99 seems like a better deal.

    I like the approach the M.Pax describes.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  7. It's so difficult to tell. I like $2.99, and I also think having the first book of a series free works well. I'll be able to better tell later this year when I have a full novel to publish!

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  8. I think $2.99 works well too.

    www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

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  9. I'm still waiting for that incantation to work. :) The increment pricing seems like the best way to go for series. I throw my hands up in the air trying to figure out what works with standalones.

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  10. This dilemma was floating around the back of my mind when I clicked on your blog post. So glad I visited today.
    Thank you for sharing your views on pricing and to everyone for giving me food for thought for my own ebooks.

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  11. My book is $3.99, but I invested a ton of money on illustrations. I think $2.99 or $3.99 is good, because there's a perceived value if the product isn't free or less than a dollar. (If you want to run occasional promotions at a lower price, it will help generate interest.)

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  12. Needless to say, I'm pretty useless at this. After all, I don't have any experience with setting prices.

    But I'm paying attention, since I might have to do so one day.

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  13. I don't have the answer, but the question is fascinating! I'm interested in what others have to say.

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  14. I do $2.99 for the first book in a series, and $3.99 for subsequent titles. Anything else is (temporary) promotional pricing, for me:)

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  15. I also think that the more you publish, the more flexible your pricing can be. I'm a long way from making those types of decisions, but it's a good idea to start planning ahead.

    Julie

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  16. Good luck to you and your endeavours.

    Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

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  17. I go around and around with this in my head too. As a writer, I think that 99 cents is pretty cheap. But as a reader, I'm more likely to buy book two in a series if it's 99 cents. Though I will spend the 2.99 if I really, really liked the first book.

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  18. $2.99 seems to be a good starting price.

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