This is a question that tortured me in the days prior to release of Shizzle, Inc – how to price it? I’ve read numerous blogs on the subject and shifted through the bestseller lists – prices were all over the place. Several blogs insisted that pricing your ebook too low would devalue it in the eyes of readers. Surely, that made sense, considering how expensive are all the famous authors’ Kindle editions – often just a few dollars cheaper than paper copies.
One blog in particular stuck with me, with the author insisting that pricing his (now bestselling) novel at $3.99 was the best idea he’d ever had. It stuck with me so much, that I’d released Shizzle, Inc at $3.99. I sold about a dozen copies, enough to get me on a Top 100 list in Humor. I was so ecstatic about it that I made it free for a weekend. Well over a hundred downloads. How exciting!
Then the sales dried up.
I then decided to lower the price to $2.99. No impact on the sales whatsoever.
I did a paid promo with eReader News at $0.99. Over 60 downloads! Woo-hoo! When I put it back at $2.99, there were a couple of purchases on that day.
Then – silence. Like, dead silence, with a week at a time with NO SALES.
I then did another promo, the disappointing one with Bargain Booksy, and in my malaise, sorta didn’t get to put it back to $2.99. It’s like I just could not face the Amazon page.
To my surprise, the sales did not stop, like all the previous times after giveaways. They kept on drip-drip-dripping in at a rate of 1-2 books per day. When you look at the “Units ordered” chart, the impact of the lower price is quite obvious:
On the left you can see the peak after the eReader News promo. You can then see that I had one sale (at $2.99) in the two weeks that followed. The bump up of 10 sales on 31 October is due to Bargain Booksy promo, and the slow but steady sales after that are due to my usual social media promos (I am now twitting 3 quotes per day), this blog, and the price being $0.99.
Of, course, the royalties of 35% on the $0.99 sales are nothing to write home about, but at this point it’s all about getting readers and getting motivation to keep on writing. So what that I came to this realization via the procrastination path? It’s still research…Therefore, here is my very strong opinion, based on a sample of one published book:
First-time self-published authors should price their ebooks at $0.99.
Feel free to rip into this with your own strong opinions 🙂