If first books were universally priced at 99¢, the only folks who’d lose are authors who won’t write or can’t sell a second book. I say, let’s set that expectation!
99¢ is a good price for a single “taster” book so folks can be sure if they like your books. If so, they’ll pay full boat for the others. If not, you don’t have a frustrated reader who feels ripped off, you just have someone who quietly goes away. Folks who pay $12 for a book they hated are far more vocal than folks who only paid 99¢.
Be clear with your readers that’s exactly what you’re doing. “This book is the taster sample. If you like it, here are 6 more!”
Everyone in traditional publishing mourns the loss of the gatekeepers. This is built-in thresholding. Don’t set the bar artificially from the outside, set the bar at “Do you want to write a book badly enough that you’re willing to sell it for 99¢ because you know you’ll be writing more?”
The common perception is that a low price is hard to raise. It’s just not true.
It’s hard to resell the same thing to the same buyer at a higher price, sure. That’s why we whine about the price of gas, like that’s gonna do any good.
But if I sell my book to you for 99¢, and in a year when I’ve finished 5 of them and am famous for being Chandler reborn, do you really believe I can’t set the price of that selfsame book anywhere I like, and sell copies all day long to new readers?
In fact, would those early readers not tell everyone they know “I knew him when he was 99¢, and he’s worth every penny of ten bucks, go buy the book” ?
Price is a number. Value is the outcome of a relationship.
My first book, The Commonsense Entrepreneur, has made the difference between a lifetime of struggle and successful entrepreneurship for more than one person.
Lifetime earnings of, let’s estimate, a million dollars. Measure of happiness and contentment from working for yourself instead of a soul-sucking corporation: priceless (meaning, oddly enough, “of such high value as to be incalculable.”)
… more … “Should Price Equal Value?”
You’ve seen 99¢ samples of toiletries in stores. For less than a buck you can know, unequivocally, whether it works for you. They make enough, and you’re out very little.
… more … “99¢ Samples Aren’t New”
Seems I started this last week, talking about digital book pricing. Since digital books have essentially no cost involved in delivery, the price is almost an abstract concept.
It’s often argued that a book priced at 99¢ looks like the author doesn’t value their own work (usually by authors who don’t want to sell their books for 99¢.)
In what context do “price” and “value” relate to each other? That’s the question I’ll be exploring in a bit of detail this week.
… more … “Who Says a $10 Book is Better Than a 99¢ Book?”
Smashwords did extensive research and discovered that, all other things being equal, the price that sells is $3.99.
A few thoughts:
- I don’t buy digital books. I don’t even download them free, or, well, when I do, I don’t bother to read them. I’m a book in my hands guy. So as a buyer, digital price is irrelevant.
- The market expects that digital books will cost less than print. For good or ill, we have to be aware of the expectation, and if we defy it, we have to manage it, not just ignore it.
… more … “5 Things I Believe About Pricing Your Digital Book”