Hmmmm... the price for my novel is $6.99 on Kindle, which is a big discount from the $12.99 paperback.
But would I sell more if it were $4.99? Would I sell five times more if it were $1.99? When there's no actual cost to put the book in someone's hands, you can really set the price anywhere you think demand will meet supply.
There's a lower limit where reducing the price doesn't really help, of course. If I'm interested enough to start reading a book, I'm probably not more likely to buy it for $.99 than I would be for $1.99, and I'm not really much less likely to buu it at $4.99. (But then, I have a pretty good allowance.)
What's the price at which you would just jump in and press "buy" without really worrying about it?
On the other hand, you can read the first chapter free. At the point where you've read the first chapter and you want to keep reading, at what price above which you start thinking hard about whether you need this book, and below which you go, what the hell, gimme the words?
Now be honest, boys and girls...
There are so many good books I want to read for 0.99, why would I pay more? When I can't find something that interests me at that price, then I'll pay more. But what I've found is that the more expensive books are usually no better than the cheap ones.
9.99 will make me pause. 6.99 and below, I don't even think before hitting the buy button. (I'll usually still buy at 9.99, but I'll think about it more first.)
Under $5 falls into a 'not quite real money' category in my mind, and the only real differentiation within it is that <$1 becomes a 'why not' if it catches my interest and has decent reviews.
I don't know why, but in my mind, $2.99 is the price point at which thought kicks in. Under that, it's worth a risk. Over, and I start hemming and hawing (i.e., reading reviews, looking for specials, etc.)
For what it's worth, I've never taken advantage of the "read a sample" downloads. In bookstores, do people read the first chapter of a book before deciding to buy? I don't. I'm much more likely to make a decision based on the cover/jacket copy.
Since this is your first book of fiction you have several factors to weigh here:
- your goal should be to get as many people to read it as possible... not only for now, but for the future.
- By pricing it lower, you're affording them that opportunity to try it quickly and easily and still make approx. 35% royalty on their purchase. That's more than you'd make at a traditional publishing outfit.
I would look at the success of authors like Amanda Hocking and this gentleman:
We price all of our ebooks at 99¢ (but not the graphic novels) because we want to establish our brand and have repeat customers. Anyone can sell a book once, the trick is a repeat performance.
@Cunningham: I'm not looking to build a brand here. THE CIRCLE CAST was a passion project I worked on over the past 15 years. I've probably spent more time working on it than anything other piece of writing. Unless it hits, I don't know how I can afford to write another novel.
My take is that $4.99 and down is an impulse buy- but that $0.99 to free doesn't actually incent the person to read the book. I have a slew of free ebooks from Project Gutenberg that are just taking up space on my computer while I have read every one of the ebooks that have cost me more than $2.99.
If you want a lot of downloads to brag about then you give it free or only charge $0.99. If you want to maximize the downloads that are actually read, you charge $4.99.
I think that $2.99 is the sweet spot for the most sales/downloads and the most actually read. This is well into the impulse buy pricing but high enough to make the purchaser feel guilty if it sits unread.
Now, maximum profits may actually be at the $1.99 price point so if paying the bills is paramount, you might want to take that into consideration... just keep in mind that this also falls below the price point where it can sit unread without prying on the buyers conscience.
I think that it is 0.99 sells more, though it isn't necessarily read first, 2.99 is what softcovers used to be priced at, not too bad; 4.99 is about as much as I'd pay for an E-book, after that I might just as well as buy the real book.
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