If a browser reads your sample and likes it, he’s going to buy it, right? Nope. You still have one big hurdle to clear — price. A few thoughts on the subject:
- Price isn’t necessarily the last thing the browser considers. It’s a factor that can lose you the sale at any point during the process. It might even be the first thing the potential buyer examines.
- Sometimes, setting price is about maximizing profit. Selling fewer books at a higher margin may bring you more money than selling a lot at a smaller margin.
- Sometimes, setting price is about exposure. In the long run, getting a sample of your work into the hands of as many people as possible may outweigh short term profit.
- A price point that is too low may indicate to the potential customer that your work is substandard.
- A price point that is too high may provide the potential customer with too little value.
- It used to be that setting a price of $.99 drove lots of sales. Changes in the way that Amazon calculates category rankings and a certain stigma attached to low-priced ebooks may have eliminated the advantages of this price point.
Since I discovered indie authors, my behavior towards book buying has changed:
- Unless the book is part of a series that I absolutely love, like the upcoming A Memory of Light or the latest in John Ringo’s Troy Rising series, I’m going to wait for the price to fall. I’m not going to pay $12.99 even for Brent Weeks’ latest book. I simply do not think I’ll enjoy it four times more than a recommended indie authors’ work.
- I can live with $7.99 for an established author or the continuation of a series that I’m reading. Even with a strong recommendation, I’m not going to pay that much to try someone new. Case in point – Terry Ervin recommended Angie Lofthouse’s Defenders of the Covenant, but it’s priced at $7.99. If the price drops, I’ll buy it, but I’m simply not willing to pay that much at the moment for someone I’ve never read.
- If a book even halfway sounds interesting, I won’t blink at paying $2.99.
My main takeaway from analyzing pricing is that an author should experiment. It’s so easy to change your price and see what happens. If you’re doing well at $2.99, does $3.99 hurt your bottom line? If not, increase it another dollar. If so, drop it back down.
Please feel free to share your experiences as either a buyer or a seller in the comments section. Look for the final part of this series summarizing my analysis next Monday.