Sunday, February 5, 2012

Low Pricing: Does it Work?

Does pricing your book at a very low price work? The small independent press who publishes my romance novels, New Concepts Publishing, is doing its best to help author sell their books.  A few months ago, they informed me they would be reducing one of my earlier fantasy romances to the low price of $1.99 in an attempt to stimulate more sales and hopefully some new readers for my other books. Sometime this week I should get my statement for the last quarter of 2011 and be able to see if there was a bump in my sales for that book and if it translated to more sales for the rest of them.  Of course, I might not see it until the next statement since it takes a while to get sales numbers back from third party ebook retailers.

Maybe then I'll have an answer to the question I started this blog with instead of guessing, hoping and repeating what I've read elsewhere.  There are many authors who have posted on other blogs of the thousands of dollars they've made by self-publishing and pricing their books at prices well below those decided upon by the big NY literary companies.  I know there are numerous examples of those hard-working and well-deserving writers, but I'm also sure there are thousands more authors trying to follow their lead and still only making pennies.  How can I join the elite ranks of those bringing home a real pay check from their books?

It's not a secret or magic.  Word of mouth, or word by blog, or by reviews, is still the best way to let people know about and want your book.  But readers won't spread the word unless they like your book.  So the secret, the magic, is writing a good book.  A great book with memorable characters and an intriguing plot.  Then make it available for a reasonable price.
Available for $1.99

New Concepts set my book, One Good Woman, at $1.99.  OGW is the fourth book in The Chronicles of Solonia, a fantasy romance series.  This fourth book is the shortest of the series with only about 80,000 words so it makes sense to price it lower than the others.  Of course, I think it's a good book and it received excellent reviews.  It will make you laugh, cry and cheer for the young couple who rise above their damaged pasts and find the courage to face the future.

One Good Woman, written under my pen name, Susan Kelley, is available for Kindle and all other ebook retailers. 

Do you wonder how the price wars will turn out? Have you tried offering one of your books for free for a period of time? Did it work out? Have you ever found an author you liked by sampling some of their free work?


  1. My husband buys a lot of zombie books on our nook and he definitely only buys the cheaper ones because he buys so many. (Unless, of course, there is one that sounds just too cool not to buy.) :)

  2. Hi,

    Apologies for the off-topic comment, but I couldn't find a contact email for you.

    I recently put out an ebook of my writing, called The New Death and others. It's a collection of short pieces, mostly dark fantasy.

    I was wondering if you'd be interested in doing a review on your blog.

    If so, please email me: Let me know what file format is easiest for you, and I'll send you a free copy.

    You can download a sample from the ebook's page on Smashwords:

    I'm also happy to do interviews, guest posts, or giveaways. Just let me know what you'd prefer.


  3. I won't purchase an eBook over ten bucks, so anything under that is a good price to me. I think dropping the price to increase sales works for the most part.

  4. I really have no idea about all this pricing talk. Bodes well for someone planning to self publish her book soon though, doesn't it?

    Like Alex, I tend not to purchase ebooks over $10. Just seems wrong.

  5. Lately I've noticed a lot of ebooks priced at over $10 on Amazon. I usually try to buy paperbacks under $10. It doesn't make sense that they would charge that much for a book with no production costs.

  6. Ten dollars is the highest I'll pay. Problem is, I live in Europe and have to pay added tax on the price - for example, if your book is $1.99c I pay $3.99. I also think the best way to sell books is word of mouth (reviews, and blogs). You're right, get a good book out there!

  7. Yes, it will be interesting to see how things shake out in the next few years.

  8. I guess it's like anything else. If you can be the one to guess right, you will benefit. Meanwhile, I'll just keep writing the best stories I can.

  9. Overall, it seems that free right now is getting a lot more attention than the low prices of a couple years ago. Free is the new .99. Only Amazon limits when you can offer your books for free.

  10. A lead in book is a good idea. THe first book of my YA series is cheaper to entice people to start reading the whole series.

  11. Good luck with the new price for OGW.

    I've found two authors that I really like because they offered one of their ebooks for free and I took a chance on them. I went on to buy many of their back list titles and several of their new releases. All because of the initial free book. I probably wouldn't have found them otherwise. And I'm glad that I did.

    So that worked on me. And I'm already hooked on your stuff. I bet it'll work for your sales too.

  12. I'm not lucky enough to be able to engage in the conversation as I'm not published. (Aspiring) I do pay full price for authors I already know and love, but then again I do pay the lower prices to find new authors I might buy again. One such low price buy led me to buy a further two books by the same author. I suppose it depends on often people are reading or if they are just downloading the cheap books. I imagine it's all swings and roundabouts and we will never see the sense in it.

  13. I would definitely try out new authors if they offered a book at a low price (or free), and then if I enjoyed it, I would pay more for others they'd published. I've already done this with a couple of authors.