Day 23 – Pricing

Having control over the price of books is a big reason I prefer indie publishing. Because I get to keep the majority of my royalties, I can price my books lower than most publishers, giving me an advantage. It also allows me to put my work on sale or even free. Or raise the price. Whatever works.

I like the freedom of that.

When it comes to pricing my novels, you’ll see that the majority of them are priced at $3.99. There are a few simple reasons for that.

Because of the way most online retailers stagger their royalty rates, I have to price my books over $2.99 in order to get a 70% cut of the sale price. Anything less than that and I only get 35%.

So why not $2.99, if that’s the cut off? I did some tests early on with some of my books and found that the sales difference between the prices of $3-$4 was negligible. If I’m going to make an extra $0.70 per sale without a dip in volume, I would be stupid not to go with the higher price.

What about $5? I do see a drop off in sales when I go up another buck. It’s been a few years since I ran this little experiment, so the numbers would probably be different now, but I had somewhere around a 25% drop in sales when I hit $5. I do intend to revisit the $5 (or higher) price in the near future with a new book. I’m sure I’ll blog about it.

These prices only apply to full-length novels. I price novellas at $2.99. Short stories at $0.99.

Series are a different animal too. Right now, the first books in my series are permanently free, but that’s going to change soon. Free doesn’t work as well in the long term as it used to. I’m going to cycle those books from $0.99 through $3.99, with ads running on them, to see what works best.

I also have a few box sets out that are $6.99-$7.99, just to give me visibility in the higher price brackets. Once I have six books out in one series, I’m going to tinker around with creating a ‘series’ out of the sets, to see if running sales on the first ‘book’ with give a big push to the second. We’ll find out.

All this works well with the length of my work. If I was writing 700 page novels, I’d definitely price them higher. That’s too much work to sell for cheap. The problem would be making up for the lack of volume. That’s a nut I’ll work on cracking at some point.

Today, I worked through 6690 words in the second draft of Decayed, which puts me about a quarter of the way through it.

See ya tomorrow.

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