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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm wondering if anyone has any wisdom they can offer me on the best pricing (and marketing) for literary fiction.

It seems that pricing affects different genres in different ways. Literary Fiction readers seem pickier to me... suspicious of low pricing, but I wonder what experiences people have had.

I'm pretty new at the Indie Publishing game.

 
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Literary fiction readers really are not concerned with price like genre readers. Look at the current Amazon bestseller list for literary fiction. The majority of books are $7.99-$12.99. The problem with reaching literary readers is not price. It is finding them. They don't shop like genre readers. Horror, sci fi, romance, fantasy fans...they tend to have active online communities and hunt down books. Literary readers are a lot more conservative. They don't "take chances" based on low price. They rely on third party reviews (not customer reviews on Amazon), media buzz, and word of mouth.

You need to look at more traditional marketing outlets to find these people. Advertising in literary magazines, for example, is a better option than buying banners at a Kindle Cheap Reads site. It costs more, but that is where the literary readers are. If you have an engaging personal story, you might try information releases with a strong human interest angle to send to newspaper "Books" editors. Women read more literary fiction than men, so also consider advertising on womencentric sites like Bellaonline.com (which was very high quality traffic when we first released Foot Ways, which is a literary spec fiction novella).
 

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Yes, Julie, thanks from me for that too.  I think the sales of my lone literary title will be in the double digits regardless of price.  Re advertising in literary magazines...  Julie, any suggestions on that? 
Thanks!
 

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I've seen too many authors go to extremes on this and get nowhere.

Firstly, the price. In my experience, it isn't true that lit fic readers are prepared to pay more than anyone else. They might if you're published by a big prestigious publisher, but not otherwise. An unknown indie author is an unknown indie author.

My first novel is the commercial end of lit fic. It did well at $2.99. Then I dared raise the price by a dollar. Over a few months the sales dropped right down. I put the price back to $2.99 (standard indie author price) and made a promotion effort and US sales went from 2 or 3 a day to over 20 a day.

I know authors who are selling at 99c and a much higher price and most of them aren't doing very well.

Re marketing, my advice would be don't promote it as lit fic. By all means tag it as that along with other things but try and think of other aspects of the book to describe it. In other words, it may be literary but try and think what's commercial (ie enticing) about the plot and the characters and the settings and tell people about that. 
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Really good advice, Ali. My book is definitely on the precipice between literary and commercial (meaning I think it will appeal to both types of reader) so pushing the enticing bits forward is something I can work on.

I'm interested in the fact that you mentioned that $2.99 is the standard Indie Author price. Do you have any other thoughts on this? Studies?

Also, you said you made a promotion effort. Do you mind me asking what that consisted of?

Thanks so much for all your help.
 
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journeymama said:
I'm interested in the fact that you mentioned that $2.99 is the standard Indie Author price. Do you have any other thoughts on this? Studies?
It's the "standard price" indies have convinced themselves they can sell at. It is more a self fullfilling prophesy. If you start selling at $2.99, and then raise the price, of COURSE you will get fewer sales because you have already conditioned the marketplace that your book is valued at $2.99. So then you go back to $2.99 and start selling again and think that is the "sweet spot" when it fact it is just reinforcing where you started.

The problem with a LOT of indies is they are completely dependent on Amazon for sales. They don't have a marketing plan beyond Amazon. And then they market to...other indies...who have also convinced THEMSELVES that $2.99 is the sweet spot. And then they swap marketing on each others blogs to audiences that have been conditioned to look for $2.99. You see where this is going?

As far as finding magazines, PW.org has a Literary Magazine Database. It is meant for writers looking for places to submit work, but obviously you can also use it to find places that accept advertising. IWWG.org's monthly newsletter always has info on small press periodicals, but you need to be a member of the organization to get it (I am a member and they are truely wonderful people who do good work). And don't forget your local library!
 
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