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As an author with my first novel, Retirement Homes Are Murder, now available on Kindle, I stuggled with setting a price. What range of prices do you readers look for when purchasing mystery novels?

Mike Befeler
Author of Retirement Homes Are Murder
Coming in April, 2009: Living With Your Kids Is Murder
"It's hard to beat a team that includes a wisecracking old fart and a straight-talking young sprout, and Befeler's second geezer-lit entry delivers"-Kirkus Review
[email protected]
Blog: http://mikebefeler.blogspot.com
Web site: http://www.mikebefeler.com
 

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When I'm buying a mystery novel, price only comes into the equation when I'm looking at something by an author I've never read before, i.e., an unknown quantity. If it's someone new to me, price is a factor. I don't think I've ever purchased a hardcover book by a new-to-me writer, for example.

As an example, the first book (an ebook) I got by John Scalzi was free for several weeks and I got it then. Now I will buy pretty much anything he writes when it drops under the $9.99 price point.

It sounds like you are self-publishing. That's a tough row to hoe, since you have no advertising or support structure. Speaking for myself, I have so many things to read that I'm unlikely to give any unknown authors a try if the book is more than a dollar or two, and even then, it's got to have some word of mouth buzz (and a good sample section to download).

Mike
 

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As an author with 11 books on the Kindle, here's my suggestion:

$ 3.99, which Amazon will discount to $3.19. It's a fair price at any size and for any subject. And you can lower it if need be, but any higher and the reader loses the benefit of the free distribution and their not-so free investment in their reading device. And you lose the advantage of . . . a reader.

There, I've said it from my own experience. Hope that's helpful.

Edward C. Patterson
 

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I like what Ed said! Also, if you offer it for .99 for a week or two, you will get a bunch of new readers, and reviews!
 

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After reading some of the comments here, I thought I would give this idea a try. All four of my books have been reduced from $6.00 to $2.00 through 4/30/09 only. This means the price at Amazon will be $1.60 instead of $4.80, from whenever the change takes effect (Amazon states 12-72 hrs.) until Mayday. I shall post the cover links to this board as soon as I see the prices have changed. Thank you.

Plastic Ozone Daydream: The Corvette Chronicles (Nonfiction in a Fictional Style)

Ker-Splash!: Recreational Power Boaters Guide (Nonfiction in a Fictional Style)

The Last Horizon: Feminine Sexuality & The Class System (Nonfiction in a Fictional Style)

Timeline of America: Sound Bytes from the Consumer Culture (Nonfiction in a Fictional Style)
 

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Mike,

As a fellow author who recently published a book on Kindle, I was faced with the same problem. However, it was easy to settle on a price once I asked myself what was more important to me, money or readers. I like the idea of selling books at a very low price. However, the only downside to offering your book at a bargain price is that some readers have a negative view of bargain books. The best way to go is to introduce yoru kindle book at a bargain price to help gain a few new readers, then raise the price again when you feel the time is right.



 
 

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As I promised yesterday, my books are now $1.60 until 5/1/09. This is a ridiculously low price for nonfiction books containing so much research and entertainment value, so the $4.80 price will return after the week is over. Thank you.







 

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This is just a reminder that the $1.60 sale price on my books will return to the regular $4.80 next Friday. Amazon has also just today reduced the price of the print version of Timeline of America to $19.75, and I am not sure how long that price will hold. Thank you.

The Last Horizon: Feminine Sexuality & The Class System (Nonfiction in a Fictional Style)
Timeline of America: Sound Bytes from the Consumer Culture (Nonfiction in a Fictional Style)
Ker-Splash!: Recreational Power Boaters Guide (Nonfiction in a Fictional Style)
Plastic Ozone Daydream: The Corvette Chronicles (Nonfiction in a Fictional Style)
 
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