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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just cant decided if i should go for .99 for lots of sales or 2.99 for a higher royalty but less sales?  At the end of the day I think the pricing should be for maximum financial return rather than to reflect my own perceived quality of my work (I realise not everyone will agree with that at all, but I really want to be able to write full time and so right now the financial implication is more key to me than my own valuation of the book).

Would really love to hear what others think. What they did. If it was the right thing. Whether it made more one way or the other?

Thanks in advance!
 

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It depends. How long is the book? What genre is it? Hard to say without more details. And let me add that a 99 cent price is no guarantee of "lots of sales." It's perfectly possible to price a book at 99 cents and still not move any copies to speak of.
 

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I say price it at one meeeelion dollars. That way you only have to sell one copy to be on easy street.

Seriously, though, I think there are a number of factors to consider -- length, genre, and so on. Then there's the whole question of whether you'll want to go "select."

If it's a full length novel (60,000 words or more), I think you'd be selling yourself short by pricing it at anything less than $2.99.
 

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MegHarris said:
It depends. How long is the book? What genre is it? Hard to say without more details. And let me add that a 99 cent price is no guarantee of "lots of sales." It's perfectly possible to price a book at 99 cents and still not move any copies to speak of.
This.

We need more details about your book before good advice can be offered. Just for the record, I priced my first book at 99 cents and it certainly did not achieve high sales. I quickly learned that pricing depends on many things. Cover, blurb, quality of writing and having a beginning that reaches out and grabs people as soon as they read your sample have much more to do with high sales than pricing low does.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ah! Its a Young Adult light teen romance novel, about 50k words at present, still not quite finished
 

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Pondering this issue for my own first book. Here's my thoughts on it (people with experience please correct me if you think I'm off):

I'll start with a low special introductory price of $0.99. If and when I sell enough, I'll increase the price. If I don't catch at $0.99, I would not have caught at $2.99. I view the first 1,000 sales at the reduced price (however long it takes to get there) as the cost of marketing: getting the book in the hands of an initial group of people. If they like it, maybe they'll tell others.

And what do I lose doing this? Not much. If I sell to the first 1,000 readers at $0.99, assuming every one of them would have bought it at $2.99 (really unlikely), I make $350 instead of $2,100. That's a maximum potential loss of $1,750--likely under $1,000. So, at the cost of a few hundred dollars, I got the book into the hands of hundreds of readers, giving the book a chance.

Giving away the book for free or cheap to 20% of your audience seems sensible. Of course, we never know how big our audience really is. So it's always a gamble. But if you think your audience is in the thousands, to me it makes sense to keep the price low until you get at least a few hundred to pick it up.

One issue to consider though: will your audience avoid the book because it's free or $0.99? I'm hearing this can happen. Looking at my own buying behavior, I've never not bought a book I was interested in because it was too cheap. But I'm sure it does happen. How often will it happen for my book? I worry about this a bit. But not much.

 

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.99 Cents.  After you sell your first thousand copies of that copy, consider bumping it to me $1.99. Build trust first with your readers, riches come later. Wish you the best! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the great advice.  I had thought that maybe if the first book was popular at .99 then the second could be more expensive and leave the first one at the cheap price?
 

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To me this pricing thing is a mystery. I first sold a long story for $1.99, then I lowered the price to $.99. I didn't see any increase in sales.

Randy
 

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Wish I knew!

I wasn't sure I could charge as much as a new author and only did 1.99 for my first which didn't net me very much considering the percentage of royalties. I think it's best to see what others in your genre and at your length are charging so you're similar. I know there was a rush of 99 cent ideas for long books (the Locke-ian Method), but I think there can also feel to be a backlash of "If it's 99 cents is it actually crappy?"
 

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I went with .99 for the first book in my series before going perma-free with it. I'm happy with what that strategy has done for my sales, but I've released 13 books in this series, with 6 more to come, so that may makes a difference.
 
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Quote:

"I'll start with a low special introductory price of $0.99."

Gosh! What was the introductory price of Gone With the Wind which was the first (and only) book by Margaret Mitchell?

Did the publisher practically give it away because it was a first book?

Ditto for Look Homeward, Angel which was first book by Thomas Wolfe
 

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Where are you in your writing career?  Do you have an existing fan base?  Do you have 5,000 likes on your Facebook and Twiter that did not come from follower/exchange trading?

There is no magic price you can set your book to for "best results"  If you are new, then I would recommend 99c and start building a fan base.  Once you get another book or two, then I would lower it to free to really get the mailing list going and make it up on sales of the follow up books.  Once you reach a comfortable following that you can leverage any future book on.  Then I would raise the price to match other books with maybe a $1 discount.

Of course all of this doesn't mean anything if luck strikes and everything takes off.  And the opposite could happen.  Even free isn't a guarantee that you will move books.  You need to plan an overall strategy.  99c might work by itself, but it will work a lot better in conjunction with a blog tour.  Free might work by itself, but it will work a lot better if you contact the promotional websites.  Other than price, what are you leveraging to make it a success?  Price is only one part of the strategy.
 

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Ben Mathew said:
If I don't catch at $0.99, I would not have caught at $2.99.
Not necessarily. I priced my book at $2.99 when it first came out and got a handful of sales every day. But I was curious about pricing as well and decided to experiment, so I upped my price to $4.99 and my sales doubled. Obviously I'm catching more at $4.99 than I ever did at $2.99. I think it has to do with what a previous poster said--that cheaper books can be perceived as crappy.
 

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kelleyrmartin said:
Not necessarily. I priced my book at $2.99 when it first came out and got a handful of sales every day. But I was curious about pricing as well and decided to experiment, so I upped my price to $4.99 and my sales doubled. Obviously I'm catching more at $4.99 than I ever did at $2.99. I think it has to do with what a previous poster said--that cheaper books can be perceived as crappy.
Yes, this does worry me. I'll have to experiment and find out.
 

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Okey Dokey said:
Quote:

"I'll start with a low special introductory price of $0.99."

Gosh! What was the introductory price of Gone With the Wind which was the first (and only) book by Margaret Mitchell?

Did the publisher practically give it away because it was a first book?

Ditto for Look Homeward, Angel which was first book by Thomas Wolfe
Good point. I actually do wonder why traditional publishers don't start new books by unknown authors at lower prices. Some possible explanations:

- A traditionally published first book is vetted by the traditional publishing system, and readers are more willing to take a chance.

- Those books are competing against a few dozen in that genre in the bookstore. We now compete against a few thousands at least in most sub-genres.

Regardless, if someone is not selling at $2.99, I don't think they lose anything by lowering the price to $0.99.
 
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