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One of my books used to be my best seller. Unlike my other 99-cent books, I priced it at $1.99 because it's longer and includes three stories instead of one. However, after reading some threads about pricing, I decided to drop the price to $.99. I figured if a few people bought it at $1.99, more would buy it for $.99, right? Wrong. Since dropping the price, I haven't sold a single copy.

I couldn't figure it out - it's the same book. I even added some more content to make it longer. Then it occurred to me; has the 99-cent price become a sign of a bad book? Were people more inclined to buy it because the higher price seemed to indicate higher quality? Is the Amazon Kindle Store so flooded with 99-cent books that now people are more reluctant to buy them because they think they're not as good?

I'm debating whether or not to raise the price again.
 

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I don't know. I've had the opposite experience so far. When my book was at $2.99, it was cricketsville, so I dropped the price to .99 cents and now it's been selling a lot more.

Personally, as a reader, I love the .99 cent books. Low risk and then I'm not mad if it sucks.

However, if your book was doing better at the higher price point, maybe that's where you need to be. A part of me suspects a lot of this is fairly random. Stupid unpredictable universe! *shakes fist*
 

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What's stopping you testing the waters: one month 99¢, the next $1.99?

I price based on length and/or the time it took me to write it.  There's no way I want to sell a novelette for more than 99¢; I don't care how good I think it might be.  By the same token, I don't want to price a novel that low.

Do some people skip a book because they assume it's no good if it's at 99¢?  I don't doubt it.  Will others refuse to buy an e-book for more than 99¢?  Probably!  I don't know where the balance lies.  Wiser people than me will have a better clue!  No doubt it depends on the genre as well as book-length and the strength of your reviews-so-far.  :)
 

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If you're worried that people think your prices are low because your quality is crap, just buy an expensive cover to show that you do value your work. Professional-looking covers show that this isn't just something you typed out in a week and hope to make a few dollars from.
 

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I looked at your bio page, and I feel that you're undercharging for your stories. I would consider raising some of those prices and including a short, spicy excerpt of each story (that isn't part of the Amazon sample) in the description.

Here is the pricing model that I follow for erotic works:

2200 or fewer words = .99
2200 - 2500 words = $1.99
2500 - 8k = $2.99
8k - 12k = $3.99
12k and up = $4.99

For collections of stories, I look at the word count of each story and price the collection at 70 percent of what they would cost individually. That means that I deviate from the above pricing somewhat. For instance, I have a themed collection that's probably around 12k words total, and I price it at $5.99. It sells reasonably well, considering the stories are in a pretty small niche.

I know some might think my pricing is a bit on the expensive side, but I have been playing around with it since September, and this is what works for me. The only negative side to my pricing is that I find my $1.99 stories not selling. Perhaps that bracket should be absorbed back into the 99 cent area.
 

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I believe there is what's called "the ghetto of the 99 cent ebook" and therefore most of my 24 titles are priced higher. I have two ebooks at 99 cents, one sold one copy this month, the other titled "Watching Paint Dry" has never sold a copy. My best seller "Sherlock Holmes and the Flying Machine"  markets for $3.99, as does my runner-up best seller "HEROIN God's Own Medicine."

Mr. Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords, states that $2.99 is the ideal Indie ebook price. Most of my ebooks are priced at $3.99 or $2.99, I have one at $4.99, and it sells reasonably well.

I suggest that the "best" pricing depends on your market. If the book is targeted towards low-budgeted readers, then price is supposedly more important. My impression is that the majority of purchasers are more interested in an ebook's content, than its price. I have a standing offer to gift an ebook of mine to anyone who wants to own it, and has a problem with buying it, and so far no one has taken me up on this. Amazon.com has a generous seven day return policy, and anyone who thinks they have paid more for an ebook than it is worth, can return it. How are your returns? Mine are running about 2% this month.

People may be accustomed to seeing your books for 99 cents, and when they see a price increase, expect something more for it. As a minimum I would increase the blurb, and add something to the content. I hope this info is helpful. Good luck!

 

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You changed the price and some of the content.  Did you do anything else differently at that time?  Did you change promotion strategies?  What content did you change--did you change the part that makes up the sample?  Does Amazon treat 99 cent books differently than $1.99?  (Meaning, did it fall in rank or placement just because the price changed?)  There could be other issues going on that affected sales.

Jodi
 

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I don't know about your particular book, although I'd go for $2.99 if you're raising prices to get into the 70% range. However, I admit I've never been able to get past my mother's voice in my mind saying, "You get what you pay for," and I rarely look at $.99 books unless someone calls my attention to one that's on sale from a higher price.
 

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I was recently the unwilling subject of a pricing experiment. In December, Amazon was pricematching my book to a cached Sony version that no longer existed. When the book was $0.99, it sold 25/day. I cleared up the pricing issue at the start of the month, and since Jan 3, the book has been $3.99. Since then, its average (Amazon US) sales have been 9/day.

Just one data point for one book, but in this case, the $0.99 price pulled in a lot more buyers than it scared off.
 

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Edward W. Robertson said:
I was recently the unwilling subject of a pricing experiment. In December, Amazon was pricematching my book to a cached Sony version that no longer existed. When the book was $0.99, it sold 25/day. I cleared up the pricing issue at the start of the month, and since Jan 3, the book has been $3.99. Since then, its average (Amazon US) sales have been 9/day.

Just one data point for one book, but in this case, the $0.99 price pulled in a lot more buyers than it scared off.
Out of curiosity, were you getting more money from the $3.99 or the $0.99 price point? Or was it about the same?

Jodi
 

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Jodi said:
Out of curiosity, were you getting more money from the $3.99 or the $0.99 price point? Or was it about the same?

Jodi
Since I was being pricematched, my royalty on the $0.99 sales was still 70%, so it was close. About $17.50 per day at $0.99 vs. $22.50 at $3.99. (Since 5%+ of my sales come from Australia and such at a 35% rate, I figure my average royalty on the $3.99 books is about $2.50 per sale.) That's close enough that, everything else being equal, I'd probably prefer the $0.99 sales, because I was getting three times as many new readers.

But if I wasn't being pricematched, and I was only getting 35% of each $0.99 sale, it would be $8.75/day vs. $22.50. Pretty steep drop.

And I wouldn't recommend trying to get pricematched down to $0.99 to retain the 70% royalty. After a few weeks of the book being pricematched, someone at Amazon sent me a letter saying it's against terms to offer a book for a lower price than you do at Amazon--and if I didn't knock it off, the book would be pulled off sale. I explained the situation, showed them the book wasn't even on Sony anymore, and they stopped pricematching me within 36 hours.
 

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Edward W. Robertson said:
Since I was being pricematched, my royalty on the $0.99 sales was still 70%, so it was close. (snips data)
Interesting. Thanks for the data points. I didn't realize that Amazon would keep the higher percent when it price matched. Sounds like that price matching makes a big difference in the decision to go with the $0.99 or a higher price.

Jodi
 

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I've noticed a big difference with my books.  The $0.99 price works much better for most of my titles.  When I bump up to $2.99 sales plummet for all but a few of my titles.  I have no idea who these people are?  I can only imagine the person who says, "I want this... but I'm not willing to spend the extra $2."  LOL.

The difference for my non-fiction (to give you an example) can be a sales rank of 80,000+ vs. ~20,000.  Depends on the title.  If I set it to $2.99 and lose my ranking, it can take a few weeks priced at $0.99 before it starts to climb back up.
 

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This dilemma has been bothering me. I have my book at .99 cents because it's my first one, and my logic was that, "Hey, I'll be excited if people read it." I just don't know if that's good logic, though. I also plan to write more books in the series, so at the very least, I will probably raise the price until later books come out, so that maybe they'll see only the first one is a deal.

I keep waffling back and forth.
 

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whatdanwrote said:
This dilemma has been bothering me. I have my book at .99 cents because it's my first one, and my logic was that, "Hey, I'll be excited if people read it." I just don't know if that's good logic, though. I also plan to write more books in the series, so at the very least, I will probably raise the price until later books come out, so that maybe they'll see only the first one is a deal.

I keep waffling back and forth.
My 7500 word short story debut is at $1.49.

The sequel is $0.99 for two weeks only, then it jumps to the regular $1.49 as the third one hits.

The same thing happens every two weeks all year.

The stories have no minimum length (well, 1000 words) and no maximum, but they are short fiction (no longer than a novella, for sure) . . .

I'll be thrilled if people read them. But that doesn't mean I am going to price them at the bottom price point permanently.

(As something worth noting, 3 of every 4 are in select and will be given away, and the shorts are considered to be loss leaders in that respect, paving way for the buncdles and collections, as wlel as the novels in the series.)

Everyone has a business plan. If $0.99 is working for people, they should use it. My business plan involves pricing my work at the point it is worth, and trying to drive buys by withholding from free parts of the series. It is predicated on the thought that people who enjoy the books will want to read all the stories . . .
 

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Philip B. Gottschalk said:
What's stopping you testing the waters: one month 99¢, the next $1.99?
Doesn't really work, because sales vary so much throughout the year. Proving that price made a difference is hard, because even if you leave it a year, if you released several more books in that year, that probably helped readers find the old ones.
 
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