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Thank you so much, Philip. What a helpful conversation you've got started over there. I'll be following it, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Very thoughtful, interesting, and surprising responses from readers on the following questions in my Reader Survey in the Writers Forum:

I am sure that it comes as no surprise to you that authors hotly debate the effect of price on a book's success. What are the determining factors that you consider when making a decision on a new author, be he or she a traditionally published author or an independent one.

1. Ranking in an Amazon bestsellers list.
2. Reviews, both good and bad.
3. Reviews by established reviewers of traditionally published books.
4. Paid for advertising.
5. Price.
6. Product Description (suggested by Claudia)
7. How do you normally find out about independently published authors?

In particular would you be more likely to buy a book from a relatively unknown independently published author with many good reviews and on amazon bestsellers lists for $2.99, higher than $2.99, lower than $2.99.

Do you consider the 99 cents price point to be a positive in your buying decision or a negative? Would you be more willing to purchase a book from the aforementioned unknown author for 99 cents or for $2.99.

Thank you, your response will help many of us (present company included) make some very important decisions.

Phil
[Note to Mods: I know the rule about not repeating things that go on in the Kindle Forums, but if you can indulge me this one time. There is a lot of good helpful information coming out of this survey that I would like to share with my fellow authors. Thank you, Phil]
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Summarizing and generalizing the responses received to date, it appears that buying decisions are made in the following steps:

1. You learned about this book by its reputation on the Amazon forums and other places, and by word of mouth (virtually, such as blogs, etc).
2. The book is in a genre that you like.
3. The product description is clearly written and draws you in.
4. You look at the book's balanced reviews (professional or otherwise), both good and bad.
5. You download the Sample first. If it draws you in and then you will want to read more.
6. Your price decision is usually under $5.00 ($2.99 seems to be a comfort level); 99 cents is not in and of itself a drawing point.
7. You consider Amazon rankings to have little influence in your buying decision.
8. You generally ignore paid advertising as having no value (except maybe to catch one's eye?).

Readers, I hope that you will add to this valuable information that your fellow readers have contributed to date. This it really helpful to us writers.

Thank you,

Phil
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Modwitch,

Excellent point; this is not a scientific survey by any means.  That siad, I think that eBook readers are a fairly sophisticated bunch and do rely the net for ideas (blogs, interviews, DCR, etc).

Unfortunately, unless we did a real double blind survey, we will never know how the non motivated buyer makes his decision.

Our work is cut out for us.

Phil
 
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All of this confirms what I've suspected--that readers are a diverse bunch who do not think & act & write like writers, and that writers assume that readers are just like them. Most of these elements don't drive buying decisions, but just asking the questions about them forces readers to offer a response to what the questioner thinks may be important.
 

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Fantastic stuff, Phil. Thank you SO much for sharing with us & for conducting the survey. Like others, I've bookmarked it and will be following. I wonder - should we tweet the link to get input from more authors? It's your show... just thought I'd throw that out there if you're looking for even more response. Thoughts?

 
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