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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just received a 4-star review (but it reads like a 5-star, which is both nice and frustrating), so now I've 5 reviews on amazon: two 5-star and three 4-star.

Sluggish sales make want to drop the price to $0.99. My question: should I do it now, or later (i.e., summer or fall/winter)? Or does it matter? I've more review copies out and expect more reviews soon.
 

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I'd wait. Pick your price, stay confident with it, and go to it.  You said yourself you have some more reviews coming, which is great.  Also, in the background of it all, are you writing the next book?  That's a very important part to the process - a bookshelf of your work. 

I can't speak too much on price, it gets its own thread almost every day, and it should, because it's a huge decision.  But for myself, as a reader, I don't look at the price.  I won't pay $10 or more for an ebook, but I won't shy away if someone's charging $5 or so.  I care about the cover, the description, and whether I'll like it or not.  That's where having more then one book comes into play... someone may not care for Book A but they may like Book B, etc.

Just my two cents.  ;)


-jb 8)
 
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I'm in the same boat, only without any reviews to claim. I'm actually thinking of dropping it to $0.99 when my next book comes out in a couple months. I wonder if I should do the free route instead. Not sure which is going to be better for sales.
 

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I'd ask how long have you had your book out? How much marketing have you put into the book (ads, blog tour etc)? Is it full-length--I'm assuming it is.  Are you a brand spanking newly published author?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Jim, thanks. I'm of the same mind as you--the price drop will be temporary. I'm just looking for some movement. And, honestly, I'm bored with few sales, I'd like some action!

Z.D.: me neither.

Beverley: good questions. The book came out on May 12, it's 100,000 words, I've done *no* marketing b/c I've been beavering away on the next book, and I'm hoping to have said next book (first of a series!) out two months from now. And I'm definitely a brand spanking new author, no previous publications or credits to my name.
 

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I'd say that if $3.99 hasn't been working so well, and you think you might try dropping it, there's not much point in waiting.  Sales of my novel only took off when I dropped it to .99 and I'm glad that I did.  I've since raised it back up to $2.99, but when it was at .99 I made it all the way up to #9 on the Amazon UK bestseller list.  I never would have done that with the higher price.  Now I have 25,000 people who read my first book and might be interested in my second, which is coming out soon.  One nice thing about KDP is that you can always change your mind and switch it again later...
 

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Keep in mind, however, that simply dropping to 99 cents is not a strategy in and of itself. The drop should be for a reason, and should be accompanied by some kind of marketing campaign so that readers will know the price has been dropped and be able to find it. It's all very fine and well to drop the price, but if nobody knows of the existence of the book, they sitll won't find it.
 

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I would wait. There is a hell of a difference between the royalties on a 99c book and a book at $3.99. Judging by your reviews you have a quality work and it would be a shame to give it away. July has been slow for a lot of us. Wait and see if things pick up over the coming months.
 

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I dropped my first novella from $2.99 to $0.99 during June to boost sales. Didn't work. Well, I guess in a way it did. Instead of 5 copies of that particular novella, I sold 10, but no extra reviews, and it didn't boost any of the others. All it did was mean I made less money. I don't think it's about the price point as long as you keep it under $5 or so. It's more about patience, a bit of promotion, and churning out more books.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Decisions, decisions! :)
 

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99 cents has never worked for me.  You have to be selling an unbelievable amount of books to make any money on that price.  When I've tried this price, going from 4.99 to 99 cents, I only doubled sales.  Need to sell like 10 times what I can sell at 4.99 for it to be a smart move.
 

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I put my book out for 2.99 initially near the end of April this year.  2 sold almost at once, then it fell to almost nothing and I decided to go to .99.  Still nothing.  I sold a total of 8 up to the end of June, with almost no marketing at all on my end other than a couple of posts on kindleboards.  Then I started participating here on a more regular basis in July.  Somewhere around the 8th of July I sold a couple books, and by the 28th I had sold 52 for July.  At that point I got my first review, which trashed the book and gave it 1 star.  Sales have tanked, but I have hopes that I might get a more positive review at some point.  I don't have any other reason to think of why my book began to sell, other than posting here and getting some "traction" by moving into the 20K to 35K sort of sales ranks. 

You have fabulous reviews and I suggest that by participating on kindleboards (in the various boards not just the Writer's Cafe) you will both learn a lot and probably get some sales without having to spend advertising dollars.  A .99 price will most likely get you a better sales rank faster and at that point raising the price should really boost revenue and hopefully not slow sales much. 
 

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Since $.99 doesn't give good royalties, I'd wait until you at least have another book or two out, and that way if your sales do increase because of the price drop, you have other books for readers to buy afterwards if they like the first one (and these can be $3.99 or whatever). I don't know that $.99 for the only book you have out will necessarily give you the sales to make it worth it. Just my 2 cents. I like to think of those uber-cheap books as loss leaders ...
 

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I'm new too (just published 2 weeks ago), and plan on, at some point lowering to .99 cents as well if I need a sales boost to see what happens, BUT I kind of agree with what some of the others said, that I'd wait until you have the second book came out then drop it, and also do some promotion to let people know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks everybody for your time, information and opinion (no Oxford comma, ha hah!). Thinking it through, I feel...

Best-case scenario: what happened to Ken when he dropped his price will also happen to me (thanks for the encouragement, Ken!)
Worst-case scenario: nothing happens.

The worst-case won't be that different from where I am now. And even if I've only a 0.01% chance of getting the best-case (I know, it's a new day, the market has changed since when Ken went $0.99, my book is not like his, etc), or even if I do get sales but only 1% of Ken's numbers--my head hurts, did I mention I hate math?--it's still worth a shot.

So, it seems like there's little downside to lowering to $0.99 at least for a little while, and a potential upside.

I'm hoping that with some good reviews, I might get a sale or two that I otherwise would not get if I had no reviews, or terrible reviews. Besides, going $0.99 beats spending a lot of time marketing right now, when really I want to focus my time on the next book.

Eff it. I'm doing it. Why not? I'm curious to see what happens. I'll report back if either a., something happens, or b., nothing happens!
 

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I think your best bet is to lower. As an unknown indie the first goal is getting exposure not trying to make the big bucks. Exposure is absolutely key. Even with all the good reviews unless you can get enough people to your Amazon page no one is going to read those reviews so they may as well not even be there. The best exposure in my opinion is review blogs and getting on as many other hot books in your genre's "also boughts" list. Fastest way to do that is lowering your price. You have to look at your first book  as your "try me" book. Readers will be more willing to try an unknown author for $.99 then risk spending more. Once enough people have read/liked your writing they'll be more willing to read your next books at a higher price. Just my .02 Good luck!!     
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks Elizabeth!
 
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If you are doing zero marketing and promotion, it doesn't matter what price you sell the book at. Nobody will know it exists. People fixate of the price, and then do nothing to actually develop a marketing strategy.

As an unknown indie the first goal is getting exposure not trying to make the big bucks.
This has been, and will always be, the WORST possible excuse for the 99 cent price. ALL AUTHORS are unknown to a portion of the buying public. A low price will not suddenly change that. There is no magical indie god that manifests dreams in the minds of the buying public that says "Lo! I place before you this tome of unspeakable value for only 99 cents! Get thee to Amazon and buy! Blessed are the Kindle owners that give this unknown author a chance, for they shall be fruitful and multiple their reading material."

What price do trads sell their new authors at? The same price they sell the established authors at, of course. They don't say "Gee, nobody has ever heard of this author. Maybe we should sell the book at 99 cents to get exposure for it." No, you go out and you make people know who you are. And you do that by

1. Identifying your target market
2. Setting a marketing budget (in both time and money) and developing a strategy
3. Going to where your target market is and introducing your brand (through ads, book reviews, interviews, giveaways, whever it takes)
4. Build value in your brand by getting involved in projects of interest to your target market. Get to conventions or book fairs. Write info releases for newspapers and magazines. Blog about your genre.
 
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