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I'm a newbie with a price-changing question. I started out at 99c, made a few sales, then was curious to see if I could sell at $1.59. I now want to put the price back to 99c, but am unsure if it will annoy/upset the people who bought at the higher price (OK, it was only 50c and there were only two of them) if they see it has gone back down to 99c?

Before I put the price back, what are other writers' experiences of this?
 

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This is great thread.

I’m also thinking of changing the price of my first three novels from $2.99 to $0.99 (but only for the summer).  

My question is how do I promote the price change (apart from my twitter, facebook, etc)?  Are there websites I need to contact?
 

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I raised the price of my two books to $2.99 and my ranking dropped drastically. So I've just dropped the price again to 99 cents. Things have picked up slighly.

The most important thing to do is get back to your writing. Sales are going to suffer with the Amazon deals and summer around the corner. ;)

 

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rsullivan9597 said:
I moved the first book in the Soldier of the Legion Series by Marshall Thomas to $0.99 and it that has been great for him. In May he sold more than 17,700 books (prices from $0.99 - $4.99). for the first 5 days of June he sold another 3,300+
And I think it was a good choice to lower his first book as an enticement. I really like your staggered pricing on the series.
 

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What we all have to remember is that pricing is a marketing tool. We did a blog post over at Write It Forward and Bob Mayer discusses it here somewhere on the boards.

We lead one book in a series at .99 and the rest are 2.99. Our sales of the 2.99 books are selling now just as well, but it took time to get us there. I think when you have more than one book it is a more effective tool.

 

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Yes, I think having the first book in a series at a low price, with  higher price for the following suggests 2 things : You don't want to devaluate your work, and want to sell it at a good pricve for both BUT you're willing to make an effort and sell the first part for low, as an enticement for the following. By the time the first book is finished, the reader WILL know if he wants to invest his time/money in the following books.
 

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TheSFReader said:
Yes, I think having the first book in a series at a low price, with higher price for the following suggests 2 things : You don't want to devaluate your work, and want to sell it at a good pricve for both BUT you're willing to make an effort and sell the first part for low, as an enticement for the following. By the time the first book is finished, the reader WILL know if he wants to invest his time/money in the following books.
Its interesting that you bring up the idea of devaluing. I don't think offering a book for .99 devalues it or the writer. I was just at a writer's conference where we were discussing this issue. Many authors feel that offering their work at such a low price devalues their time and energy. They book a year or so into the book. It is worth more. My point is that is worth more but you can't look at it as one book worth xyz because it took me a year to write. The question is how many books sold equal that price and sometimes we have to use promotional tools to get there. Price is just one of many.
 

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I've done the same back and forth 99cents/2.99 with Daughter of Time for all of May and it's back to 99 cents with Amazon's sunshine sale which hammered my rankings and sales.  It's only one of six, but as the lead-in to a series, if it's sales are high, so are the others.  Go figure :)

I thought about what it might mean to the people who paid 2.99, but what about all those people who bought the Hawk of May (a 30 year old book, mind you) that Sourcebooks was selling for $10 a week ago and is now 99 cents?  It's on sale.  People understand that.
 

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I've tended to leave my stuff at the 70% royalty rate for the most part.

Yes, you sell less because you charge more, but you also make far more per copy sold.

Additionally, I find people are more inclined to leave reviews and talk about your work as they've invested that bit more in you by paying a little more. Your book is less likely to end up at the back of a TBR list if you're asking more money as well.

Thus far this method has worked quite well for me. I sustain pretty good sales at Amazon UK and am earning quite a few bob in the process (over £2500 / $4000 last month). I now have a third book up as well which I'm hoping will take off at some point, as well as US versions of the two 'Life...' books in the pipeline for all you good folk in America :)

The 99 cent price point is obviously very tempting to increase sales and raise profile, but I think there's something to be said for playing the longer, more patient game, especially if you really believe in your book and have created a great cover and blurb to go with it.

Nick
 

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JenniHolbrook-Talty said:
Its interesting that you bring up the idea of devaluing.
Actually, while I brought it up, I personally don't think setting a book at such a low price is really "devaluing" it. "Devaluing it" would be to not exploit it to the maximum of its value (as set by the author).
However, as some people have found out, setting a higher price in some case improved the number of sales ... Which means that some customers perceive a lesser price as a lesser quality.

By setting it at such a price (and with that "staggered pricing strategy"), the author says : Here is one of my best books, buy it, I'm confident it'll attract you enough for you to buy the next books for what they're all worth.
 

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kathieshoop said:
Wow! I thought I did well with selling 1250 at .99! Here's hoping I hit the 17,000 mark real, real soon!
Katie, that 17,000 wasn't all on one book his breakdown was something like this:
  • Book 1: Soldier of the Legion $0.99 6,700
  • Book 2: March of th Legion $2.99 3,300
  • Book 3: Slave of the Legion $4.99 2,300
  • Book 4: Secret of the Legion $4.99 2,000
  • Book 5: Cross of the Legion $4.99 1,600
  • Book 6: Curse of the Legion $4.99 1,400
 

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I dropped all three book of my trilogy to 99 cents for the entire month of June. For August and September I will leave the first book of the trilogy at 99 cents and raise the price of the other two books back to $2.99 & $3.99. I definitely feel like Once the first book is read, readers won't be able to resist getting the second and third. I am also giving away a free ebook copy of book 1 of my trilogy (The Gifts) on smashwords one day a week. Today happens to be that day this week! :)
If you want a copy, go get it.... (CC: from my FB post earlier ::) )

ONE DAY ONLY!!! Get a ebook copy of Vol 1 of The Gifts: Trilogy (The Gifts) For FREE FREE FREE at: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/63812
Enter Coupon code: AQ53F The only thing that I ask, is that once you finish reading the book, LEAVE A REVIEW here on the FB fan page under the link reviews on the left, and leave a review on Smashwords please :) Happy June 6th!!!!

since dropping the price of all three books of my trilogy to 99 cents on JUNE 1st...I've sold about 18 books so far, which I think is really good considering I only sold about 25 books for the entire month of MAY at full price.
 

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Ruby Andrews said:
I'm a newbie with a price-changing question. I started out at 99c, made a few sales, then was curious to see if I could sell at $1.59. I now want to put the price back to 99c, but am unsure if it will annoy/upset the people who bought at the higher price (OK, it was only 50c and there were only two of them) if they see it has gone back down to 99c?

Before I put the price back, what are other writers' experiences of this?
I wouldn't worry about it. Unless the price change is dramatic (like several dollars we're talking), most people don't care. Readers are used to seeing things go up and down in price all the time, and some will wait to see if a book will return to its promotional pricing.

If someone gets upset over a $0.50 price difference, I'd think it'd be a reader you probably wouldn't want to have anyway. $0.50 in the scheme of a book that takes hundreds or thousands of hours to write and a similar amount of time to perfect is not even a consideration to me.
 

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I reduced my price to 99 cents and it didn't do a damn thing. That's because no one knows about it. I could've left it at 2.99 and had some giveaways and waited for some reviews, but now that it's at 99 cents, I plan to leave it there. After all, I'm a nobody, and no matter how good my writing, my characters, or my story, I'm still a nobody. Anything over 99 cents for an untested author, in my opinion, is a premium. Will I charge 2.99 for future releases? You bet! But I won't be a nobody by then.
 

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I did, for a controlled experiment. For gaining readers, 99c is marginally better than $2.99. For income, $2.99 is vastly superior.

$4.99 killed the sales of the same book. (We're talking about a book with distinguished track record, first published 20 years ago.) When the price was again reduced to $2.99, sales immediately resumed at higher than the 99c level.

This is insufficient evidence to conclude anything before a skeptical audience, but I'm out of advertising where we take decisions in the tens and hundreds of millions on less evidence, and risk careers on those decisions, so I conclude that there are people who think a 99c book is too cheap to be worth anything, others who won't risk $4.99 on a niche book that may or may not be for them, and a substantial number of others who will make a $2.99 impulse buy and then (adding in the evidence of the excellent reviews) be most pleasantly surprised to be drawn into a well-told tale they wouldn't otherwise have read.

There's a lot of experience building out there for the $2.99 price point.

Personally, I think the $2.99 price point is disparagingly low, if not quite the insult 99c is to writers. But the market is the market.

Currently both the books I have on the Kindle are at $2.99 and sales for June are running ahead of the aggregate Christmas level (when one of them was 99c and the other $2.99).
 
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