After extensive study of far too many recommendations and analyses, plus examining what far too many Indie authors are actually doing when it comes to e-books, I’ve come up with a pricing strategy that I think works for me. Looking at the market overall and wanting to provide perceived value for money spent for the reader, I’ve come up with something that’s essentially based on story length, or length of the total fiction text in the volume.
It also incorporates a couple of thoughts I have and that I’ve slowly learned appear to be backed up by people who actually know what they’re talking about.
- Giving away your work for free is a short-term gimmick. If you get something for free, you tend to value it less. It also helps drive the expectation in some quarters that books should be free. Save this for one-off exciting moments.
- The lower price points – $0.99 to $2.99 should be generally reserved for shorter works or short-term sales.
- Math is relevant. You need to calculate royalty rates and make comparisons.
- Where is the book in a series?
- Don’t mess with the prices constantly.
- Genre matters.
Much has been written by many people about e-book pricing. I’m not really going to add to that discussion in any meaningful way and I don’t even vaguely have the experience to make recommendations to anyone else.
The point of this post is more that I’ve figured out something that makes sense and works for me. I’m not actually going to share what I’ve come up with as a set of price points, because those don’t matter if you’re looking to set your own and if you take a quick cruise through my listings on Amazon, it probably won’t be too hard to figure out.
Whether it’s the right gradation or not, it seems to fit nicely with what the market is actually doing, adjusted for what I’m looking at as the medium-term place I’d like to occupy in it. I plan to revisit the structure I’ve worked out in a year or so to see where I’m sitting then, but I probably won’t play with prices much in the meantime.
Stay safe and be well, everyone.by
by So one of our family goals this year was to de-clutter and clean up the house. All I can say there is that the year’s not over yet and we’ve made some progress.
But, in the process of things, I’ve been able to get a clear idea of how many books I have in the house. More importantly, how many books I have in the house that I haven’t read yet.
It’s a scary number.
You see, I used to work for a large book retailer. The last several years of that particular career were in a couple of different incarnations of an office environment, so there were a few freebies here and there, but mostly in the non-fiction vein. However, whether I worked in the office or the stores, I enjoyed a nice discount on books purchased new, and I took advantage of that.
I’ve also, at various points in my life, been a frequenter of used book stores, accumulating out of print genre books by favourite authors, discovering dozens of new authors, and picking up the occasional edition of one or more of the Lord of the Rings books (I have eight complete, plus one of the unauthorized Ace printings of Fellowship).
Since moving to this house in late 2002, I’ve done several book purges, sending some books to the local library, some to my children’s school library, and more than I like to think about to a used bookstore that didn’t deserve them (I’ve learned better since). It’s made a significant impact on the size of my personal library in my mind, if not my wife’s.
This is all background to lead up to the note that, if I count correctly, I have 317 books classifiable as Fantasy or Science Fiction that I have yet to read. Yes, really. They span decades, from the late 1960s to about 2010.
Knowing I have a lot of books I haven’t read never seems to stop me from picking up just one more when I see something I really like. I think it has slowed me down, but never stopped me.
When I left the retail book industry eleven years ago, I calculated that I had between five and six years of reading material available. Based on my reading speed in 2013, that number is closer to ten at the moment.
But brings up the problem of other changes in my reading habits. I have a hard time finding time to read paper anymore, having almost all at once switched to e-books. Electronic text is portable and convenient and I can read on my phone while waiting to pick up a child from school, standing in a particularly long line at the grocery store, or wherever I feel like it. Paper gets read in that last little bit of time before I turn out the light.
Consequently, paper books have become books to savour while e-books are to consume. Which is not to say I don’t enjoy reading both, but these days new physical books only come into the house if they fall into the first category.
Which makes me wonder how long it’s really going to take me to read those 317 books.
Or if I should even try.
I mostly read on a screen these days, and I don’t think I see that changing. I think that 317 number isn’t likely to shrink in my lifetime. Maybe electronic versions are in order for most of them.
Be well, everyone.by