Pricing: a marketing experiment

Well, I tried. I dropped everything from $4.99 and $5.99 (the longer book) to $2.99 for each. I felt a bit uneasy when I did; the early sales went, often enough, to friends and/or family. It’s kind of a betrayal in a sense, dropping the price after they bought. But it was a marketing effort, so I hoped they’d understand.

Guess what? The sales went down.

The consensus seems to be that $2.99 is the break-point; more than that and people won’t try an Indie author’s work, especially an unknown. That’s not what I’ve found. Lower prices don’t increase sales; instead, they may go down because people think a higher price means greater quality.

A few others have reported on their sales; the greatest influence is volume. If you’ve got a lot of books published, people have enough confidence to buy. Price, within limits, doesn’t really sell more books.

I’ll publish The Trek (Darwin’s World Series, Book 2) next week, probably around Wednesday or Thursday. By that time I’ll have the prices back to where they were.

Why the differential between the Wizards Trilogy and the Darwin’s World Series? Wizards books run to around 75 000 words, Darwin’s books to more than 100 000. I think that’s worth another buck.

Some have complained that they make less by publishing through Amazon instead of Smashwords; I published via D2D, another assembler who marketed to several publishers. I found it to be a bust. Almost all my sales have come through Amazon. Some complained about a lot of ‘returns’ involving books they published through Amazon, too; I had three early on, but after I explained in the blurb that ‘wizards’ didn’t mean magic guys with pointy hats but psi’s who use ESP etc, I’ve had no returns.

The biggest disappointment regarding Amazon publishing is the slow rate of reviews. So please: if you’ve read my books, a book, shucks, even the BLURB, write a review?

Anyway, such has been my experience. If you’re a writer or have a writer’s blog, let me know if you’d like to be featured here. No guarantee…I’ll only feature people if I like their writing…but I’ll look at your stuff.

I’ll probably not write another blog entry for a few days; I’m now in the final pre-publication frenzy that will end with the publication of The Trek, so I won’t post until that’s done.

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