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View Full Version : Best Price Point for Debut Novel Promotion



mbuhmann
05-20-2015, 05:18 PM
I am planning a big promotion for my debut novel this weekend and was wondering what the best way of handling it should be. Should I give the book away in hopes people will leave reviews/ratings, or should I charge $.99 or $1.99? I know through Amazon the royalties are only 35% on $.99/$1.99 books, but I also am in the position that I need to get my name out there. What have your experiences been?

WriterBN
05-20-2015, 07:51 PM
Pricing is an individual decision, but definitely don't make your book free if it's the only one you've published. $1.99 seems to be the dead zone, so you're probably better off at either $0.99 or $2.99.

I'd suggest comparing your book to others in your genre and pricing accordingly. If you're enrolled in Kindle Select, you can do a Countdown promotion to kick things off, but make sure to advertise it heavily on reputable sites like BookBub, ENT, etc.

mbuhmann
05-20-2015, 09:33 PM
Thank you for the insight. I've heard $1.99 is sort of a dead zone for books (really strange, if you ask me), but I think I'll do $.99 over the weekend. I really need to get my name and book out there, and I don't think $2.99 at this stage is a steep enough discount to get people to take a chance. While I think my book is good enough I also understand people's reservations.

Pestilence
06-12-2015, 04:51 PM
You either go very cheap, or higher than mid. It's a strange thing in marketing when it comes to perceived value... most people just don't want to know about the "middle" (here, $1.99) option. Strange, but true.

The higher the cost, the higher the perceived value and quality, too, which is something to consider. You may be well served to get the book initially available with a higher price, and out to reviewers. If the reviews are very good, then it'll take care of itself.

I'm going to be arguing relentlessly with myself about this in the coming months, too, when I've completed my first collection (provided no publisher picks it up!).

mbuhmann
06-12-2015, 05:56 PM
I ultimately went with $3.99 since the word count was under 100k. If I do a book over 100k I'll put the price at $4.99. The reason I elected to do this is because I don't want to devalue the work. Too often these days people either give stuff away for free or sell it dirt cheap.

I blame Apple and the App Store for this, with so many apps coming out for next to nothing. This has instilled a sense that products, regardless of quality, should cost next to nothing. Lower price-points are fine for promotion or older product, but I don't think it's fair to expect the person who worked tirelessly to practically give their work away. I'd much rather pay a little more for something to support the artist, developer, writer, etc. so long as the quality is good.

WriterBN
06-12-2015, 07:01 PM
I ultimately went with $3.99 since the word count was under 100k. If I do a book over 100k I'll put the price at $4.99. The reason I elected to do this is because I don't want to devalue the work. Too often these days people either give stuff away for free or sell it dirt cheap.

I think $3.99 is certainly reasonable for a book that length.


I blame Apple and the App Store for this, with so many apps coming out for next to nothing.

I think the glut of free (self-published) books is more to blame. It created a race to the bottom, and there's no turning back now.

Ravioli
06-12-2015, 08:18 PM
Wondering the same. 490 pages and trimming, but what to ask? Even at $6, I get a minus displayed in royalties and I don't feel confident enough to go 2 digit.

Old Hack
06-13-2015, 11:22 AM
It might be helpful if people specified what format they're pricing. For example, Naeim, are you talking about a print edition or a digital one? Because the costings are different, and so the results aren't the same.

Ravioli
06-13-2015, 02:11 PM
I guess digital for the beginning, as I want to price it humbly enough on one hand so that people buy it at all, but on the other hand high enough to make a bit of profit.
Though print would also be lovely.

oceansoul
06-13-2015, 04:08 PM
Question -- when you self-publish via amazon, do you have any ability to edit the page show that it shows a price listed as a reduction off RRP? You see this on lots of book pages, where it shows the regular price at 10 or something, then a slash, showing the discount to 6.

I sell lots and lots of books (other people's, sadly not mine yet!) and the one thing that buyers really can't resist is a discount. I've found this to be almost universally true -- that even if you have two comparable titles and one is RRP 15 and the other is RRP 10, if the 15 is discounted and on offer for 12, they'll buy that one because it's a 'deal' even though the other title is cheaper.

If you can take advantage of that via amazon, I would!

WriterBN
06-14-2015, 01:49 AM
Question -- when you self-publish via amazon, do you have any ability to edit the page show that it shows a price listed as a reduction off RRP? You see this on lots of book pages, where it shows the regular price at 10 or something, then a slash, showing the discount to 6.

No, Amazon doesn't give you the ability to edit anything apart from your book description, title, and cover. If they price match your book to another retailer that lists it at a lower price, they'll show a discounted price (your list price will be struck through and the discount price will be listed next to it).

If you have both a print and Kindle edition, they'll show a "pseudo-discount": Paperback $9.99, Kindle $2.99, You Save $7.00.

JasonS
06-18-2015, 01:13 PM
Don't discount the value of the "pseudo-discount". It costs very little to publish on Create Space. If you do it right you have the costs of back cover and spine, but you don't even have to do that. They will publish a book with the back and spine empty.

You might need to have someone format it, but their templates are pretty easy to work with. So in fact you can publish on Create Space for zero extra cost. If you publish on Create Space they will set the minimum but you can go quit a bit higher and price right along with the big names so you will have a large comparison.

CathleenT
06-25-2015, 08:39 AM
I wouldn't publish on CreateSpace trying to do the cover cheap. From what I've read, cover and editing are the two things you're supposed to spend money on.

I did my CreateSpace cover by myself, BUT I've got a background in art and design, and it was a family memoir. We sold the expected copies to family members and didn't expect any more. For a commercial book, I'd hire a cover artist.

BradCarsten
08-02-2015, 09:10 PM
Question -- when you self-publish via amazon, do you have any ability to edit the page show that it shows a price listed as a reduction off RRP? You see this on lots of book pages, where it shows the regular price at 10 or something, then a slash, showing the discount to 6.
!

Only if you sign up for KDP select.
So you give Amazon exclusive rights to your book for 90 days, and then you can discount it for 5 days out of every 90, so long as the price hasn't changed for 30 prior to the discount, and won't change for 14 days after.
If you then run a kindle countdown deal, it will display with the old price crossed out.
Nice thing with this is that you will get 70% royalty even if you discount it to $0.99.

patrickwong
08-12-2015, 11:01 PM
BTW - I like your cover!

There's a beta feature in the KDP book setup pages (its on the 2nd page) called "KDP Pricing Support (Beta)". This supposedly does analysis and compares your book against other similar books for sale at Amazon on a graph.

You can pick any price from the dropdown list and see where it falls on the graph, and on the right margin it will show the impact of the change (% of sales change, and % of author earnings)

LSMay
09-03-2015, 10:26 AM
My debut is at $2.99. While I might be drawing in more readers at 99c, I'm not willing to go there (permanently) while it's my only book out. $2.99 gives me room to discount for a countdown promotion, as well.