Exactly 30 days ago, I changed the price of Charlotte Collins on ebook from $4.95 to $2.99.
According to J. A. Konrath, $2.99 is the current market value of ebooks. You can read all the facts and figures on his blog. Honestly, I didn’t believe him, and that’s why I conducted my 30-day experiment.
After crunching the numbers, I discovered that I would have to sell 40 percent more ebooks in order to break even. In October, when the price was $4.95, Charlotte Collins sold 64 Kindle editions, a number I was extremely proud of. That meant I needed to sell 90 ebooks at $2.99. Frankly, I didn’t think it was possible, but the results speak for themselves.
From November 8 to December 7, Charlotte Collins sold 157 Kindle editions. That’s more than double my sales number from October.
Since I lowered my price, I’ve had surprising feedback from some readers. They accused me of devaluing my work. Well, as far as I’m concerned, the worth of my work is equal to what I earn for it. If you look back at Konrath’s numbers, you’ll see the staggeringly awful percentages that traditional authors earn from their books. Here’s a summary:
- 8 percent of the cover price on mass market paperbacks
- 6 percent of the cover price on trade paperbacks
- 10-15 percent of the cover price on hardcover (based on sales numbers)
- 25 percent of net sales receipts on ebook
I’ll let you extrapolate the data on the paper copies, but let’s say that my ebook was traditionally published and priced at $9.99. With Amazon’s 70 percent royalty agreement, the publisher gets $7. The author gets 25 percent of that or a whopping $1.75. At $2.99, Charlotte Collins earns me about $2.09 per book. My price may be three times less than a traditionally published book, but I’m earning 20 percent more per book. So I’m not devaluing my work at all.
What makes me the most happy about the whole situation is that I have offered Charlotte Collins for sale at a very affordable price, which is important to me. I am a new author. I have no draw. I had no online platform or presence until August. It would be unfair of me to expect people to pay such inflated prices on an unknown author for an ebook, a product that is so clearly less expensive to produce than a paper book. (In fact, I think it’s unfair to ask anyone to pay those prices on almost any author.) The low price benefits my readers in that they don’t have to break the bank to read a book, and it benefits me because my sales numbers have improved.
So, lowering the price of my novel has been a win-win. And the price will not be going up on Charlotte Collins now or in the foreseeable future.