This definitely falls under the Skidding in Sideways category. When I was challenged to self-publish and sell 1,000 copies, I had no idea how to go about it. I just waded in, doing my best to choose the right printer for the paperback and then formatting my book according to their guidelines. Then, I realized I needed an ebook. You can read my major ebook revelation on this blog. I learned all about ebook formatting and subsequently uploaded the Kindle edition.
Then came the pricing question.
Pricing the paperback was fairly obvious. CreateSpace, my printer, has a handy little program that tells you how much the book costs to print and how much Amazon or other distributors take as their cut. Then, I looked at the other books in the Austen sequel market, which were all priced in a fairly tight range. So I priced my book high enough not to owe money on each purchase but also on the low end of my fellow Austen-sequelers.
Pricing the ebook has been more difficult. Originally, I based my price on fellow Austen sequels, but the range was enormous: $.99 to $9.99! What is one to make of that? I just shot for the middle. As I did more research, I realized that many of these ebooks are suffering from inflated prices in an attempt to drive readers back to paperbacks. I don’t want anything to do with that.
While I certainly can’t complain about my ebook sales, I’m now considering an experiment in pricing. What is the market determined price for ebooks? There are lots of opinions out there and probably the optimum price point varies by book, but here’s the thing: I’ll never know if I don’t experiment.
So today I dropped the price of my ebook–on both Amazon (although it takes up to 24 hours for the change to be made there) and Smashwords–to what seems to be a proven price given current market conditions: $2.99. Will it be worth it? I have no idea. Will I lose money? I hope not. Will I make more sales? I hope so.
In any case, I’m looking at this as a learning experience and an experiment in economics. I’ll keep you updated on the results.