I have been noticing a pattern as I am perusing Amazon, and it has made me think about something I would like your opinion on. While I have chosen a lower-price-sells-more-books strategy for my own books and have been happy with the results, (I impulse buy all the time–books, Tic-Tacs–as seen on TV products at the registers) I have seen a rash of eBooks by relatively unknown self-published authors (Don’t hate you know I love you) that are weighing in with a pretty hefty price tag of 9.99 or more, even on their first book.
I have a mixture of thoughts on this. I understand that people work hard to produce their writing, covers, to market and what a stressful process it is to send your new baby out into the world and face the opinions of others. What I don’t get is how anyone can expect to sell enough books to get noticed in the first place if they make their book more expensive than the traditionally published books that actually have the big boy’s marketing efforts and advertising behind them.
I did a little experiment over the last couple of weeks. I singled out a couple of these authors and a couple others who published their books at the same time but charged a much lower price. What I have seen is pretty fascinating. Those with the lower priced books have gained in their Amazon ranking, have gotten more reviews. We can conclude from this that they have had some success selling more books. (I didn’t include anyone in this research project that has put their book up free for a promo during this time.) Those who are charging higher prices have since gone backward in ranking, and still have the same number of reviews that they did when I began scoping out their stats (how voyeuristic of me.)
I feel like the odds of getting someone to read my work when my book is at a lower price are much better than the odds of them picking it up for a higher price. I might buy a book for that much from an author who I am familiar with and has proven they can deliver, but rarely would I pay that much for a book from an unknown, except on rare occasions where I might have heard about them from someone I trust or followed a blog tour of their book.
I have no problem with an author believing in their own work. You have to if you are going to make it in this business and I get that. For me, I would rather sell A thousand copies at 1.99 than I would sell one at 10.99. I want to get my work out there to as many people as I possibly can and have them spread the word. If a lower price means I can do that, then that is fine with me. I don’t feel that it degrades my work at all to offer up something that is priced to move. What do you all think? How much is too much for a new author to charge for their book?