Contact Gordon Kirkland

Contact Me
Twitter: @kirklandatlarge

Monday, February 27, 2012

Pricing E-books For Fun And Profit

Melissa Foster recently wrote an excellent article about the various pricing options being used by independent author/publishers and the commercial publishers for e-books. (Read it here.)

I price my back list titles at $0.99. These are the four collections of humorous essays published between 2005 and 2009. They are priced this way to attract new readers to some of my older material, and to encourage them to purchase more of the newer material, which is priced at $2.99. I price my novels at $2.99 as well.

These price points seem to be working well for me. While the average independent author/publisher sells fewer than 100 copies of an e-book, I have sold thousands, and I have heard from a lot of new readers that wouldn't necessarily have found me if the price points had been higher. Many buy one book, then return for the rest of the ones available.

I will admit though, it was a bit of a gut wrenching decision to let books go for $0.99, but in the end, the quantity of sales and the new dedicated readers has made it worthwhile.

My first two books were published by commercial publishers. I have tried to regain the electronic rights to those books so that I might add them to my e-book catalogue, but in both cases was refused. They say that they will publish them as e-books "someday." One tells me they intend to set the price for the book at $14.99 (the paperback is $18.99.) When you consider that these books were originally published seven and thirteen years ago, their pricing seems out of wack.

In addition to this, my books are all available to Kindle Prime members through the Kindle Owners Lending Library. Participants are allowed to "borrow" one book per month from the library at no cost. Amazon pays me from a pool of money they set aside each month. That pool is divided equally by the authors in the pool based on their percentage of total number of books borrowed.

We are all still in a learning mode. We have to walk a fine line between what we hope to earn in royalties and what readers are willing to pay for our books. The most important thing is to put the best possible product forward, so that readers will return to buy more books whatever their price might be.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Gordon Kirkland At Large

Writings and Wramblings from the Wandering and Wondering Mind of Gordon Kirkland