I’ve been doing the indie ebook dance since December 2010. During this time I’ve tried different price points, searching for that elusive sweet spot. You might sell a ton of copies at the bare minimum price of $.99, but if you don’t sell a ton of copies, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. Not only is $.99 the minimum price, you also receive a lower profit per sale. I started with the traditional sweet spot price point advocated by JA Konrath (http://www.jakonrath.com/) of $2.99, but found my sales plummeted when I didn’t promote 24/7. I gave in to temptation and dropped my prices to $.99, hoping I would capture a ton of readers, and then word of mouth would propel my sales. Instead of my sales taking off, they stagnated at the lowest possible price point.
Only a few months into my indie publishing career I found myself at a fork in the road. I considered the unthinkable, giving away the novels I’d labored over for years. But then I came to my senses. My novels have gotten a great response from my limited number of readers, garnering comparisons to King, Barker and Gifune. Before making my novels available to the public, I edited them to the highest possible standards. Faced with the dilemma of fighting the slurry of crap novels churned out by a public seeking to become the next Amanda Hocking, I decided to take a stand. I realized, damn it, that my work is good, my storylines tight, my characters compelling. My covers are sharp (thanks to Kealan at http://ebookcoverdesign.org/). Formatting hasn’t been a problem. Everything about my novels speaks of quality. For the odd reader who hasn’t appreciated my stories, they’ve all professed to my writing ability.
So, I decided, why fight the crap? Why not show confidence in my storytelling ability?
Starting now, my novels are set at $3.95, and will be for the foreseeable future. That price is still a steal compared to traditional publishing, but it elevates my work above the mire. I’ve read a number of excellent $.99 novels, including my most recent read, SEED by Ania Ahlborn http://www.aniaahlborn.com/. But there is also a whole lot of cheap novels not worthy of public consumption.
I don’t know what will happen at the new price point, but I plan on leaving my pricing alone. I have so many projects on the horizon that I can’t afford to worry about novels I wrote years ago.
I’m currently working on a collaborative novel with Charles Colyott http://www.facebook.com/charles.colyott. It’s a unique take on the zombie mythos, and we’re both excited to see where both the storyline and collaboration takes us.
I also have an upcoming deadline for a new novella that a publisher has requested.
I can smell autumn in the air. It’s a good time to spin some dark tales.