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So What’s The Right Price For Your Book?

November 29, 2011 6 comments

It’s a raging war in some circles. Pricing, in general, has a lot of arguments, whether it’s for airfare, tickets to a sporting event, or selling a book. I’ve tried more than a few different prices myself, but I don’t claim to be an expert. John Locke believes it depends on the size of the market – he priced his Donovan Creed novels at $.99 each because he feels the volume will offset the lower price point. His instructional book about selling a million ebooks in five months he priced higher, since it had a smaller target market. Michael Hicks, a great science fiction / fantasy writer and a friend of mine, has his books priced higher since he found an optimal number to shoot for that balances sales with volume. Mike writes full time and has a family to support – I don’t blame him!

Other people feel the $.99 price point is low enough that anybody will risk a buck and, hopefully, they’ll like it enough to keep coming back for more. I admit I fell into this latter category with some of my books. In fact it was my hope to price the first book in each of my series at this point so I could get people in the door, then the quality of my work would keep them coming back for more. To a lesser degree it’s worked, but the remaining problem is exposure.

Even with a great cover, title, and blurb if nobody sees a book, they won’t buy it. So the trick, obviously, is to get it seen. There are a few ways to do this, but none of them are easy and guaranteed. Twitter has helped me out a lot and so has blogging, but those are just a couple of tools, not a key to success. The real trick is to get on an Amazon or Barnes and Noble best selling list, or at least sell enough to be listed beneath other similar books so people can have your book as an option. That takes time and sales though, something you’re starting out with little of.

If I had all the opportunities in the world I’d love to start off a new book with a horde of people ready to snatch it up, even if it’s only 20 or 30 (50 or 100 would be far better). That instant flux of sales would drive the book into the lists and make it available for others to see. Some reviews to post on it would help as well, of course. Between those two a book could possibly be launched into a successful happy place, and so long as the quality of the book is up there, it becomes successful. Maybe not retirement income successful, but it’s a start.

For me the right price turned out to be free. Yes, $0.00 on Amazon. I managed to give Wanted away and because of it, in 6 days I’ve “sold” over 14,00o copies of it. I haven’t made a dime off of them, but it’s spent the last 5 days occupying the #1 spot for free science fiction / adventure books on Amazon. I’m extraordinarily proud of that, even though it hasn’t fully sunk in yet. My other books are ramping up slowly, by and large, and selling more copies. The sequel to Wanted, Ice Princess, has taken off. It’s averaging 15 – 20 sales a day right now (at a $2.99 price), and has climbed steadily up onto 3 best selling lists. Five or six more of those and I’ll be able to start buying myself the really good coffee in the morning!

Mike Hicks, the guy I mentioned above, is doing something similar. The first book in his trilogy, “In Her Name: Empire” is free right now as well! This book is on the Amazon best selling science fiction / adventure list as well. We’re giving these away because we want the world to have a taste of what we have to offer. Why not give ’em a shot, you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.

So yes, in addition to this being an informative post meant to help writers, it’s also self-serving in that I’m hoping you’ll go and check out Wanted and download it to your Kindle, tablet, or Kindle app for PC (which happens to be free). And why not help a brother out, it’s not going to cost you anything, after all! It’s got some great reviews and people think the characters are outstanding.

 

Wanted, book 1, by Jason Halstead

Wanted, on Amazon

Wanted on Amazon UK (not free)

Wanted on Barnes and Noble (not free)

Wanted on Smashwords (free)

To learn more about Jason Halstead, visit his website to learn about him, his books, sign up for his newsletter, or check out some free samples of his books at http://www.booksbyjason.com.