Friday, January 10, 2020

Talking Pricing Again

I've been noticing something lately.  The price point for new indie books seems to have risen again.  I'm seeing quite a few that are set at $6.99.   (In fact, the book I just finished that I got for free is now $6.99.  It was pretty good, but I would never have gotten it at that price.)

Six ninety-nine.

I mean, it's good margin if you can get that much for your books.  But are they actually getting that much?

I just looked at one that sounded really interesting in the FB marketing post.  Clicked over to Amazon... $6.99.  Nope.  Too rich for my blood.  And then I noticed it had no reviews and its ranking is in the 7 millions.  (I've never even seen a book in the 7 millions before.  Ugh.)  For a book published in 2018.  Sad.

So, the question in my mind is 'what is driving these indie authors to price their books so high?'

Okay, the first real question was 'am I pricing my books too low?'  It's an eternal question floating around my head.  The answer... I don't know.  A few years back a popular author told people on his blog that $2.99 books were all crap.  (Yeah, thanks for that, dude.)  All my books were $2.99 at the time.  Since then, I've raised several of them to $3.99 and a couple to $4.99.  But for me, the regular price doesn't really matter because I'm only actually moving books when they're on sale.

Now, back to the question of what's driving this.  I suspect part of it is a wish to make more per book - I mean, who doesn't want to make more per book? - and the belief people will actually buy their books at that higher price point.  I mean, if traditional books are $9.99, why not price your indie books at $6.99?  Surely people will see that your book is worth that.  The problem comes when people aren't actually buying books at the higher price point because the author is unknown to them, the ranking sucks, etc.  Which makes the rankings worse and... it's a vicious cycle.

Then the question comes around of 'if your books aren't selling at $6.99, why are you keeping them at $6.99?'  Or maybe that's just a question in my head and they aren't thinking about it.  :shrug:

Anyway, I'm just pondering things this morning.  I did feel bad for the guy.  Like I said, the story sounded really interesting.  I might've even taken the chance if it were $3.99 or $2.99, but I just can't afford to drop $6.99 for a new-to-me, underappreciated author.  Plus, I've been burned taking a chance on books that were 99c or free.  And every burn makes me less likely to take a chance again.  I'd love to be in a position to splash money around to all the indies I wanted, but I just can't.

What about you?  What are you willing to spend on a book?  What if it's an untried author? 


  1. I price my books based on size. Under 35K or sometimes the first in a series, $1.99. Over 35K, $2.99, and anything over 60K is $3.99-$4.99. The longer the book, the more it's gonna cost. Still puts me under most of the "publisher" priced books. Of course, my sales are tanked right now, but I think that's because I haven't put out anything new in...forever. I have a release coming mid-February (though through a publisher who will set the price) but I hope that brings new readers for my backlist. If I'd get off my butt motivated, I might even have a book ready to go the end of January. We'll see. But yeah, as to what I'm spending? The library is my friend at the moment--both the public and what's in my personal stash. Have a great weekend. Stay warm and dry.

    1. Grrr. My strike out HTML did work. Oh well. Parse between the lines. LOL

    2. What... 'off my butt motivated' is a thing, right? If it isn't, it should be. I need to get 'off my butt motivated', too. =0)

      Have a great weekend, too. I'm staying inside for the duration, so warm and dry here. :hugs:

  2. Hmmm. Maybe I should raise my prices. Sales can't get much worse. LOL!