Friday, April 6, 2012

Your Opinion On The 99cent Book

   People always match price to quality. In most things (furniture, TV's, computers, etc.) the most expensive thing is the best. When it comes to ebooks, books, and movies, people don't frequently associate price with quality, unless, you are an Indie author.

   I've had librarians say that I should be charging more for my book, because 99cents is too cheap, and means that my book is not very good from a consumer's eyes. Some readers won't dish out more than a few bucks on a brand new author, and especially an Indie one, if no significant books are associated with their name. Some authors would never price their book at 99cents either, because they feel that their work is worth more than such a cheap price.

   I charged my first book at 99cents with this thought: A reader can easily dish out 99cents for a book. When I have several titles to my name, that one 99cent book (or more if I keep charging this price) could be a "sample" or "look" into my style of writing. This would let them know if they would like to buy another book by me, even if it's a little more expensive, because they liked the first.

  What I really wanted to do was make my first book completely free, and then release subsequent books in the series for an actual price. Many people download free books when they have the chance, and word gets around that you have a free book. Then when people read it, they might buy another in the series, and who knows how many hundred might download the first in the series for free. The only problem is that there are ebook hoarders. These people gather as many ebooks for free as possible, and most of the time, never end up reading them.

   What do you think about the 99cent ebook price? Is it too low? Does that price turn you away from buying the ebook? Please leave a comment.

  Check out this post that Melissa Foster wrote for more details into this:


  1. I believe that people's thinking about 99 cent e-books is going to change once they start doing the math. Without the cost of paper, ink, shipping, etc, not to mention cuts for the publishing companies, they will see that authors can afford to charge less. The only real advantage in having a publishing house for an e-book is the publicity and marketing they can do for you, but I think that is going to change too. You are getting into the writing field at a good time Spencer!

  2. Exactly! Authors can afford to charge whatever they want, and an ebook doesn't require anything more than the device you own to read ebooks on. It certainly looks like I hopped in at the right time, with ebooks continuing to sell and become more and more popular. Thanks for the comment!

  3. I think at first the 99 cent price point was terrific because there weren't as many people doing it. But now the market is flooded with them. From what I've seen, this is an impulse buy which means the story might not always get read and sometimes it means the reviews aren't as nice. What put it into perspective for me was writing short stories to self publish. How could I charge 99 cents for a short story and 99 cents for a novel? When a novel required may more work and hours.

    I decided to go with 2.99 for my first novel. And then later, when I have the whole series out, drop the first one to 99 cents or free as a loss leader to introduce readers to my work. But as with most things self publishing, this is a personal decision!

    Can't wait to read The Impenetrable Spy! :)

  4. I understand what you mean. There are so many people pricing their books at 99cents now. And as I said, many people hoard ebooks and never read them. I'm glad you're excited to read it! Let me know what you think :)

  5. The 99 cent price is what had me reading your first book. You are right. It gave me a sample of your work and has me waiting for more from you. My first book was just made into an ebook on Amazon and I priced it at $4.99. I think that is a fair price since I had priced the paperback at $9.99
    I have downloaded many ebooks and work hard to read and review them all. I understand how easy it is to get caught up in the hoarding bit.

  6. You're right, $4.99 is a fair price. And I'm glad that the 99cent price convinced you into buying my book, that's what I hoped to accomplish at the price.