Thursday, 26 May 2011

99c or $2.99. $2.99 or 99c. It's the Beatles or the Stones, Lampard or Gerrard of the ebook world.

Everyone's got an opinion, and a lot of people confuse their opinion with The One True Way. I think so much might depend on context that there isn't One True Way.

It's interesting though to read the argument for either side when it's well put, and I'll link to one or two as I come across them. John Rickards puts a good case here for $2.99.


  1. Great article. Pricing is a difficult one to peg. I put my wee short story collection out at 99c for two reasons - firstly, it was my first experience of e-books and I wanted to see how it would go and secondly, all but one of the stories had previously been available elsewhere. For now I'm happy to let it sit at that price.

    When I published 'Convictions', I priced it initially at $2.99. This seemed to me to be a fair price, and for all the reasons John stated in his piece on pricing.

    The thing is, especially when you're starting out and going it alone, getting noticed is incredibly difficult. Going on what I read from Joe Konrath and Al Guthrie - both of whom seem to me to know a thing or two about books, writing and publishing - 99c seems to be a place to get noticed and picked up. As Konrath says, at that price, it's an impulse buy. And as Al says, once you've sold enough to climb in the Kindle charts, Amazon will do a lot of your marketing for you.

    So I'm trying an experiment, something both of those gentlemen seem to advocate. I've dropped the price of 'Convictions' to 99c for the bank holiday weekend and I'll leave it there throughout June. After that I'll take a look at the figures and decide what to do next. Should be interesting to see what happens!

  2. That seems to be half the battle, doesn't it...getting Amazon's own recommendations engine to pop your book up in front of potential readers.

    Good luck with your experiment, and do let us know how it turns out.

    I've got Nowhere To Go priced at $2.99, although I think we might do a drop at some point to give it a boost. As you say (and as John argued), that feels like a fair price for eleven stories, 60-odd thousand words.

    I've also got a YA novel out under a (not very pseudonymous) pseudonym, and I've priced that at 99c from the start. Gives me something to compare, again as an experiment. 'Bout all we can do, isn't it, as there don't appear to be any dead certs.