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Posted: 2/20/2011 11:36 AM PST
Having just finished Warped Mirrors and left my review on Amazon, I decided to head here and see if anyone had left comments on what they thought of their purchase. Instead, I find some very interesting tips on pricing strategies... have to say Admiral, I hadn't thought about the things you mention in your post. I'll keep all that in mind when I eventually try self-publishing my own work.
And for anyone reading this, who 'hasn't' bought Warped Mirrors yet... Why not? It's the best thing I've bought/read on my Kindle in a long while.
Posted: 2/6/2011 10:12 AM PST
Good advice Admiral, and good to know about these strategies. Yes, there is indeed a lot more to all of this than meets the eye, I've discovered, thanks for all your input, it certainly has been a learning process, and as a result I might have to reconsider my own strategy; your comment about selling versus pricing makes me feel a lot better about that now that I see the sense in it all and that it doesn't mean that my (serious) work is being devalued as such. Hmmm. Thanks again.
Posted: 2/6/2011 8:41 AM PST
My original post had alot to do with selling more than pricing. The problem, or blessing, with kindle ebooks is that people look at them as impulse buys. People are more willing to take a chance on something that is $2.99 to .99 because that is not a lot. I think in regards of making money off your ebooks you are putting the cart before the horse. In my previous post I mentioned a lower price point getting you more noticed. Even listing something as free has it's advantages because Amazon has two best seller lists for kindle "Top 100 Paid" and "Top 100 Free." These best seller lists work different from the traditional "New York Times" list in that they are based on an algorithm and not on actual per volume sales. This means,in simplest terms, that if you get 500 people to download your free ebook in one day you will be an amazon best seller. Now you can use that in marketing your hard copy book for $9.99 at local bookstores and libraries. Also, at a lower price point, or even free Amazon would likely put you down below other like books in the "Customers who bought this also bought" list. Because that list is generated not by actual sales but by a program that links similar items. This is what these people are doing or are trying to do, and also why I said in my previous post that you would probably get more notice as a bargain book because you will not be competing with other authors from major publishing houses that already have a name or have a massive advertising campaign.
I just got about five free books on Amazon about a month ago because they put it on their front page. Hey they're free who doesn't pick up free books if they're lying on a table outside the library.
Posted: 2/5/2011 11:31 PM PST
Just a quick note further to what I have already said, anyone thinking of going Kindle should be aware of. I have been there some weeks now, and have a good feel for how it all works. I have been naive; that much is very clear. It is very apparent that most unknown authors are selling at 99c or $1.99. and they all self promote these ardently in the forums, all trying to get noticed in a vast sea of writers. Many well known authors there are also very, very low priced. There are (and I don't really get the point of this as it seems to me to be at the detriment of everyone except the reader downloading them) many, many free books too. I suppose that's all well and good and charitable if one can't afford to buy books, but still, at what cost to the writer who IS trying to sell their work? Perhaps earn their bread and butter? (And that's pretty much all we as unknown writers will make). Because of this, apparently, anything more expensive (or even at ANY price in the case of free) really doesn't get a look in, so if you are thinking about Kindle to make a fortune, or pay you decently for your hard work, I really wouldn't get your hopes up. Incidentally, the physical versions of many of these books are well over $10.00 in many cases. It begs the question therefore, if one should come off their high horse and lower the price for digital to compete with all of this - despite what one has said about that before! We'll see - I still don't feel right about doing that, even though I know perhaps I should be. What's better ... getting it off the ground, or have it sit on that proverbial shelf collecting dust and not being read at all ever?
However, as of today I have three books up now; the latest two are simply anthologies of stuff I had doing nothing and sitting around in my computer - edited and compiled into anthologies. I priced the first one at $2.99 and the 2nd (poetry) at 0.99c (as apparently prose is the least popular seller). I have done this as an experiment to see if I can attract more sales with a low price, maybe even induce people to come to my serious more expensive work at least for a sample; but I fear among that market, even at those prices, I will still be vying to get noticed - so no chance, in other words, if the price was any higher - like the price my debut novel remains at (rather naively). Even $2.99 on Kindle seems high to me now, judging by the oceans of 0.99c books and having looked around these last few weeks. Other authors say they are temporarily reducing their prices to 99c and $1.99 in an attempt to get people reading, and therefore hopefully get good reviews that will sell them better when the price goes back up - if indeed they ever actually do put it back up. In fact, every second post I read in Kindle's forums, is someone reducing their work to under a dollar, or indeed making it free. What chance is there therefore at selling at $9.99? $5.99 for that matter? The way to go, therefore, obviously, is still to try with an agent.
There are two sides of the coin (even though 99c is a penny short of a real one) I have read about one or two real success stories with 99c books, one woman apparently sold over 30,000 copies (that's good royalties) but I have read some really poor reviews on others; one man reviewing someone's work, said his students turn out better work and it was a waste of his money. Oh dear; no more sales for him I fear. I have also seen a lot of insinuation about poorly presented work, in terms of lack of editing, typos and spelling, bad grammar - the kind of errors that will not be found in any of my work, regardless of what I price it at. So I say, what do you expect for nothing or next to it when there is a sea of people who may never have had any kind of writing training and are free to publish whatever scribblings they like? A sea of people, which have always bogged down those with any inkling of talent - whether on Kindle, or in an agent's office. The only difference digitally is that it is easier to market yourself. I have therefore sent Warped Mirrors to the top reviewers on Kindle, a company that provides a competition, where they read your book, and if you win, promote it by a write up on Kindle and Barnes and Noble and other such companies. They also offer courses on ebook marketing. In the meantime, I am heavy on getting an agent, waiting to hear from a few now, because this artistic soul, like many, just wants to write and not to have to deal with the tedious business side of it all - but then, that was my resolve for 2011; to get an agent, and then not have to do much thinking about it in 2012. In the meantime I'll just keep plugging away, until something happens.
Posted: 1/19/2011 2:11 PM PST
Thank you Alinasvoice, I most definitely have been thinking about the price tag recently, but only in respect of, is the book actually worth the price because of all the low price books that can be found on Amazon?
I have arrived at my own conclusions as to why many people might lower the price for their work as a Kindle book - there is a lot of competition out there after all - and that's fine. But for me, personally, I have decided to stick to the price recommended for this size of book by Amazon, and yes, I agree that $9.99 is not too much to ask for the effort that went into it - and for that matter, ANY author's work who slaved to make it the best it can be. There are many books that are well over that price too - and not just well known names.
So I won't be joining those ranks of bargain sellers because of how I feel about my book's quality and because of what went into it's creation, but also because I feel that any financial return will only be minimally higher anyway. My personal goal for putting it up there in the first instance has not been about income, I am there because I want my work read, but I don't want to undersell myself in trying to entice a bigger audience; I would rather try and build a readership by my work's merit and have people feel that they had good value for money at its current price, than anything else, and hopefully, when reviews go up, by other's recommendation perhaps, as well as all of my work being supported by the other Kindles that I plan to add in the near future.
But that's just me. There will always be bargain books, lower prices on everything actually, and the attraction for many in doing this I guess, is to get more people to buy and therefore perhaps enjoy a higher return due to higher volume sales despite the lowered price, but for me, and not just out of respect for those people, like yourself, who have already bought my book, I will be happiest by valuing my work as I feel it should be valued, and not lowered simply to drive sales - even if that is to my detriment financially, as I said, it won't be the source of my main income.
Thank you for support, and for enjoying the book. I look forward to your review.
PS; Warped Mirrors is currently with a (Scottish) agent right now, and the good thing is that they read the submission letter and synopsis, and sent a personalised acknowledgment in receipt of it all, saying that the first 50 pages will (at least) be read - looks like I did something right to get it that far. No expectations though (yeah right!)
Posted: 1/19/2011 1:16 PM PST
Well, I've bought it, and will definitely leave feedback (once I get enough reading time to finish it!). I don't begrudge paying authors for all their hard work (I know what it takes to finish a book!) and this story is good enough to warrant a higher price tag IMHO. From the chapters I've already read, this is shaping-up into an intriguing and well-written story. I wish you well SP.
Posted: 1/16/2011 1:26 PM PST
Thanks for that AdmiralBuckles (what a great name) yeah, I think its a learning process, certainly, now that I have been going through Kindle and becoming more accustomed to it. The good thing is that you can chop and change, offer a sale price at some point if you like, even gift, by the looks of it, and revert back to the original price. I will hold off for now though, and see how it goes, there have been a number of sales, but I think once reviews go up, from what I understand it helps to encourage other people to download. I would say with the sample chapters, the first one is in a higher literary style, in setting it up, that then bows to the dialogue, the humour and the plot, taking a back seat if you like. Thanks for showing interest in it. Cheers.
Posted: 1/16/2011 10:12 AM PST
The book sounds interesting. I am downloading the sample now. If the book had been 5.99 or lower I would have bought it right away. You would probably get more exposure as a bargain book.
Posted: 1/14/2011 10:41 PM PST
Thank you for that jg, I found your insights and opinions on this book very helpful when a couple of Warped Mirrors chapters were on the Reality Challenge. Also, notably, those from Alinasvoice and Eddietol too, as well as those comments from others left on it in my private project, especially cjtopeka's and of course an innocent enough question from Wayahowl (who has read the book in its entirety) that actually inspired a great addition to the underlying storyline that I able to thread into that story; all helped a great deal in getting the book Kindle worthy, and am extremely grateful to you all for your help and encouragement. That's what it's all about. Thanks guys.
Posted: 1/14/2011 7:45 PM PST
Congrats SPMount! Having read your stuff, I don;t think the agent goal will pose too much of a problem. Good luck!
Posted: 1/14/2011 7:13 PM PST
Thank you Wayahowl, it is very sweet, and very supportive of you to do this, however, while a thrill for me personally, to have my work out there for the first time ever (and with sales too now, which is an even bigger thrill of course) having a Kindle book is no real, biggy; being available to most with a completed work. Notably though, they do now seem to monitor the quality, for a better experience, which is a good thing. Thanks for making mention of it though, but the announcement I'm looking forward to is the one where I will get picked up by an agent - something I have never really attempted to do, and in fact my goal for 2011 ... or die! Again, though thanks for the sentiment; I do appreciate your effort. :)
Posted: 1/14/2011 10:13 AM PST
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