A quick update on Power of the Mages: it’s proceeding but slowly. Long story short, I had hoped my editor would suggest some minor revisions, I’d pick them up over the course of a month or two, and then I’d release the thing. Instead, she tore my manuscript to itty bitty shreds. Ouch!
I’m well into a full rewrite. The good news is that A) I’m making steady progress and B) I’m pretty darn pleased with the results thus far. I’ll let you know when I have a projected release date.
On the topic of self publishing, however, I do have some thoughts for you—How do you pick your price point?
No, seriously. I want to know. If you’ve self published, please comment on what price you chose, why you chose it, and any experience you had with that pricing or other price points you chose.
As a consumer who likes to support indie authors, here’s my thinking when I look at your book:
Free to $.99
Typically, I’ve found your book because I read a mention of it on a blog or you contacted me directly. My first step is to search your name on Amazon. If a single book comes up and it’s free or the minimum .99, I may not go any further.
Simply put, if you don’t value your work any higher than that, why should it be worth my time to read?
If we’re talking about the first novel in a series where you have a few more out, however, I’m quite forgiving of the low price. I understand that the book is intended to get me hooked on the rest of your products.
Note that I’m specifically discussing novels. I’m not in the market for novellas, etc. unless they’re intended solely as a free introduction to your series.
Since I know that this is the lowest you can price your book on Amazon and still get the 70% payment, I used to see this price as little better than the one I talked about above. I’ve found some good books for this price point, so I’m less skeptical now than I used to be.
If I had to choose between a $3 book and a $5 book, though, the extra $2 off wouldn’t make any difference to me.
$3 to $4.99
The upper end of this price range seems to be the sweet spot of me and where I plan to position my book. $5 is both low enough that I don’t think about forking it over and high enough that I don’t overly question the author’s competency.
$5 to $7.99
I start to get really skeptical in this price range. If you’re a big name author, I’m going to grimace a bit, but I’ll probably hand over my hard-earned dollars. If you’re indie, I’m probably not going to buy your book here.
Case in point: I recently read a recommendation for a self published book on a forum that I frequent. I searched the author’s name and downloaded a free novelette that encompassed the first quarter of his first novel. I read it and liked it. Then, I searched for the novel, intending to buy it.
Nope. I did not buy it. I will not buy it. I’m not even going to tell you the name of the author or the novel because I don’t have any desire to help promote it.
Look, I like indie partly because I intend to go that route. In a small way, helping other indie authors helps myself. That self help is tiny, however. It may never lead to a single sell.
The much larger reason that I like indie is that A) I know the author gets a bigger piece of the pie and B) I get a discounted book.
Frankly, if you’re not passing any savings along to me, screw you!
At this price point, you better pretty much be one of my favorite authors of all time or hope that I’m seriously needing reading material. Every year, I buy fewer and fewer books in this range.