Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Great eBook Pricing Dilemma

I got $3 over here, do I hear $4?
Two years, when I started this great self-publishing escapade, I did my fair share of research regarding ebook pricing. When all was said and done, I settled on $2.99 for the price of my full-length novel. I thought it was the standard going rate and as an unknown, I didn't expect anyone to want to pay more than that. I rated my writing at $3. $3 for a full-length novel. $3 for something that, had I been traditionally published, would command a price upwards of $9.99.

At the time, it made sense. $2.99 was sort of the standard indie number. It seemed that the majority of titles from colleagues were being set at the same price point. I dabbled with free back when Select had the most benefit (early 2012) and even dipped for a while into the $0.99 waters, without much luck. Since then, I honestly hadn't given much thought to pricing my book. Now, with the coming release of my book's sequel, the argument had crept back into my mind:
Am I short-changing myself at $2.99? In short, I felt the answer was "Yes."

So, that's why I'm changing my pricing regimen. I'm taking that leap of faith and asking... for a whole dollar more. I know, it's risky. $4 seems like so much more than $3, but it really isn't. I figure if erotica writers can get away with selling 15 pages "stories" for $2.99, then I can sell a 70,000-word novel for $3.99 and not feel too guilty.

I think the self-published market is experiencing dynamic change. People are recognizing the fact that quality work is coming from independent authors. I think more and more of those authors are taking chances with their pricing schemes and finding success. I'm feeling more confident about my pricing decision. It allows me more flexibility in terms of discounting and better return in regard to royalty rates. Some folks have it broken down to exactly how much they'll charge for a number of words. <10,000 = $0.99; 10,000-40,000 = $1.99; >40,000-<70,000 = $2.99, etc. I'm not producing at a rate where I need to worry about that, but I understand the scheme.

What do you think? Do you have a scheme, or are you still winging the whole pricing thing?