Monday, August 1, 2011

Why Only Ninety-Nine Cents?

Before getting into the details of today's post, here's some info:
  • The Key of Kilenya is on Blog Tour!
  • July Sales for The Key of Kilenya are available for viewing.
Go here for more information on both of the above (including reviews from the Blog Tour).

Now, then. On to today's topic.

I've had a gazillion people ask why I'm selling The Key of Kilenya for only $0.99. The reason is simple: people (usually) aren't willing to spend more than $1.00 for an eBook they've never heard of, from an author they don't know.

Let's face it: people (usually) aren't willing to spend more than $3.00, $4.00, or $5.00 for an eBook from an author they know.

Why? Because it's not the physical book. Readers don't really "own" it, it can't be signed, and they can't proudly display it on their bookshelves.

We buy eBooks because we love reading. We find joy in the story, not the method in which it is delivered to us. We buy printed books because we're traditional and we love the feel of the pages, and for other nostalgic reasons. (Or because we can't afford an eReader yet. :-)).

A word of advice: Stop thinking about the royalties you would be getting if you sold your book at a higher price, relax, and let things naturally roll forward! :-)

The whole point of putting a book out at $0.99 is so more people will buy it. If you sell your book at $10.00, you might have 10 people download it. And they might tell their friends, but only a couple of friends will actually buy it at that price. Now, if you sell it for $1.00, you'll have many more people purchase it, and they'll tell their friends, and many of their friends will be willing to download the book for $1.00.

Eventually, your royalties from $1.00 will far exceed your royalties from $10.00. And it's exponential: more and more people will read and tell people and more and more will buy it. You'll reach far more readers than you would if you were selling the book at a higher price.

And isn't reaching readers the whole point of writing?

I'm not saying you should sell all of your books at $0.99. No - only your first book (or a book that is a good example of your writing) should be sold at this price. For the Kilenya Series, books two through six will be $2.99 each. By the time readers get to book two, they'll know if they like the story or not and if it's worth it to spend the $2.99.

I didn't make up this formula. It's been successfully used by many eBook authors, including Amanda Hocking and JA Konrath. (Many thanks to Jenni James for opening my eyes to this route!)

EBook publishing has to be different from traditional. Its strengths are different, and readers aren't getting the same thing.

I've seen far too many successful authors try to sell their eBooks at ridiculous prices, and I (like many others) am waiting for them to figure things out before I buy. :-)

Now then. How can we (yes - me, too!) sell more books if we're not writing? Andrea, and everyone else, get off the internet and get to your stories! :-)


  1. Haha! Very good points. About the pricing, and about the fact that we should GET WRITING!

  2. Hi Andrea! I'm a new follower who found through Jessie Humphries. I, too, received the Liebster from Jessie. It's wonderful to find new writer-bloggers. And you add a new perspective for me.

    I totally understand and agree with your logic for pricing your e-book at $0.99. It's a very smart marketing strategy.

    I'm not far enough along to go the e/self-pub route, but I love hearing more about it. I'm an older gal (47) and have balked at even buying an e-reader, but I know I will give in someday soon. It's where the industry is headed.

    I look forward to reading about your journey into electronic publishing.