Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Business of Writing: Pricing Strategies for Older E-books #ASMSG #MFRWOrg

Pre-decimal till, Museum of Liverpool.
Photo by Reptonix; free Creative Commons
license via Wikimedia Commons.
Welcome to the third and final installment of my series about book pricing on The Maze!

If you need to catch up, I covered print book pricing in part 1. In part 2, my article about e-book launch pricing, I cautioned against succumbing to the temptation of setting an e-book’s price in perpetuity, unless you’re making the title permafree.

The same caution applies to older titles, perhaps even more so, for several reasons.
  1. Lowering a book’s price periodically is a good way to entice new readers to try your work. This technique is especially helpful if you run regular Amazon giveaways to build your audience there. Everyone who follows your Amazon author profile will receive an email notification whenever you have dropped the price on one of your titles, which comes in handy to give your featured book a ranking boost prior to its scheduled advertising promotion such as BookBub. Success tends to breed success, and you cannot take advantage of this marketing principle if you never change your book’s price.
  2. Amazon has begun changing their comparative pricing policy on all products. For books, this means that they will eventually stop comparing your title’s print and Kindle edition pricing on the book’s product page. In other words, once they have completed this policy switch, you will no longer see your book’s print price crossed out, with its Kindle edition price underneath, to urge customers to buy the digital edition.
  3. If you don’t drop your book’s price at other retail sites such as Nook Press and Kobo, you won’t be able to avail yourself of Amazon’s price matching feature. Seeing the regular digital price crossed out with the price-matched value in bold print underneath can be a powerful sales incentive for many customers, especially those who are already predisposed to purchase your work. Everyone likes to believe that they are getting a great deal, and this technique is an effective way to create that impression.
  4. Even setting a permanent $0.99 price for your book may hurt your sales in the long run. Unless you’re planning to offer it free from time to time, you won’t be able to run a 99-cent promotion on BookBub due to their rule that no book will be considered if it has been offered at the submitted deal price for more than fourteen days out of the past ninety.

If you’re looking to do something drastic to breathe new life into an older title, especially if you have invested in a new cover and have overhauled the text, you cannot get more drastic than unpublishing it on all platforms, and then relaunching it a few months later. I have seen some authors take this action, though I have no insight on how their books’ sales fared after relaunch.

The key takeaway is that you are given tremendous power with your vendor account to steer your book’s retail career, and you will be well advised to take full advantage of this power everywhere you release your book for sale.


I'm running a giveaway for an e-copy of Snow in July!
To enter, click HERE.

MailChimp subscribers to The Dawnflier receive exclusive giveaway opportunities.
Subscribe today
so you don't miss out!


All this month, you are invited to…

— Follow Kim on Twitter
— Follow Kim on Pinterest
— Subscribe to Kim's YouTube channel
— Leave a comment on any page of The Maze, especially if you have done the Twitter, Pinterest, and/or YouTube follow<

… and each action this month is good for one chance to win a copy of any of Kim's e-books.

Please enter often, and good luck!


Scribble a note on the wall of the Maze so you can find your way out again... ;-)