It might have been pointed out by others, but I haven't seen the post if it was.
The two people most responsible for convincing authors to give away their work for 99 cents have been Amanda Hocking and John Locke. I just did a browse of their author pages. Most of John Locke's books are now selling for $2.99. Amanda Hocking still has a few 99 centers, but they're the oldest ones, the ones for which the market is pretty much saturated. The rest vary from $2.99 to $8.99. I'm sure the $8.99 books are the ones being sold by her publisher.
I just found it amusing that the people who convinced so many authors to drop their price to 99 cents have seen the light themselves and realized that they can make so much more money if they sell at $2.99 and above. The books by both authors would have been almost as popular at the higher prices and they would have done so much better financially. As authors, we write because we love to write, and the more money we make, the sooner we can quit the 9 to 5 and spend our work day at home doing what we love. For the erotic book authors, that means lots more time for research.
[i]It’s highly doubtful Hocking and Locke would have become known had they not priced at 99 cents to begin with. The low price was what convinced people to try out their works.[/i]
What sells books is people telling other people what a great book they found. If all it took was a low price, we wouldn't see so many people whining about poor sales.
I know I won't convince you, but it's the truth. Quality sells tons of books, cheap prices sell a few until people find out they were overpriced at 99 cents. Both Locke and Hocking are good authors who write interesting stories. They would have sold big at $2.99 when combined with the marketing they did. Hocking has said that she spent entire days on Facebook promoting her work. One of Locke's sons spent his days promoting his father's work on line. If you have someone promoting your work 8 hours a day, or if you do it yourself, and you have a quality product, it will sell without pricing it at 99 cents.
Yeah, things change all the time. The first few people who tried .99 (with books that readers liked) did very well. Then there was a rush of imitators, often with lower-quality work, and it didn't work so well. I remember reading a while back about why John Locke decided to raise his prices. Must have been over a year ago?
50 Shades of Grey started out free. Now it's 9.99. If it had started out at 9.99, it might not have done so well.
I think you have to match the price too to what you're selling. There's erotica that does very well at .99. I don't choose to sell that low, because I'm after a different nice. Why does Agent Provacateur lingerie sell for so much? Well, because it does. They tell you they're classy, and now everyone knows they're classy.There might be more money in cheesy erotica than in classy erotica, actually. I just find the classier stuff more satisfying.
Well, not all erotica offered at 2.99 sells at 2.99. Which I'm sure is true of any genre, any price point.
I try not to go under 10K words. What type of erotica you write matters too, though. The more common ones, like erotic romance, sell for a bit less. And you're judged a bit differently--the writing either 'works' for the reader or it doesn't, and that's somewhat dependent on writing quality, of course, but also on personal taste. I don't think that's exactly the same of other genres. I mean, I'm reading Hunger Games now and enjoying it quite a lot, but I wouldn't personally want to watch my children kill and be killed. Erotica hits a lot closer to home--or at least, that's what people expect.
If erotica inspires you though (as a writer! as a writer! lol), then why not try? There are good critique sites out there too, and erotica writers are very supportive and friendly, I find.
You definitely see a lot of awful junk in the erotica section, which looks like it was typed by drunken monkeys. But I don't think that sells. You can get too much of that free all over the web on unvetted sites.
I completely agree that starting out at .99 can get you noticed. My first book was priced at .99 cents. Once it really picked up, I changed the price to 2.99. I was closing in on the top 200 last week so I decided to do a 24 hour .99 cent sale and it got me all the way to #66 in the kindle store. I'm back in the mid 100's now, but still selling at 2.99. I think it's a great price to get your book noticed quicker. Still though, 2.99 is a heck of a deal for a book in my opinion. I sell my second novel for 3.99 and I think I'll sell all my future books at 3.99 as well. If I can ever get it written. Things like KDP and goodreads and facebook and blogs and email...who knew it took up so much writing time? And to whoever said they thought it was Thursday...I thought it was Wednesday, but signed July 10th on everything. I'm a month off!
“I completely agree that starting out at .99 can get you noticed. My first book was priced at .99 cents. Once it really picked up, I changed the price to 2.99.”
Did you do anything special to get it noticed? There are so many 99 cent books, how does one get noticed even at that low price?
I’m considering buying some ads but am unsure which would be the best sites. Did you buy any ads?
No I never bought any ads. I just had some really good luck. A few readers recommended my books back in March to some book bloggers who read them and blogged about them. Sales really picked up after that, but the book was still .99 for a couple of weeks. Once my rankings hit #1000, I upped them to 2.99.
My best advice is to really connect with your readers. I'm very active on my facebook and blog. i also do a lot of interaction through email and goodreads. Goodreads is the sh*t if you use it to your advantage. It's probably the best free marketing out there for an author. Especially if you sign up for a giveaway.