I know Amazon is the dominant bookseller, but should one make all of their publishing decisions (price, content, cover etc) and particular in regards to price, based on what Amazon does? I just read an article about amazon's algorithm giving less wt to 99 cents prices. The first reaction is a knee jerk idea to raise prices to $1.99 or higher. But then I see sales getting better at other places for my 99cent titles, so It's like what to do? Will people be witting to pay 2 or 3 dollars for a short story? It would be nice if Amazon's algorithm only targeted books over a 75 kb size. But I think its sweeps up shorter works right along.
I don't do any $0.99 its $2.99 or nothing. And I don't know how much amazon make's on a 99 cent sale. But they must make 63 cents and that adds up with a few hundred thousand sales. And I can see why amazon would give less wt to the 99 centers, if you want to sell for that, then you must not think it's worth more. And it proble isn't.
@gldrummond, that blog may be right. The thing is, how do you get these people that sell for 99 cents to raise their price, most of them just want their book to be read. My books are being edited, then I'll go to 5.99 or something like that.
I don't think people Want to sell for 99 cents. I think it's fear that's what the market will bear, especially for short fiction. Two years ago the 99cent idea was very much trumpeted as is the FREE idea is today. And obviously 1 35cents is better than 0 or maybe a sale.in a lot of people's eyes.
[i]The thing is, how do you get these people that sell for 99 cents to raise their price, most of them just want their book to be read. My books are being edited, then I'll go to 5.99 or something like that.[/i]
You can't force people to change their prices. Amazon set a minimum price of 99 cents for all books, and then started matching the price from other sites where the book was offered for less. I thought the policy of matching below 99 cents was DUMB, and have told Amazon that on multiple occasions. From what I hear, they've finally stopped matching below 99 cents. About time.
Anyway, there are all kinds of laws and marketing considerations in TELLING people or companies what they can charge. We just have to be content with knowing that the 99 centers will eventually disappear. They always do. Of course, there will be a whole new batch of fools to take their place, but that can't be helped. Maybe, just maybe, some of these writers (they're not authors by my definition) will eventually see the fallacy of their pricing structure.
I've been around here for a long time, and I've seen the cheap books people come and go. You can't stop the flow, so just sit back and enjoy the show. They'll give up soon enough.
additional: I forgot to mention that I recently overhead a conversation where a woman was telling another that she had finally put her book, the one she had worked on for six years, up on Amazon, but that it wasn't selling. When the second woman asked how it was priced, and the first woman said 99 cents, the second woman started laughing hysterically. I wonder how many friends and relatives of the 99 cent crowd are laughing hysterically.
I (pretty much) never price below $2.99, only write short stories (5000 to 8000 typically) or concise micro-niche non-fiction (12000 to 20000 typically) and I manage to make about $2500 a month.
So no, you don't ever need to sell at $0.99
I do have two short-stories at $0.99 but only because they finished significantly below 5000 words.... I think one is 3500 and the other 4000. Crappers basically.
I would have felt guilty selling those two at $2.99.... BUT..... I would probably be making more money with them at the higher price.
When I see a novel at 99 cents all I can really think is "mug". Who would spend months and months writing the book that they have always wanted to write, another month proofreading and editing it, possibly with the help of friends, then making a cover, writing the blurb, formatting.....
..... only to give it away for 35 cents in royalty?
I typically give more than that to homeless beggers. If a homeless begger told me that he had a kindle book for sale at $2.99 i'd buy that instead.
$0.99 is the equivalent to sitting next to a cash machine with a plastic cup asking for spare change, in my opinion.
$2.99 is the equivalent of renting a very small street stall selling gloves and cheap umbrellas to passers by.
$4.99 is a little like making small pieces of pretty handcrafted jewelry and selling them at a craft fair.
I have a story out at .99--but it's short. Actually, it's two short stories, but even together, they must be under 4000 words. That's a .99 center to me. A novel? No. A .99 novel to me screams "I have no confidence!"
Granted, some books just aren't very good--have never been critiqued or read by another person prior to publication, haven't been proofread, haven't been properly formatted, etc. But I don't think those should be sold at all. (Yes, I know Amazon can't stop them. It's a very abstract wish.) Wouldn't matter if they were .99 or 1.99 or 5.99 or free or any other price--I don't want to read those books. That kind of writing is for blogs, not for the marketplace (IMO).
If you worked hard on your book and on the craft of writing, if you treated your manuscript with the respect it deserves, then you should have the confidence to sell it for what it's worth.
No disagreement on raising the price, but just adding a note that I've purchased mp3s on Amazon for 69-79-89-99 cents, as well as $1.29.
Personally, I've always based price on word count 'tiers'.
My current pricing is $1.49 for works with 3k or less words--not that I have many that short. $1.99 for 3k to 7500 words, and so on upwards. I don't like 99c (mainly because that price point has [b][i]never[/i][/b] worked for me, regardless of word count).
I'm attempting a pricing survey right now. With only 11 respondents so far, $3.99 is the leader for novel length works of 70k. $2.99 comes in second, with $4.99 and $5.99 tying for third.
Of course, I'm hoping to have a lot more respondents.