What is the opinion of this Board...are people really going to pay $2.99 for short stories? It appears that amazon is moving away from the 99 cents authors. I think we are showing up much less in the "algorithm." So would pricing higher move one in front of more eyes? I have about 20 titles (short stories) on all of the 3 major sites. My core sales are about 8 titles. Many don't sell a lick. Some that were selling are not selling now. I average 3 sales a day (sometimes more) I sure don't want to go back to 3 sales a month like I had when I got started.
But then again maybe one shouldn't worry about all of this. Just write and hope the winds of serendipity blow your way. I've stopped setting sales goals. My next step is to stop looking altogether. Looks like I'll need a 12 step program for that phase.
I've gone up to $3.99, because I think it still sounds super cheap for a 50,000 words book.
On the flip side, how many contemporary authors do you think the average reader knows well? I think if the cover is cool and the blurb is great, it shouldn't matter to a reader if I up the price even more....
These prices do seem a bit high to me for unknown or lesser-known authors. The problem is, from everything I've read, it seems that the reading public has begun to equate lower-priced books with low quality, so this has been driving the price of self-published books higher. Plus the stumbling block of the Amazon 65% cut for prices below $2.99.
Yesterday I was checking out a popular novelist who has just published some single short stories (average 15,000 words) and priced them at $2.99 (or her publisher did). Each one had reviews that went along these lines. This is not a direct quote.
[i]This item is overpriced for a 15-page story. If you purchased 3 stories at this price, you'd spend $8.97 for 50 pages, about a half-hour of reading time. You can purchase her most recent novel which is 289 pages for $12.99. The cost of her short stories is 69% of the novel's price but you get only 17% as much content.[/i]
I'm not sure what this says exactly but it looks like readers aren't generally willing to pay $2.99 for a short story even from an established well-known writer.
About a year ago, I noticed the big six publishers were publishing short stories and using them like advertisements for upcoming novels. There was a huge outcry at the time and I have no idea if it hurt or helped the authors in the end.
It depends on the reader. I've sold short stories and novelettes (7500 to 15k word counts) for $3.25 and $3.75. Only one reviewer mentioned in a review of a novel length work that the prices were one of the reasons she hadn't read any other titles in the series.
I think an overlooked benefit of pricing a bit higher is that readers will probably hesitate, and actually pay attention to the description and read the sample before deciding to hit the buy button (so have a good idea that it is their cup o' tea)...and then they'll [b]actually read it[/b].
99 cents and $1.99 may still be impulse buy territory, but are also increasingly known as price points for 'indie crap'.
Plus, I think readers who enjoy indie titles are probably a bit more sympathetic to us in regards to pricing, while they're possibly prone to seeing traditional publishers as 'gouging' them by pricing short works like that.
As a reader, I would pay $3.99 for a short work from an indie author whose work I enjoyed way before I'd pay the same for a short from a traditionally published author whose Kindle titles cost me $8.99 or more per purchase.
In fact, I'd skip the traditionally published author's short entirely.
Of course a story is worth $2.99. If I recall aright, to get an article from the New York Times archives is $3.50, and I have paid it more than once. Beats having to drive to the library and park and fetch a microfilm reel and spool through it and then scribble notes, when all I have to do is pay the three-fifty and hit the Print button without ever moving from my chair.
A cup of coffee at Starbucks in NYC is $2.01. That's black coffee. It's $3.50 at most ski resorts, at least the ones good enough to attract a whiz like me.
My best sellers are short non-fiction pieces running from 3000 to 20,000 words. They are mostly priced at $4.00, a few (the ones that don't sell well) at $3.00.