Very interesting stuff. I have all of my shorts prices at 99 cents. Not because I want to, I would love to have them at more, but because from what I read that is the price folks are willing to 'gamble' on a new author, plus there is so much competition out there, I don't want to price myself too high.
But if people are willing to spend $2.99 on a short story, it may be worth reviewing my prices. It would certainly make a hell of a difference to my income selling at $2.99
[b]My current pricing is $1.49 for works with 3k or less words[/b]
I like the $1.49 idea. I thought of raising to this price to rise above the 99 cents and maybe defeat the algorithm. Are your sales good at this level? The only problem for me is Smasnwords, who insists that all prices should end in .99 because that's how Apple likes it.
I have a number of stories out in the 10,000 word range. I tried one at 2.99 and one at 1.99, initially. The 1.99 one wasn't selling. When I raised the price to 2.99, it did better.
But I'm fine with having a shorter one out for .99. That's the "taste spoon" size. The only time that one really sold a lot was when I had that NPR interview earlier this year about the pirated erotica on Amazon. I had one full-sized short story collection for sale then at 2.99, which is cheaper than I think it ought to be (I'd go 4.99, especially since the paperback is I think 13.99, but it's my publisher's choice), and then that super-short at .99. I had a mild increase in sales for the 2.99 anthology, but sold, I don't know, 60 or 80 or so of the .99 one. Probably some of those buyers didn't even regularly read erotica, they were just curious. And .99 for a short is a fine curiosity starter price. Actually, I will probably make that one permanently free once I have more of my own work up for sale. I keep spending all my time publishing others, though! And I don't let them go below 2.99. If the stories are too short, we bundle them.
Excuse me, but had you read a great many other threads on this forum, you would have learned that pricing your books at $2.99 or less yields nothing in royalties and attracts the reputation that your book is of lower quality. Educate yourself before you post a question which has been answered many times before.
In economic terms, pricing a book lower to make it move off the shelf makes no economic sense. This is why the major publishers are pricing their ebooks at $9.99. Many of us believe (and rightly so), that pricing the books at half the print price brings royalty terms up to parity. Business sense dictates that if the customer wants the book he will pay for it. Pricing ebooks so low that you cannot capture the interest of paying customers is the issue.
I don't care what the 99 cents crowd says. Many customers will not buy a 99 cents ebook no matter how good it is, because there is the perception that books priced that low are of inferior quality. Do yourself a favor and raise your price.
Amazon does whatever is best for Amazon. Price matching is one of the ways Amazon seeks to capture the dominant market share, and will pay you precisely whatever is based on the price it sets, not the price you set. This is why we have seen lowered royalties even on books when they are set above $2.99. If you don't like it, Amazon makes it clear that you can take your titles elsewhere.
Amazon goes its own way. The rest do not follow Amazon. You have to balance what you want in royalties from the [b]suggested list price[/b]. Whatever you get depends on the price the retailer sets. It's true across all channels. So think about what you are doing to yourself in terms of money. If you price your book too low, don't expect thousands of sales. Those who realize that much are authors who write for specific markets. Not all authors will experience the same result.
[i]"Price matching is one of the ways Amazon seeks to capture the dominant market share, and will pay you precisely whatever is based on the price it sets, not the price you set. This is why we have seen lowered royalties even on books when they are set above $2.99". [/i]
I think you may have this confused. If you set your book at $2.99 you will get 70% of $2.99, period.
If you try and sell your book for $2.99 on Amazon but list it at $1.99 on Smashwords, Amazon will price match Smashwords.
That is entirely within your control, that isn't Amazon setting the price at $1.99, that is you setting the price at $1.99.
I don't have any problem at all with this practice, if you were to run a shop you will find that there are certain products that you can't sell below RRP.
If you stock a product which has to be sold at $99 and you sell it for $80, the manufacturer/distributor will never sell you another one of those products again.
Price parity is a fair policy. Without it you would only see lots of people return your $2.99 book when they realize that they can get the same book for $1.99..... and everytime somebody returns a book that costs Amazon money. I can explain how if you need me to?
Price match is part and parcel and B&N do this also, all of the major retailers do it in fact.
Supermarkets do it too..... Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's in the UK.... they price match eachother constantly.
I mentioned short stories, not books (in another post i asked what defines a book.) And as one can see by the comments, the jury is still out on this subject. Of course I wouldn't sell a novel length work for 99 cents, unless I had 25 or more and could afford to use one as a loss leader. What prompted my question was the following article I read. It may have been written in May of this year, however it's still making the rounds
[i]I think you may have this confused. If you set your book at $2.99 you will get 70% of $2.99, period.[/i]
My experience is different. I have priced books at $2.99 and found that sometimes the books are priced at $2.29 on Amazon. I have been paid royalties based on $2.29.
[i]If you try and sell your book for $2.99 on Amazon but list it at $1.99 on Smashwords, Amazon will price match Smashwords.[/i]
I believe I said that. That is why I price them the same across the board. But where the price is the same, Amazon will discount the price 50 cents to a dollar less.
[i]That is entirely within your control, that isn't Amazon setting the price at $1.99, that is you setting the price at $1.99.[/i]
I said that in all cases, setting the price is within my control. It's Amazon who changes it to suit its needs.