Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Price Points and Trolls

After success with my epic fantasy, I am struck by several facts. The primary one being, at under 2.99 a book, Amazon keeps most of the take. Even with a good performer, you can't make a living on the 99 cent shelf. So this week, I'm going to test the elasticity of my prices. I'll keep the best seller the same, at 99 cents, but price book 2 in the series at the sweet spot. This price point would put me at half the price of others on the same search page for "epic fantasy over 4 stars", and still give me 6 times the royalty amount. At the same time, I'll also raise the price on my 1.99 books to $2.99 to see is there is any reduction. Will the trade off make more revenue or kill the climb of the sequel? Stay tuned.

Why is this important? Because at $2 a sale, I could consider doing this full time if my volume got to only 250 a week. I'm at 175 consistently now, the epics are climbing each week, and I have two new releases planned in the next month or so. I can reach this goal, but how many titles will it take? This experiment will help me plan. Right now, there are a lot of opinions but few answers.

If raising above 99 cents kills the climb, should I try to take the current success of "Doors" and "Jezebel" to a traditional publisher? Do I lobby bookstores and more libraries to stock it? Sell it at conventions? What combination would enable me to take the next step? Don't forget that I'll be watching the kids three days a week this summer. What does playing with children have to do with epic fantasy? We read out loud--Sisters Grimm/Fablehaven/Percy Jackson. I play the troll on the trampoline, and they're the goats.


  1. Well, I'm not much good at prices and all, but I think if you don't get carried away and start charging like $8.99 or so for your eBooks that things should be OK... ;-) Would love to see you doing this full-time - you probably have so many great stories to tell,and then I'll get to help! ;-) Heee.

  2. There's no guarantee that going to a traditional publisher will increase your take home pay. Just ask Joe Konrath.

    Hopefully a price increase will not negatively impact sales. 99 cents is considered cheapo. I know a couple of indie authors who have increased their prices but haven't seen a drop in sales.

    Keep in mind that you've sold more books in one week than 99% of indie authors have in a year. Sales often have a snowball effect. If you're patient, you might see sales rise without doing anything at all.