I've spent much of this year experimenting with the price of my eBooks. I've set them relatively high, I've set them incredibly low. In fact, at one point, I gave them away.
Most of this was curiosity as to the best price to pitch at. I've made no bones in the past that eBook prices should be way lower than print book prices. My personal view is that books from authors like myself who are pretty much unknown to the majority of readers should be set very low, however research by Smashwords contradicts this approach. They find that the most popular price point is above $2.99, which I think is very high for an eBook.
I've tried at that price point to see if the theory worked, and I've been sat at a price point below that for some time, however I'm aware that we're approaching the holiday season and some of you are probably looking for books to load on your eReaders to tide yourself over the few days you'll have curled up in front a a fire waiting for your employer to re-open. I'm also aware that many of you will be hoping Santa will remember to slip an eReader or tablet computer into your stocking this Christmas.
So I've set my eBook prices to a uniform $0.99 each. I say uniform, there are vagaries involved. For example, Apple will convert the $0.99 and convert it to £0.49 or £0.99 in the UK, as they see fit. Amazon will list the books at 0.99 in dollars, pounds sterling or Euros plus will pluck a random number for India and Japan. Other variations may occur with your preferred bookseller, feel free to shop around.
I'm aiming at running this promotion for December, then I'll re-evaluate. I think $0.99 is a fair and reasonable price to pay for an eBook. The part I don't think is reasonable is that Amazon, at that price point, keep 65% of the purchase price whereas the other eBooksellers tend to keep 40% - a reflection of Amazon's strength in the industry.
In fact, Amazon are trying to be the only eBookseller in the industry. If you've read my earlier blog about KDP Select you'll know that they run a scheme that puts members' books in a virtual library that can be accessed for free by Amazon Prime customers. If an author has a book in this library and has given Amazon exclusive rights to his/her book then Amazon will pay them a royalty based on the amount of times their book is 'borrowed'. They've just pumped another $1.5 million into the fund on top of the multi millions already committed, just to try and take authors away from Apple, Kobo, B&N etc. I may be cutting my throat here, but I'm not biting. I like competition and hate monopolies. This is attempting to create a monopoly.
Anyway, having taken my personal stance for democracy, should you wish to take advantage of my book offer and prefer the larger part of your payment to reach the author then buy the book from anyone other than Amazon. Smashwords can provide my books, and books by 50,000 other authors, in a Kindle friendly format and the author gets the majority of the proceeds. The price you pay is the same, but the author's cut is better. I may be a tad biased, but I'm struggling to remember when Amazon was credited with helping someone write a book.
Anyway, if you have been looking at my eBooks and felt them to be too expensive, now is a good time to download them for next to nothing.
I can be followed on Twitter too - @RayASullivan
or on Facebook - use firstname.lastname@example.org to find me
Want to see what B L O'Feld is up to? Take a look at his website here
Worried/Interested in the secretive world of DLFs? Take a look at this website dedicated to DLFs here, if you dare!