To sell eBooks at $2.99 or to sell them for much more: That is the question.
I recently put eBook versions of my first two inspirational titles, Awakening Mercy and Abiding Hope, on sale at Amazon.com and BN.com for $2.99 each. I admit that my original sale price was $4.99, which I think is the right price point for the books. I plan to move them to that price point in January, after the holidays.
So why did I change the price from $4.99 to $2.99 in less than a day? One reason is that it’s pretty easy to change prices on both sites so it wasn’t a lot of work. That is a minor reason though. The major reasons were: 1) I wanted to give a gift to readers who had purchased print versions of the titles; and 2) I want people to buy the books who might not purchase them at a higher price point.
$2.99 as a gift to readers who purchased the print versions of Awakening Mercy and Abiding Mercy.
I think many readers are transitioning their print libraries to e-libraries and the lower price point makes the decision to re-purchase a lot easier. I’m doing this myself. For example, I recently re-purchased Robin Hardy’s Streiker Saga and her Sammy Series, a total of 14 ebooks, for less than $42. I’m pretty sure had those books been priced at $4.99 I would not have purchased them all, not at one time. I’m not sure I would have purchased any because I really wanted them all. So the $2.99 price point is for readers who want to re-purchase my books the way I re-purchased Robin Hardy’s.
$2.99 to attract readers who may not purchase at a higher price point.
After getting a contract to write my first inspirational fiction titles back in 2000, I began to think differently about my books. I wanted people to read them because I thought they would be encouraged by them, that God would use the books to meet some need in their lives. At one point, I began to wonder why in the Christian publishing world we used what seemed to be the same rubric for pricing titles as they did in the secular publishing world. Nobody was asking the question (at least they weren’t asking me), what is the lowest price we can put on this book to make it accessible to people who might be blessed by it? When I say nobody, I have to include myself. I wasn’t telling the publisher to give me less of an advance so we could price the book lower. When given the chance to price the books myself, I owed it to myself and to potential readers in need of a blessing to go lower.
So why even think about raising the price to $4.99?
Because there is another group of people that I want to reach: those people who think higher-priced means better. Just as the lower price point will entice some readers to buy my book, it will turn others away. Some readers think that a lower price on a book means the book is of lower quality so I’ll need to separate my books from the lower priced books to reach those readers. $4.99 is as high as I plan to go with fiction at this point. It’s a good middle ground.
That’s my story on pricing and I’m sticking to it. What are you thoughts? I’d love to hear from both readers and writers.