EBook pricing is an ongoing challenge for authors and publishers alike. Some authors are finding that $1.99 helps drive sales because consumers are more likely to take a chance on a $1.99 title.
Boyd Morrison, author of The Adamas Blueprint, The Palmyra Impact and The Ark, said: “I chose the $1.99 price point because it seemed like it was cheap enough to get a reader to take a chance on an unknown author like me. I also had no budget for advertising or promotion, so I felt that a low price would be the only way for my book to stand out.”
Jeff Rivera, author of Forever My Lady and GalleyCat contributor, asked Amazon to drop the $9.99 Kindle price on his eBook title to help encourage sales. “I asked them to lower the price because $1.99 is a non-intrusive way to introduce eBook readers to new books. They’re willing to take a risk on $1.99 whereas $9.99 is a major investment. To me it’s not about making the money at this point, it’s about introducing a whole new audience (Kindle readers) to my book.”
For author Joe Konrath cheap pricing was the next best thing to free eBooks. He put them on Kindle for $1.99, since Amazon wouldn’t allow him to list titles for free and his readers couldn’t read the free PDFs from his website on their Kindles.
“Amazon didn’t allow listing eBooks for free, so I did the next best thing, listing them for cheap. Color me surprised how well they took off. I’m now selling 8000 eBooks per month, and making more than $3,000 a week,” Konrath said. “Consumers don’t place as much value on a download as they do on a dead tree book. It’s intangible, and costs nothing to copy and distribute, so charging ten bucks or more is mistake.”
Karen McQuestion, author of Celia and the Fairies and A Scattered Life, agreed. “I found that when the cost is low, readers are willing to take a risk on a book they might not have purchased otherwise,” she said. “On the message boards I noticed that generally speaking, eBook readers are voracious readers. Not only do they read in volume, they also like to have a backlog of books on their devices, and if a book is priced right, it makes the decision to buy that much easier.”