Mark Terry

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Zoe Winters On E-Book Pricing

July 26, 2011
Zoe Winters has a good post on pricing your e-books at 99 cents. Now, some of my e-books ARE priced at 99 cents, but most are priced at $2.99 and even $2.99 is awfully cheap (and frankly, I need to mess with pricing more because I'm having a hard time seeing why it makes much of a difference either way except, er, I make less money with the lower price. I don't, necessarily, sell more books. Christ, would it be likely to sell less?)

Anyway, check it out.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please don't link to blogs that have their comments closed. Someone seems to know that they will get shot down because they're wrong.

The fact is that some of these no-name authors couldn't give most of their vampire rip-off stories away for free. They should be paying me to read them.

6:19 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

-I will politely suggest that I will link to whatever I want to, but I understand what you're saying.

Everyone is welcome to comment here, however.

E-book pricing is interesting and it may very well be true that some of these books are worthless at any price. However, in my experience, you don't have to actually buy them to see if they're any good. You can get a free sample and if you decide it's crap, don't buy it. At any price.

Zoe's point, and I think in some ways it's a very legitimate one, is that 99 cent e-books undervalue the product (she doesn't like to think of books as a product, but as an experience, apparently).

Alternately, here's something to think about. The way e-books are currently set up, you as a reader don't actually buy the book. Not like you do when you buy a paper book and are free to loan it to a friend indefinitely, give it away, donate it to your library or a service member, etc.

You are leasing access to the book.

Maybe that accounts for the low price tag. You're merely indefinitely renting the book.

6:29 AM  
Anonymous Eric Mayer said...

I don't think any knows what's going to happen with ebooks and ebook pricing but, yeah, pricing a novel the same as a song does seem stupid, although I reckon there's a bigger market for music.

So maybe if you were just interested in finding some readers you might charge 99 cents. As an intro, or as a one time thing for a book yo wanted read and didn't care about making money off. But if anyone's thinking of making a living....if you can't sell enough ebooks at $2.99 and 70% royalty to make a living is it really likely you will sell enough more at 99 cents and 30% royalty?

9:53 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

I haven't actually noticed any price to sales differential in my books, although I haven't changed prices much. Some of this came about, I think, because John Locke, who's sold a ton (a million as a matter of fact) priced them all at 99 cents and claims he wouldn't have sold as many at $2.99 or higher. I'm not so sure, frankly (and he sold his nonfiction one for about $5.95).

It does tend to at least give the perception of downward pricing pressure.

Alternately, I tend to think of it less as a comparison to songs, perhaps, but to cars or even wine.

You can buy a bottle of Barbaresco, Gaja 2001 for $190.

Or you can buy a 5 liter box (yeah, box-o-wine) of Franzia Box Chardonnay for a few bucks.

They're both wine, but, you know...

(I'm not much of a wine drinker, actually, so maybe that's not the best example).

You can get from point A to point B in a Yugo or a Rolls Royce and if getting from A to B is your only deciding factor, who cares? But there is a difference.

Ah well...

10:03 AM  
Anonymous The Troll Exterminator said...

Mark, St4rdog just confirmed what Winters said in her post with the attitude he has towards self published authors. St4rdog is exactly the type of "reader" Winters scrambled to get away from by raising her prices. He knew she meant him and got angry.

@Star4dog, EVERY author is no-name unless they are JK Rowling, Stephen King, Patterson,Meyer, Brown, or Grisham. The rest are no-name. Got it?

6:18 AM  

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