KingMidget's Ramblings

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Two Questions For You

I posted a few days ago my lament at the lack of interest in a self-published novel priced at $2.99 after the same novel sold anywhere from 5-35 downloads per day for the past couple of months at .99.  Once I raised the price to $2.99, I got no downloads on Sunday.  One on Monday.  One today.

Here’s the first question … in terms of what I earn, one download at $2.99 is worth almost seven downloads at .99.  Put it another way, in July I had 250 downloads at .99, which meant I earned about $87.50.  To do the same at $2.99, I’d need about 40 downloads.  What’s better?  More readers at a lower earnings rate or fewer readers at a higher earnings rate?  I’ll provide a bit of an answer … the fewer sales, the further you drop in the sales rankings on Amazon.  The further you drop, the lesser the chance there is of people finding you.

Here’s the second question … Weed Therapy … nada, zero, zilch.  No sales for far too long.  Is this when I pull the trigger and offer it free for a few days?  Nothing I’ve tried has prompted any interest in the book.  I’ve got a blogger posting and tweeting about it regularly, I’ve put it up on a Facebook page devoted to Authors and readers.  I did the Goodreads giveaway.  What does it take?  Do I wait until after Labor Day and see what happens?  What do I do?  I’m flummoxed.


38 responses to “Two Questions For You

  1. Help Me Help Holly ♥ August 6, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    I haven’t had any sales yet this month 😦 That’s priced at $2.99. I have thought about dropping the price and seeing what happens but I’m loathe to do so. Only as a last resort. So are you dropping it back to 99c again?

    • kingmidget August 6, 2013 at 8:30 pm

      Dropping it back to .99? Yes. I hate to do it because I think us self-publishers need to try to establish a new ceiling that is more reasonable. That said, if I were you, I’d drop the price to .99 on your book and then send an email to ereadernewstoday to try to get your book featured on their website. I can’t say enough about how that changed the dynamic for my first novel. They require a minimum of 10 reviews and an average rating of at least 4 on Amazon — you easily meet those requirements.

  2. Vince Dickinson August 6, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    I have had 3 sales at $2.99. Just 3. Right now my newest book is on the 5-day free ebook. Gave away about 300 copies, but I think that isn’t very many. Gave away 5 hard copies on Goodreads. Just not getting any eyes. Not giving up, though. I plan to make my older book free for 5 days soon, and try to drive additional eyeballs to the newer one. See if that helps. The 99 cent thing almost seems pointless. But if you get anything for your efforts, you’re doing better than I am.

    • kingmidget August 6, 2013 at 8:53 pm

      I did a Goodreads giveaway. I’ll be mailing out three copies this week. What did it produce in the short-term? Not one single purchase of the book. As I’ve written on my blog a number of times, the .99 price and getting on got me over 1,000 sales at that price. I can’t complain about that. I just wish readers would recognize the value of our efforts and be willing to pay a little more and put a little more money in our pocket.

  3. tjtherien August 6, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    well it is summer and people are splishing and splashing and taking in the good weather plus the kids are on holidays so it’s hard for people to sit down and read… I have a theory of my own about the whole pricing thing and I honestly believe some authors that self publish undervalue their work in their pricing. but the problem with the self publishing format is that anyone can publish so the standard is not very high devaluing the market by saturating it and diluting it with a lot of crap. As a writer I hate to say this about any other writer but there are some that shouldn’t be published. You are not in this category from what I’ve read in the excerpts of your book… In my opinion you tap into something with your writing few writers tap in to…

    if I were to publish now which I have no intention of doing I would price my book at a minimum of the normal $9.99 of conventionally published e-books, maybe a little more… sales or not I would leave it at that price. I know it sounds crazy but there is some marketing strategy to it serious readers I don’t believe buy books from discount bins. I can afford to be idealistic in my thinking because I have nothing ventured…

    • kingmidget August 6, 2013 at 9:13 pm

      I get everything you’re saying.
      A friend commented on my pricing lament post that she has a friend who won’t pay anymore than .99 for a self-published book because of the typos. I commented that her position seemed somewhat self-defeating. Get over the increased number of typos and expose yourself to some incredible stories that are out there.
      That said, I agree with you also that some of the self-published stuff out there isn’t worthy of even free.
      One of the first self-published novels I read, I purchased for .99. I read it. It was crap. Turns out that book was later selected by Amazon as its Breakthrough Novel Award winner for that year.
      I love what self-publishing is doing to the book marketplace. On the other hand, it’s killing some of us.
      And, thank you for your compliments about my work. I’m about to post Father Santos’ third lesson. We’ll see if I keep it up.

  4. Charles Yallowitz August 7, 2013 at 4:09 am

    I have to agree with TJ. The summer is apparently really bad. My free weekend with massive advertising was pathetic. So, I don’t think it would help you to do a random free weekend. You’ll get downloads, but it might not transfer over. This is going by what happened to me and fantasy seems to have its own rules.

    As for the price, I think it depends on your goal and focus. If you’re more concerned about readers and ranking then the .99 cent would be more beneficial until the slump time is over. The 2.99 would help with getting a higher royalty rate. I am sensing more and more people are resistant to anything priced over .99 cents right now. I boosted my first book to 2.99 in May and that brought it from 5-20 downloads a day to 1-5 every two days. Sadly, people are cheap and it gets worse over the summer.

    All we can really do is keep marketing and trying.

    • kingmidget August 7, 2013 at 6:29 am

      I’ve been hearing that the summer is bad for the book business. Based on my May, June and July, I didn’t believe it. Maybe August is the worst month and I’m finally feeling it. Good news is that I have sold two more downloads of Bridgeport since last night and one download of Weed Therapy. Maybe I won’t panic and drop the price just yet.

      • Charles Yallowitz August 7, 2013 at 6:34 am

        I was fine in May, but June and July saw a major slow down. I say stick to your guns for as long as you want. Maybe instead of going free, try to play up a .99 cent sale for Labor Day weekend. It sounds like a deal and you still get some royalties. You just need to really promote it. I did that for Memorial Day and I sold about 100 copies over the 3-day weekend.

      • kingmidget August 7, 2013 at 6:50 am

        Weed Therapy is now up on AskDavid. I tweeted it to my legions of followers. All 15 of them. 🙂

      • Charles Yallowitz August 7, 2013 at 7:37 am

        They have a toolbar next to the cover to post and various media sites. I got a few hits off that.

  5. SW_ysobel August 7, 2013 at 4:34 am

    A random thought. Maybe you should put your book for 1.99? Doubling an initial price is less scary than tripling it, from a reader point of view I mean.

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