Monday, 7 May 2012

And the price of my second book should be...?

Now that my second book is on its way to the designer for a new coat of paint (yeah, okay that's lame but you know what I mean), I have to start thinking about marketing book 2 and how much I'm going to charge for it.

There's been a lot of talk recently about the pricing of e Books. I can't in all honesty pretend that I can explain all the ins and outs of the court cases and the subsequent ripples in the Indie publishing pond (I fully admit to being less than smart enough to understand what it all means) - if you want to have a recap then the Dear Author post is a good read. It's weird to imagine that any other job which required at least 6-12 month's work being rewarded with 30c/p per sale would leave the workers scandalised but I suppose that's the nature of eBook sales.

I priced book 1 at $2.99 at first and then I reduced the price to $0.99 for a few months. Why? Simple - I needed a few more readers and the consensus among my friends was that most people were trawling the free-$0.99  sections first. I also gave away free copies for a week on Smashwords which resulted in an increase of downloads by around 50%. I am currently charging the $0.99 price again (roughly £1.12 sterling). Did I do the right thing? Was this the correct way to go about it?  No idea - I'm learning as I go along here! The idea behind the give-away was to raise the visibility of 'Demon's Daughter' on the Smashwords download chart and yes, it has gone up quite a few places and received 2 more reviews but as to this translating into regular sales? Can't say that it has. My Amazon sales remain stagnant although my paperback sales have increased (but more about that later). So what now?

My thinking is that I've left 'Demon's Daughter' at $0.99 for long enough so I'm going to increase the price to $2.99 at the end of May and see what happens. I've signed up for a Goodreads promotion in August when Book 2 comes out so there'll be a few give-aways of book 1 on Goodreads during that month and Book 2 will debut at the same price as book 1 - again, I don't have any idea if that's the right way to go about it or not but that's the plan for now.

It's actually easier to price the paperback! I go by the print cost (roughly £4.00) + the wholesaler discount (35%) + my cut (just over £1.00) which brings 'Demon's Daughter' out at £6.99. It's about average for the size and type of book so I don't have any major problems with that. My decision not to allow returns has seriously affected how many shops/wholesalers will stock it but to date, since its publication in February 2012, I've sold 51 copies which is...okay actually. I think that being invited into local schools to give talks and readings, and the recent book signing in Waterstones are the reason for the sales. The challenge, of course, is to keep it going.

Obviously I'm still useless at marketing and the conflicting information about how to increase the visibility of your book is confusing to say the least; plus the fact that I've received a few knuckle raps from Goodreads (for reviewing other authors' work), Twitter (for 'jamming the feed' with chat instead of promos) and from Facebook (for being on there too much) has left me thinking I should've stayed in my cave and ignored the publishing dream. (Yes, I know...I need to work on cultivating that thicker skin.) The fact is that if I want to keep writing, then I have to sell books. It's pretty simple and I can't not write...I'd go insane within a matter of days!

Hmmm. Well that all went off on a bit of a dark tangent. Sorry! I'm still damn proud that my second book is on its way to being published, book 3 is written and champing at the bit to get to the editors, book 4 is also lining up for its chance to escape the confines of my hard drive, and all that's holding them back is me. Dammit!


  1. Hi! I am in a serious procrastination mode this morning and followed a tweet link over here. I hope you don't mind a little unsolicited marketing advice, but adding a prominent link or links to places that sell the book on your home page might be helpful. Many people (or maybe just me) are lazy and easily distracted; if I clicked on a link that took me straight to your book, I might buy it, but instead, I have to go to Amazon on my own, get distracted by all the things that Amazon is showing me that I might be interested in, remember what your name and/or book title is after I've been distracted by everything on my Amazon home screen, search for the book and then consider it. The chance that you lose me (and/or other people who are as lazy and easily distracted as me) at one of those decision points is pretty high.

    As for price, I've tried .99, $3.50, $3.99, and $4.99 and the difference in number of sales hasn't been significant enough to make up for the money lost at the lower prices. I actually did best at the $4.99 price. Everyone's experience is different, of course, but I don't think you need to be afraid to try a higher price.

    1. Hello there, Wyndes. Hurrah for procrastination - all advice (unsolicited or otherwise) gratefully received! Thank you very much - I'll get that done!

      Best wishes