Yay! More Pricing Talk

After posting about data-driven pricing, I’ve since done a bit of back-pedaling. While I haven’t deviated dramatically, I’ve reconsidered a few things.

I dropped the price of Into the Badlands back down to $3.99 (from $4.99)

Why?  Because I wanted to reduce the barrier to entry for that series. Some people give the first book away for free, but I haven’t been able to get on board with that just yet. But a 25% price reduction is fair for everyone, in my opinion.

I raised the price of The Desolate back to $3.99 (from $2.99)

Initial results at $2.99 looked good, but then sales dried after ten days or so. I know, you gotta set it and let it stay there for a while. But I’m trying to get away from the $2.99 novel. $3.99 seems more reasonable to me. Will the market bear that price? Hard to say. But we’ll see.

I left Badlands #2 (Beyond the Badlands) at $4.99

I think my books are worth the five bucks these days. Seems reasonable to me. If I stick with $4.99 as the “new norm” for novels, then Badlands #3 and #4 will also come in at $4.99 as well. I’m also planning on releasing The Crossover Gene at $4.99. Again, the market will bear what it bears, but I’m cautiously optimistic.

So, I raised the price on my horror novel and discounted the first book in my series. But I’m still sticking with $4.99 for all my new stuff, thus far. Once sales data starts rolling in, I should have a better idea of what’s working and what’s not.

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4 thoughts on “Yay! More Pricing Talk

  1. J. A. Cipriano August 14, 2014 / 7:48 am

    I have to say I am really enjoying your pricing posts. It’s all stuff I’ve been thinking about, since I’m going to be releasing my first book soon.

    Any other helpful links you have to share?

    • Brian J. Jarrett August 14, 2014 / 8:58 am

      Glad you’re getting something out of these. Pricing is one of those topics everyone talks about while being simultaneously sick of discussing. It can be touchy too, since a lot of pricing is emotionally driven. These books are our babies, so it makes sense we’re emotionally invested.

      I think I’m somewhere in between, combining data-driven analysis with a bit of gut instinct. For example, Amazon says I should charge $6-7 for my Badlands books (to maximize profit). But I don’t want to charge people more than $4.99 because I like the “feel” of that price. It seems fair to both reader and writer. I also lowered the price of the first book in the series because I want to reduce the barrier to entry. I know I’m leaving money on the table, but I’m exchanging profit for more readers (hopefully).

      Links…I’d say visit Dean Wesley Smith’s site (http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/). Do a search there on pricing. He recommends higher prices than I do, but his advice is always sound and pragmatic. Also Joe Konrath’s site (http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/) though he doesn’t talk about pricing much these days.

      I’ll be posting my results later on, which I think will be interesting when the Christmas buying season rolls around and when my next two books are released. I do extensive reporting, so I’ll be monitoring my year-over-year units sold vs. my revenue to determine whether or not my new pricing is working. You might want to check back on those posts, if you’re interested.

      Take care,
      Brian

  2. TAWilliams August 15, 2014 / 7:42 am

    Love these types of posts!
    I’ve been published for less than 2 months and pricing is still something I’m trying to feel out.
    Please continue rolling out updates, I like to see what how an old Vet handles it. 🙂

  3. Brian J. Jarrett August 15, 2014 / 11:23 am

    Ha! An old vet. I suppose in self-publishing years I’m pretty old. Wait…in real years I’m old too. Damn… 😦

    What I learned (the hard way) is that all this becomes much easier when you have a lot of books. I have four novels now, plus some shorter stuff, so I’m much less sensitive to raising or lowering the price on one or two titles. Used to be when I had only one book it was my entire world. I can experiment much more freely now.

    My personal mantra now is to always be writing the next book. I wish I could go back to 2011 and tell myself that. I would have stopped monkeying around with that solitary novel and spent more time on getting new words written. Hindsight is 20/20…

    My focus for the next several years is to finish the last two books in my series, start a new series and write a couple of stand-alone novels before I even think about doing any real promotion. I want eight or nine novels with at least two series before I take my attention away from writing. Part of my “five year plan”.

    Glad the articles are helpful. I’ll keep ’em coming. 🙂

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