Happy Monday, WG2E-Land!
A couple of weeks ago, I started my Indie Epublishing Strategic Planning Series for 2013 with a list of the questions I ask myself each year while preparing my Indie Epublishing Production and Business Plans.
One of my questions is as follows:
What will My Price Points Philosophy be for The New Year? Will I Continue my First One is On Me Strategy? Will I Stick with 99 Cents or Move Up? (Is my goal More Readers or More Money?)
After much thought, and a bunch of cussing and discussing, here’s what I’ve decided to do when it comes to Ebook Pricing for 2013…
First, y’all know about my Snickers Bar Philosophy, in which I keep the majority of my new fiction releases at 99 Cents, reasoning that by being the Snickers Bar of Ebooks, I’m going to sell a bunch more copies than if I priced like a Godiva Bar, let’s say $3.99 and up (for a single Ebook).
Now then, up until a few months ago, using the 99 Cent Price Point got you a ton of fabulous VISIBILITY on Amazon, B&N Nook, Smashwords, Apple, and the rest of the platforms too. You could more than make up for a higher royalty per book (using a price point of $2.99 or above) because of the higher quantity of books sold at the lower 99 Cent price.
Due to the agency pricing/cost-fixing schemes and the resulting Department of Justice settlement with a few of The Big Six Publishers – with several more holding out for litigation, many Big Six/TradiPubs are lowering their prices to between 99 Cents and $3.99.
Also…and this is HUGE…Amazon’s algorithms have definitely changed to favor the TradiPub books at these lower prices. (I would say the same when it comes to Barnes & Noble Nook too.) Look at the Bestseller Lists across all categories, and the emails The Zon and B&N send to their Kindle and Nook Customers. Where they used to heavily favor Indies, because of our low prices, they now favor post-price fixing TradiPubs at lower prices and Ebooks in Amazon KDP Select or Nook First.
What to do…What to do…
I first took a look at what Ebook products I have out that are working beyond fabulously well at their current price points. And that is my Boxed Set #1, which is still making me around $2,000 per month at a $2.99 price point for 5 novels and 1 short-story – so an average price per book of 50 Cents.
Next, I looked at my overall goals and philosophies…yes, I still totally believe in and thrive on treating readers to a “book for a buck.” And I’m tickled that, in this world economy, I can make peeps laugh for a Dollar Menu price.
But, that said, somehow, I’ve got to balance that goal and philosophy with increasing (or at least maintaining) my books’ visibility!
Great visibility still reigns for my “First One is On Me” strategy…so, I’ll definitely keep the book that started it all for me – BOOTSCOOTIN’ BLAHNIKS – FREE across all platforms. (***I get over 5,000 new readers per month using that strategy. That’s how many FREE downloads I get on that book per month across all platforms.)
I also still want more readers over more money.
BUT…to have it all, I’ve got to make some tweaks to my comprehensive pricing strategy.
Here’s the solution I’ve come up with and the one that will go into effect sometime between now and the new year…
I’m releasing 2 new Boxed Sets – a Cozy Cash Mystery Boxed Set (including 4 novels, 2 short story prequels, a christmas novella and bunches of bonus excerpts) for $3.99 and a Stuck with a Series Boxed Set (including 1 novel and two novellas as well as a bunch of bonus excerpts) for $2.99.
So, the first boxed set will cost readers on average around 57 Cents per book and the second one around 99 Cents per book.
All of my promotional efforts will be to drive my readers from Boxed Set #1 through #3. I won’t do much of any promotion for all of my single title backlist products.
***Note: Boxed Sets of all price ranges ($2.99 to $9.99 and up) are getting HUGE Visibility on all-platforms. My gut tells me it’s because they’re at prices that the etailers see as money-makers and customers flock to for more bang for the buck.
At the same time I’ll be focusing on and “pushing” my Boxed Set products, I’ll bump my single title backlist books to $1.99 each. (That’s another thing I’ve noticed post-DOJ settlement with The Big Six…suddenly, the $1.99 price point is being used more and is definitely seeing the visibility 99 Cents no longer is. I’d go so far as to say that $1.99 is quickly becoming the new 99 Cents.)
My 2013 new releases will be between $1.99 and $2.99, but they’ll be a tad longer in length (just a tad because I do still see a ton of evidence that readers are still luving shorter reads that they can finish and enjoy on-the-go). So, those books will be priced a little higher, but include some fabulous multi-media content along with a few other “extra treats” to sweeten the “bangs for the extra buck(s).”
Okay, that’s what my Ebook Pricing will look like in 2013. What do you think, WG2E-Land? Is my plan going to work? Or do you think it’s flawed in some way that could make it a bust? What about you? How are you pricing your Ebooks in 2013? And why have you chosen those price points?
The Best of Ebook Pricing Wishes — D. D. Scott
D. D. Scott is an Amazon and Barnes and Noble Top 100 Bestselling Romantic Comedy and Humorous Mystery Author. She’s also a Writer’s Go-To-Gal for Muse Therapy and Indie Epublishing, the Co-Founder of The WG2E- The Writer’s Guide to E-Publishing, and the Founder of The RG2E – The Reader’s Guide to E-publishing. You can get all the scoop on her, her books, her Online Classes and Live Workshops, plus juicy tidbits too from her new cyber home…D. D. Scott-ville.