Happy Monday, WG2E-Land!
I’ve been thinking a ton about pricing again lately, thanks to Dean Wesley Smith’s new take on it, which you can check out here:
But…I’m pretty sure I’m going to continue to hold steady with my Snickers Bar Pricing Strategy as it’s sooo working for me.
You can read about my strategy here:
Using this strategy, all of my Ebooks are priced between 99 Cents and $2.99. The 99 Cent Price Point is for all of my single title fiction releases. I use the $2.99 Price Point for my non-fiction and Boxed Sets. And I will introduce a larger Boxed Set this holiday season for around $5.99.
Basically, Dean’s cheapest price ($2.99) is my most expensive. He argues that a “professional range” is $5.99 to $7.99.
My gut feeling? It’s total bullshit to say that readers don’t think an Ebook is professional and worth reading unless it’s at a certain price point. In fact, if your price point is out of their range, they won’t read you at all, so, you’ll never know whether or not they think you’re “professional.”
Think of it this way, when readers buy my books, they can buy three at 99 Cents instead of just one at $2.99.
And that’s what they do…they buy multiples from me at one time.
I think that’s why after 8 months, my Boxed Set is still making me around $2,000 a month all on its own…because it’s a Snickers Bar deal. (Also, when I see a Boxed Set sale, it’s often accompanied by sales of the latest books not in the Boxed Set…so readers buy it all from me at one time.)
You can buy and enjoy a lot more Snickers Bars than you can a Godiva or even some Dove Bars. You buy what’s easily available, at the right price, and tastes good.
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 Indie Epub Authors, like the superfab Dean Wesley Smith, are now moving their prices up.
But moving your prices up, at the same time everyone else is and at the same time that TradiPubs are experimenting with lower prices (in the $4.99 to $7.99 range, sometimes even lower for short periods), is NOT going to get you visibility.
And, VISIBILITY is going to be the Buzz Word for 2013!
Now, more than ever, if you ain’t got VISIBILITY, you ain’t got sales.
What gets you VISIBILITY?
Answer: Being unique.
You can be a unique standout with your book’s title or cover, your catchy blurb or pitch or high concept or by your packaging (Boxed Sets). But, none of that matters, if your price is at a point where no one will look at you or consider you anyway.
In this faltering economy, during a US Presidential Election year and then possible administration change, and the world’s general chaos affecting peoples’ livelihoods and bank accounts, PRICE is going to be more important than ever.
That’s why I’m hangin’ outside the pack and stayin’ low…as in low price. I like it out there, and I sell a bunch of books and find a bunch of sneezers that way.
People talk about what they find that’s different, not what’s just like everything else. And that Buzz is Visibility, and Visibility is Sales.
Another very important point in all of this is that you’ve got to recognize that readers don’t find books and buy them like they used to, in a physical store with limited shelf space. And readers don’t give a rat’s ass who publishes a book, and for the most part, they don’t even know or bother to find out. They want great books for great prices in the genres they love or even in genres they’ve never read but go ahead and try because the price is right, the cover is cool and the blurb sounds cool too. Plus, they can one-click-buy, on the couch while in their fave pajamas or at lunch, while commuting, at the doctor’s office or in the car pool line or at soccer practice.
I talk a lot more about my Snickers Bar Pricing Approach in my 10 Years and 24 Hours to Indie Epublishing Success:
2012 is going to mean over $100,000 for me in sales, over 100,000 books sold, and a readership that’s growing at a rate of over 5,000 to 10,000 new readers per month. All done with books priced between 99 Cents and $2.99.
This is the point at which I take issue with Dean when he said in his latest pricing article:
“If you believe your work is crap, then price it like crap…This article is for writers who believe in their own art. ”
I can tell you all that if I didn’t believe in my work and my own art, I wouldn’t have been writing-for-publication for the last 13 years. I can tell you that going the Indie Epub route in August 2010 (so I could experiment with “pricing it like crap”) is what has allowed me to go from making $3,000 per year on my Ebooks to now over $100,000 per year. I can tell you that my readers (a readership now over 250,000 strong) enjoy “my crap” and tell me that they appreciate knowing they only need a buck most of the time to read me and get a ton of enjoyment. And, they appreciate not having to wait long for my next book (I’ll have 30 Ebooks out by the end of 2012 after just two and a half years of Indie Epublishing).
If I had to pick one thing that’s “made” me, it’s my Snickers Bar Pricing Approach used with my Focus on Readers.
I spend a lot more time with readers than with writers, even with The WG2E, and I make it easy on my readers’ bank accounts to choose my books. They don’t have to save money to buy me or choose my books over others, if they’re on a tight budget. And they know for a buck, they’ll get a load of laughs and fun. They also know I’ll have the next one ready in a month or two. All that, and they can become part of my D. D. Scott-ville world and chat with me each and every day too. Plus, with RG2E, I now introduce them to all of you too!
It’s about building a community of hungry readers, then satisfying their cravings for a great price on a regular basis.
It’s Your Turn, WG2E-Land: What are your thoughts on Dean’s Godiva and Dove Bar Pricing Approach compared to my Snickers Bar Approach? Have you decided what your 2013 Pricing Strategy will be?
The Best of Ebook Pricing Wishes — D. D. Scott