December 1 2013 Editor Assistance Newsletter
This is private for us only, of course :).
On the very last day of October, I did an experiment. Until then all my medieval romance novels had been 99 cents which, on Kindle, means you earn 35% of each sale. I then changed them all to $2.99 and was able to then change the profit margin to 70%. I was curious what would happen.
In both months I did a free promo of one of my books, to help build traffic for the entire series. In Oct I did Creating Memories and gave away 505 copies. In November I did Sworn Loyalty and gave away 558 copies.
In both months I did a book launch. October’s was Sworn Loyalty. November’s was In A Glance.
So in all of those senses, the two months were fairly equal. There were book launch parties, there were free giveaways, and my normal marketing activities.
Book sales PLUMMETED when I raised the prices. Several of my books didn’t sell at all, which is a first. Usually each book sells at least several copies a month. The only reason In A Glance is showing no sales in October is it wasn’t launched yet.
However, my income doubled. Even selling only a third of the books, I made twice as much money.
I can't include the table in this email, since a lot of you read it as text and it would mangle the columns. So I made a graphic version for you here -
So what do we see?
Users are extremely price conscious. They care about price. On one hand one could say I made more money which is good. But I also got far less people hooked on my series in general which means fewer future sales.
If I go below $2.99 I can’t get the 70% deal. I go back to 35%. So then the question is, if I go to, say $1.99 at 35% how will it impact sales and income levels? Will I get about the same sales as at the $2.99 rate but also far less income? I think there’s something “eye catching” about the 99 cents rate where people buy them up like penny candy.
Personally I would rather “lose” $50 and get an extra 100 people buying it. In essence I’m “paying” $2/person to hook a new fan. With me having twelve novels, that can work out well for me longer term.
Out of all my fans, only 12 of them bought my latest novel at the $2.99 price. That seems to indicate that it’s just too much money to them. They’re elderly people, or young kids, or whatever, and they have a budget. They have oodles of free options out there, and shelling out $2.99 for one of my books seems like a burden.
Hopefully this gives you some insight as you plan out your ebooks and explore pricing options. Let me know if you have any questions - I'm happy to help!
Lisa Shea, owner
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