Who Does 99¢ Pricing Hurt?

photo http://www.sxc.hu/photo/570269 by Andy Reid http://www.sxc.hu/profile/RockinDadIf first books were universally priced at 99¢, the only folks who’d lose are authors who won’t write or can’t sell a second book. I say, let’s set that expectation!

99¢ is a good price for a single “taster” book so folks can be sure if they like your books. If so, they’ll pay full boat for the others. If not, you don’t have a frustrated reader who feels ripped off, you just have someone who quietly goes away. Folks who pay $12 for a book they hated are far more vocal than folks who only paid 99¢.

Be clear with your readers that’s exactly what you’re doing. “This book is the taster sample. If you like it, here are 6 more!”

Everyone in traditional publishing mourns the loss of the gatekeepers. This is built-in thresholding. Don’t set the bar artificially from the outside, set the bar at “Do you want to write a book badly enough that you’re willing to sell it for 99¢ because you know you’ll be writing more?”

2 thoughts on “Who Does 99¢ Pricing Hurt?

  1. I hear what you’re saying, Joel. And that works for folks writing novels or business books. But, for a children’s book writer, I think $2.99 is more than a fair price. It’s not much to risk, especially when Amazon allows them to return eBooks.

    So how can this same concept work for children’s book authors? I have a 7-book series called “Kitten and Friends” (the first book will be out soon) and also a set of “chapter books.” What would you offer at the 99 cent price point to gain interest in these series?

    Awesome newsletter, BTW. 🙂

  2. A, this is perfect for a series of any kind.

    Sell the first book for 99¢ and set the clear expectation that the rest of the series will be full price, will never go on sale, the reason for this taster at 99¢ is so they know whether the series is right for them.

    Sure, $2.99 is a fair price. I think $100 is a fair price for I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew because of the life lessons it taught me, and helped me teach my kids.

    What does “fair” have to do with selling? 😉

    Do you want to make money today, every day? You can eat the goose, sure, but it’s better to feed it, and wait for the golden eggs.

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