October Sales & Pricing

I suppose it is good to have a series marked “horror” during the month of October, even if it isn’t; particularly on B&N.  My Nook sales continue to soar.

For the record, the free or $0.99 book is still a good idea.  However and it’s a huge “HOWEVER,” there is such a thing as devaluing your work.

I decided to do the unspeakable… I upped the price of all The Dysfunctional Chronicles from $0.99 to $2.99, even the novellas.  I had a lot of hesitations and reservations about it, especially since the series is mostly novellas.

And they are still selling, all four in the series.  No increase in sales, but I’m not dropping below my average either.  My friend, who doesn’t know anything about indie publishing, but understands a lot about business explained it this way:

You have a free item and a cheap item to hook “buyers” (ie: readers), this is like a “free sample” or a “half-price discount for first time buyers.”  If they don’t like it, they aren’t out much.  If they do, they’ll come back for more.  The important part to remember is that if everything is “cheap,” then it looks like you don’t think the product is worth much, so your buyers won’t either… and the result is, they don’t buy it.  When I pressed them about the novellas, I got a “hold on.”

He got back to me a few days later with this news:  Other novellas list and sell for $2.99.  Why do you think yours are worth less?  If they were special editions or one-offs, then it might be worth making them cheap, but they aren’t.  They are for readers looking for something light and easy and quick.  Yes, it might be “less work” to write them, but it isn’t of a lower quality… so why are they devalued in your mind?

He’s right.  Why am I devaluing my work?  Even my novellas?  I have a free sample and a half-price bargain buy for the first time readers.  Why shouldn’t I be making a buck or two off the other stuff?  I’d pay $2.99 for them.  Why wouldn’t someone else?

The answer is now staring me in the face… They will.

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