MT McGuire Books

Pricing my e-book again

As some of you know, Few Are Chosen, my first novel, came out late last year (launched as an e-book in November). I launched it on the back of a year releasing quartly free shorts to build up a readership.

What actually happened is, a lot of people downloaded my shorts but only a handful became readers. I want to find a way for people to attach value to my stuff but at the same time, when a lot of other authors are giving away stuff for free or for a very low price, I want to find a way to attract them to buy.

When I launched my novel, my sales were dire (still are). Here, for your delectation is the point from which I’m going to be starting…

November UK 4 US 0 Price £2.50/$2.99
December UK 7 US 1 Price £2.50/$2.99 until the last week when I dropped it to 99c/63p and all sales were made
January UK 12 US 2 Price 99c/63p until the last week when I put it back up to $3.00/£1.49 and all sales stopped.
February UK 0 US 1 Price still $3.00/£1.49

So far, my sales would suggest that few e-book users in the UK is prepared to pay more than 99c for an e-book. Not even a long one. I could just drop the price but I worry about selling it too cheap in case I end up with the same problem as before, lots of people buying it among blocks of e-books that they may never get around to actually reading.

Then I found this interesting blog here. For those of you who haven’t heard of him, Joe Konrath is a writer, in his own words, ‘medium list’. He has a decent sized back catalogue, a publisher and yet, a year ago, he wasn’t selling many e-books.

So he had an idea. He started giving away his books on his website but in one format only, pdf. Interestingly, this increased the sales in other formats and other places. He mentioned, in passing that when Napster fianally went down, music sales dropped, suggesting that people downloaded pirate and then bought a clean, better formatted copy of the stuff they liked.

Since Few Are Chosen isn’t selling much yet, I’ve a little slack to play around. I’m going to follow his lead and see if it works for me; take a gamble with my one novel, the 5 shorts and some time constraints that are going to make it interesting.

It might be a bad call, I don’t know, but I’m going to keep the prices as they are, I’ve heard that $3.00-$5 is the sweet spot in the US and about £1.50 – £2.50 in the UK. And then I’m going to see if it works in 5 hours a week. I have no choice on that one, I’m a stay at home parent with a two year old, no family within 3 hour’s drve and well… very little time.

From time to time, I’ll update you on what’s happening and together we’ll see how the Konrath Plan Lite works out. I won’t be apportioning any blame to Mr Konrath if it doesn’t, I’m simply curious. After all, if I’m only making a handful of sales each month anyway I may as well give some copies away. I’m an author and primarily, I want people to enjoy my work. I’ll be tweaking it to try and get it to work better – right now the TOC doesn’t work so I’ll be trying to sort that out, for starters.

My year starts now and let’s face it, with those figures, whether or not they’re going in the right direction, the only way is up.

Now I’ve got to go over to the forums and tell people what I’ve decided to do.

The advanture begins… Let’s see what happens.

Posted February 3, 2011 and visited 3127 times, 3 so far today

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