So, for my first Indie Life post, my stats.
- Self-published my first book, Disciple, Part I, in November, 2012.
- Disciple, Part II, followed April 1, 2013.
- Next up: Disciple, Part III. I haven't set a release date yet.
I want to put down a few thoughts about pricing. Initially, I was asking 4.99 for Disciple, Part I. A few got sold at that price.
Then Part I was featured in Storybundle.com's December offering and I moved a heck of a lot more -- at about 75 cents apiece.
I dropped its price down to 1.99 for Valentine's day, then briefly to 99 cents for the Equinox sale and Tolkein Reading Day. Currently, Part I is 1.99 and it has sold a bit (since Part II was released, which may be why.)
Pricing a self-published book is an interesting thing. You've got one side of your brain arguing that a lower price will be more attractive to customers. Another side of your brain is hoping to get a paycheck at some point. Your dark side is arguing that nobody's going to want to pay money for this and you should just give it away -- maybe they'll pay for the next one.
I had a friend, in high school, who took the advice of a fellow artist and added a zero to the asking price of his watercolor paintings. My friend was just another young painter producing nice stuff and asking $20 or so for them. Bump that up to $200 and... people started paying more attention to his work.
99 cents, nowadays, is a risky price for a book -- any book, from what I've heard. It's a good sale price, for a limited time, but as a standard price it implies the book's not worth much. And while it can be argued that 99 cents makes it an impulse buy, I don't know if books follow the same rules as those cheap little trinkets clustered around a store's cash register. If a book's sample isn't up to my par, I'm not downloading it at any price.
On the other hand, major publishing houses can slap a $12 price tag on an ebook and what are you going to do about it?
What's a good book worth? Trick question: it's priceless. I've settled on 1.99 for Part I and 4.99 for Part II -- economical, but not cheap. What have your experiences with self-pricing been?