Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I Had No Idea It Would Be So Much. I Won't Pay It.

*From Ghostbusters, the scene where the snooty hotel manager won't pay our boys the amount due for services rendered in capturing the slimy green ghost.

Anyway, just a quick alert to let you know that the I'm raising the price for The Jackpot to $3.49 $2.99 (I panicked and brought it back down to $2.99. Sue me). It will go into effect whenever Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords process my request.

I've been thinking about doing this for a while. Not necessarily to make more money (although, duh, that would be nice), but to see if it has any impact on sales. Lately, I've been seeing more and more evidence that the 99-cent book's time in the sun has come and gone. No longer is it enough (or truly, even necessary) to sell a book dirt cheap. Not to say certain authors won't rocket up the bestseller list at that price. But maybe it's not the best way for a self-published author to get read.

Why? Who knows? Maybe there's a perceived lack of value at 99 cents. Maybe it's because the market is flooded, and the 99-cent price point looks like a desperate grab to push as many units out the door, and people who are looking for a good read and not a toothbrush are tired of being bombarded with LOW LOW PRICES. I don't know. The eBook landscape has changed a lot in the last year, even in the six months since I published The Jackpot.

But here's perhaps the most important reason.

I want people to READ the book. I've seen a lot of anecdotal evidence that while people might buy a 99-cent book, they won't necessarily read it. It will languish on their e-reader, literally the 99-cent weakling that gets sand kicked in its face by the big boys that the reader paid as much as $14.99 for.

And if someone buys The Jackpot, but doesn't read it, what good does that do me? That person won't get a chance to enjoy it (hopefully) or perhaps even review it. A book can't be shared by word-of-mouth if it's never read, right? I'd MUCH rather have one person buy it and read it than six who buy it and don't.

So, this is me, drawing my line in the pricing sand. It's time for my book to act a little bit like all the other books I've happily paid full price for. Time for it, in the words of Don Corleone, to "BE A MAN!"

Comments are welcome.


  1. Dude, you're worth it! And, I finally have a Kindle. Actually, my 8-year-old son was given a Kindle, which I hope to borrow. Does your book have dirty words in it which he might find and be horrified by? Ah well, he's a mature sort of child.

  2. Thanks Jenny. We'll see how it goes.

    As for your son. there are a number of naughty words in it. Not as many as in my original draft (the F word originally appeared 156 times -- I was able to cut it to about 50). Also, it's got a fair amount of violence. Not gory violence. But a fair amount of mayhem.

  3. Hah! Both my wife and I got our copies for 99 cents - score!

    I just stopped by to poke around your blog after you were nice enough to post on mine. I think you're right about the 99 cent price point and furthermore there may well be a quality perception developing for the cheapest eBooks.

    I'd bet dollars to donuts that reviews for $2.99/12 pack underwear from Walmart would be harsher than for the exact same underwear at $9.99 from JCPenny. Price your book at $3.49 and you'll have a higher expectation of quality and, so long as you meet it, a higher perception of quality as well.

    I'm thinking I'm going to start my historical fiction novel (if I EVER finish it) at $2.99 and go up from there.