Sunday, April 24, 2011

Hardcover Galley Has Arrived, and Thoughts On Book Pricing

My hardcover galley arrived yesterday, and wow... it's just beautiful! The casewrap is amazing, and Barnaby's cover art really stands out! Raquel's gold embossed title logo looks killer with the glossy cover, too! It's just all around incredible.  If I could get these hardcovers at a reasonable price, this is what I'd like to be selling! Alas, the printing costs alone on the hardcover are half again more than my retail price for the paperback. No one would buy a hardcover if I had to set a minimum price of $40 to make a profit!

So let's talk about book pricing for a moment. I've set my Kindle and Nook price point at 2.99.  I could have gone lower, but that's the minimum for the 70% royalty level from Amazon. And the way I look at it, most (nearly all!) of the Kindle books from major publishers are priced much, much higher. I often hear complaints that books from the big 6 are priced higher on Kindle than their print versions due to the agency model!  An undiscovered author should be worth a 2.99 risk, especially considering you can return a Kindle book no questions asked within the first 7 days.  Here's the thing, though. I've also been told, multiple times, that I should consider lowering my price to 99 cents.

I'm definitely interested in good advice, and there are a lot of good reasons to lower the price to 99 cents.  I even agree with a lot of them.  But one thing that I want to do, here in this first few months of The Door to Canellin's release, is offer the occasional bargain discount for special occasions. Nothing gets the attention more than offering a deep discount! But it's hard to offer a discount when you're already at the lowest reasonable price. I believe that I'll get more buzz and attention in the long run by offering specials of 99 cent sales for a day, two days, a week at a time, than I will if I just set the price at 99 cents and leave it there. Plus, between those times, with the buzz that I hope to have built up, I'll still make sales at the 2.99 price point.  So, there is my reasoning behind, for now, leaving my price at 2.99.  And I do want to thank all the nice and wonderful people on the Kindle boards who gave me various bits of advice, including the 99 cent suggestions!  The book might occasionally be available for 99 cents, as well as occasional 1.99 sales.  But those will, for the moment, be "limited time" promotions.  I don't have any plans right now to permanently lower my price.  Not until I release the sequel, at any rate... ;)

That's also the reason I set my paperback price at $14.99.  I could have gone a little lower and still made a tiny amount per sale, but not much lower. Amazon gave me a "break even" point at which I would make zero dollars on sales made through bookstores and other online outlets, and I can't go below that.  And in the future, I may want to discount the book. But if I set the price at the break even point, or the point at which I make the least profit, where's my wiggle room if I want to have  a sale? $14.99 for a 300-page trade paperback really seems reasonable. To put that in perspective, my book is 110,000 words approximately.  In the most common pocket paperback size that is used in the US, that comes to more than 600 pages.

So for now, I feel that my prices are set right where they need to be.  I'll continue with the occasional giveaway, and possibly with limited time offers, and use those to try to draw attention to my work. I could be totally wrong about all this, though, and if I am, I'll find out soon enough!

1 comment:

  1. I bet it's a surreal feeling to hold a professionally done hardback book in your hands with your name on it and your work inside it, knowing full well that people will pay for it.

    I dream of that feeling, occasionally.

    But anyways, I think the price on the paperback is reasonable, though I'm not completely aware of the quality of the paperback books that come from CreateSpace. I'd have to actually see one and hold it to know if it was actually worth such a price whereas paperbacks of the Wheel of Time books are 7.99-9.99.

    I do have to admit that I'm surprised by the size of the book though. It was five thousand locations long, which I had assumed to be kind of short, especially when I've read eighteen thousand locations long novels, though most of those were the Wheel of Time books.

    Anyways, I was curious about something. You may have explained it already, but I missed it if you did. What process did you go through to publish on Kindle and Nook?

    I was looking ahead at the possible routes, so I was curious. I know some people just go through Kindle Direct Publishing, while others use sites like Shashwords.