Monday, July 05, 2010

Book Prices Going Up

I'm appalled to see the price of trade paperback books (let's not even talk about hardbacks). They cost too much in my opinion, so I don't buy books with a $15.95 price tag. I'll look for the ebook version and, if it's set to the mainstream publisher $9.99 favorite price, I won't buy that either.

Amazon recently instituted a new pricing structure for ebooks. Books priced from $2.99 and up have a 70% royalty for the writer. Books $2.98 and lower are 35%.

I've priced my books, both paper and ebook, at the lowest amount I could and still cover the costs of printing and the cut the publisher takes for their profit, plus a tiny amount for me. Good for them. Profit is fine. My cut per year on sales will buy me a nice dinner out.

My ebooks have always been less than $1.99 and, for some months now, I've set the price to 99 cents. Did that increase my sales? Only to the extent that I beat people over the head with it. I think most of my sales are guilty tit-for-tat by authors whose ebooks I purchased.

But my generosity of setting my book prices to approximately one-half of what it costs to buy most other books of the same length and genre appears to be for nothing. That is, the lower price doesn't encourage sales at all.

So, if I'm not selling books at my terrifically low prices, then there's no reason to keep those prices low. If you want to buy my book, then you'll have to pay the same for mine as any other book of a similar length and quality.

On August 1st, the price of my ebooks (Kindle and others) will be raised to $2.99. My paperback books's prices will increase depending on the factors I mention above: length, similar book price, genre. I haven't set all those prices yet, but I doubt you'll get one for less than ten bucks.

So, if you want any of my books you'd better buy damned quick.

For you few readers of my blog who know me personally, you know how to get my books really cheap. Ask me directly. You have my email address.


  1. Marva, as you know, I've read tales, and it's worth a lot more than 99 cents. may I respectfully suggest that people not already fiumiliar with your quality as a writer may be thinking, "Anything that cheap must not be any good."

    Every time I have bought something because it was the cheapest alternative, I've ended up sorry that I did. Others who have been burned like I have may actually be more responsive to a higher price.

  2. Tom, you're probably right. That's why I'm raising my prices.

    I'll still sell my books direct for a big discount from the retail market. Those who know me well enough to buy direct from me will get the good deals.

  3. I think that's a great idea, Marva. Don't sell yourself short. You're a fantastic author. Tom is right about people and their silly ideas on pricing. I would pay $9.99 for any ebook written by you and not be sorry for one cent of it. People think you get what you pay for. It's not always, or even often, the case. But, people still think it. Hike those prices and give it a few months. See what happens.