Monday, November 14, 2011

Is that too much?

As you can imagine, I have been swimming in a sea of marketing for the last week. In spite of how difficult it's been, I'm actually really enjoying it. I've never done anything like this before and new challenges are good for the personality :)

I was doing some research while I was away this weekend and I stumbled across an article about Amanda Hocking. She's done pretty well for herself, so I read through it to try and get some ideas. One thing she did, that would be very easy to implement, was to charge 99c for her first book then any subsequent books in the series were $2.99.

It's a smart move. Get people hooked, then move the price of your book up to the 70% royalty rate on Amazon.

I can't decide how I feel about this. I think it's a very clever move, but do I want to do it?
It's more important to me, that my work is out there and enjoyed. But, I would love to earn enough money so that when my youngest boy starts school, I don't have to go back to full time work. I want to stay home and write. In order to that, I need to be intelligent in my marketing strategies.

However, I am a brand new author and I almost feel as though I don't have the right to charge more than 99c until I make a bit of a name for myself.

Amanda Hocking did it though, and people still bought her stuff.

If I were a reader, I don't think I'd be offended if an author did that. If I liked the first book enough, I'd happily pay $2.99 to get the second and third books in the series.

But I'm interested in what you guys think.
What's your opinion?
If you were me, what would you do?
And as a reader, how do you feel about paying more for subsequent books in a series.


  1. Honestly I think that's a great strategy. Of course I'd love it if every book were .99 but I don't think that's realistic when you think about all the time authors put into writing the book. I think authors deserve to get a bit of money back from their sales, and the jump to 70% commission is a big one. And it's not like 2.99 is a lot. When I see self-published books for 4.99 or 5.99 and it's the first book in a series I'm not likely to buy it unless everyone in the world has told me how good it is.

    But .99 for a first book? Awesome and totally worth it to take the chance you may not like it. But then if you do like it? 2.99 is not a lot at all to see where the story goes. I guess it all comes down to what you feel comfortable with. There's always the opportunity to change pricing, right? I've seen a lot of authors with a 2.99 or 3.99 price who occasionally do a week or month long sale for .99 which coincides with a holiday or some kind of promotion.

    Hope these thoughts help. =)

  2. Thanks for your thoughts, Ashley. I love hearing people's opinions. That's why blogging is so much fun :)
    I don't think $2.99 is a huge risk to take. Even if you didn't enjoy the second book in the series, you're not exactly breaking the bank.
    I'm guessing though, that if you enjoyed the first book in a series, you'd probably like the next one too.

  3. I agree with Ashley on the .99 sales. Xmas, Valentines? etc. Since its just come out you could keep it at .99 for a full month, then put it back up to a more standard price. And with intermitten giveways and comment prizes at least you have something to use as a marketing tool? And you could do an additional - 1 to 2 week long give-away of the first book to launch the second book. xx Tee

  4. I think the .99/2.99 is a great marketing strategy. But bear in mind that "ideal" Amazon pricing varies wildly depending on readers' "moods/expectations." When I first posted my novel back in July, readers were saying that they didn't trust that books under 2.99 would be "worth" reading. But that's totally changed now. E-pubbing is a wild ride.

  5. Tee - I like the idea of doing cheaper months for promo... and the idea of doing giveaways to lead in to the release of book 2.

    Connie - sounds like the e-pub world does dip and dive. I really struggled to decide what price to choose when I first released Golden Blood, because I didn't want people to think 99c wasn't worth reading. I guess only time will tell :)

  6. I like tgayers idea about having a week or so 'give-away' of book 1 just before book 2 comes out... cool marketing tool!!!
    As you know, my thoughts in the beginning are about getting your book out there to as many as possible, but book 2 and 3 will be about keeping the readers that read book 1.
    Lots for you to think about. Look forward to seeing what you decide ;-)

  7. Interesting to hear what you're doing in terms of marketing Melissa. I'm afraid I don't have any advice as I rarely buy books these days and don't have a kindle or an ipad so don't download them either (I'm more of a library girl)...but I'll be really interested to hear how you go with it and what happens! Good on you for launching yourself bravely into the world of e-pub and taking a suck it and see approach. Hope it goes well for you!

  8. Yes, Ithink that .99c is a great start for a series. You can even do a drive before the release of the second book or thrid book and give the others away for free in exchange for reviews. It's almost like free advertising. (This is what a friend of mine did, when she discovered that her book had been pirated. She started asking everyone who had read illegal copies, to write her reviews of the book - and believe me - they weren't shy about it!)

    $2.99 is still an excellent price for a book, and one that I am willing to pay an authors for their years of hard work for the shear entertainment that they provide me in reading.

    Go hard sister - you're on the right track.

  9. It's so cool reading what everyone thinks :)
    Thanks so much for sharing your ideas. It's helping make up my mind.

  10. You have to do what is right for you. I put my book at 99 cents for sales and stuff, but never permanently. I just feel like it's worth more than that, but that is a completely personal decision up to every author. :)