Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The 99¢ Masterpiece

Pricing is based on two choices:

        1. Price it according to other similar books in length and genre.

        2. Price it low enough to allow doubters to take the plunge.

Traditionally, old-school style, pricing was always the domain of the publisher. Taking into account the cost of printing, advertising, editing and other services, the publisher than sets a price to recoup all costs and give the author enough for whiskey and bread. The more renown the author, the higher the initial price of the hardcover could be. The newer the author, then lower the price and sometimes only a paperback printing. However, for print copies, the prices rarely drop below $5-8 dollars, unless your book ends up in the bargain bin after a year of slow sales.

However, as a new author publishing an ebook, I have the option of setting my own price. My overhead costs are simply the hours I’ve put in, without any concern for printing, editing, etc. The good news is that greatly reduces the price pressure for new authors. So, instead of trying to convince strangers to part with $12.95 of their hard earned cash, ebook authors can slash prices to pennies. Some even offer their book for free.

All things considered for Based on a True Story – 12,000 words, unknown author, limited appeal (it’s not a romance novel or a thriller), and zero marketing (so far) –  I’ve decided to offer my collection for the exciting low low cost of … well, you’ve read the title of this post.

99¢ offers a window of opportunity. Even those only slightly curious about my work will have little trouble dolling out a buck on a whim. Do I think my effort is worth more than that? Really, at this point, after multiple edits and readings, I have no idea. Anyway, I’m not looking to sell a million copies. I simply want to set a price that opens up the possibility for as many readers I can get.

As I’ve said before in this blog and elsewhere, I write to be read.

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