Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Should Indie Authors Charge $2.99 for Short Books?

You Want to Charge $3 for 35 Pages???

I charge .99 because I am a reader as well as a writer, and I want to make my books affordable. However, I wonder if am I losing potential readers because of my price.

I really want to know what readers think on this one. If you are familiar with my work, you know I normally write novelettes (between 12,000 - 18,000 words). I personally like erotica at that length and feel comfortable charging .99. I am confident it is worth at least that much for the hot sex scenes. ;)

I have been noticing other erotica authors charging 2.99 for the same length novelettes and I am a little shocked, especially if it is part of a series. If an author charges that much for five novelettes within a series, he/she has just made the reader pay $15 bucks for what ends up being a simple novel by the end. That is a lot of money!

* For those not in the industry, an indie author makes 35% for books under 2.99 and 70% for any books sold 2.99 or higher on Amazon. There is a financial incentive for charging more.

However, I think 2.99 is too much for books under 20,000 words. Yet if you look on Amazon's erotica list right now, you will see the series Anything He Wants is doing VERY well, even though reviewers are complaining about the price of the last two novelettes.

So, my question is this:

Do you generally feel that a book is more viable if there is a higher price attached to it - no matter the length?

Let me put it more bluntly...

Do you feel a  .99 book is normally not worth reading?

14 comments:

  1. I think that your prices are a great deal. It is a series and that you put out alot faster than the normal rate a series comes out and your books are great to read and make you crave the next one. If you need to charge more i will still buy your books. I started from the beg with you on your stories and will go with you till the end. I think that since you get them out way faster than normal that your price is great and if they know your work then they will love to read the .99 books with no issues.

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    1. Donna,

      I have no plans on increasing the price. I find great satisfaction in having people enjoy my books - the more, the better. :)

      Thanks for commenting and your continued support!

      ~Red

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    1. Derendrea,

      Thanks for the confirmation. I may not be a savvy business woman, but I know what feels right to me.

      ~Red

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  3. I am torn on this question. There are .99 books that I would gladly pay 9.99 for (Brie is at the top of the list!) and I have read 2.99 books that I would not recommend even if they are free. Many series start the first book at .99 and then the reader can decide to continue at 2.99 if they choose (Anything He Wants). Another scenario I enjoy is when completed series are bundled for $4 to $6 (Safe With Me or His Rules Bundle). I look forward to the time I can buy the complete Brie series in one download, you name the price and I for one will pay it. I have been through Brie's first 5 books at least three times! You create such a wonderful product, dear Red, and you should be handsomely rewarded!

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  4. Lynda, you are far too kind. Thank you for reading all of Brie's series so far. I am trying to crank out those puppies in a timely manner so fans don't have to wait horribly long but still get quality work.

    I do plan to bundle Brie, Blissful, and Sensual Erotica eventually, and offer them at reasonable prices. But here's the thing - I don't want to offer them at such a low price that I screw all the people who loyally followed me through the journey and bought each one separately. :/

    (Shrugs shoulders)

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  5. I think that 99cents is really an awesome deal for the length of your books and many authors charge way too much for basically a vignette or a couple of chapters. Love the series of Brie and I agree that it will be tough to sell the bundle too low but when you are following the series that is also a special reward in the anticipation.

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by and adding your voice. 99 cents seems the consensus. I really appreciate your sentiment about following a series as it goes. For me, it is exciting but I understand fans who just want to wait until it is complete before they dive in. (I am normally that way myself.)

      However, my readers actually influence me as I write. Not that I take their suggestions and do what they say, but their hopes sink in my brain and stew for a while - sometimes taking characters in a new direction or inspiring future books.

      I truly believe the Brie series is better for their enthusiasm. Love my fans! :)

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  6. I agree. 2.99 is too much for a short story. Especially when its a series. Because if you pay that amount for every part, it ends up bring more that a main stream hard cover book. I have stop purchasing those short story. .99 is a good price point.

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    1. Thank you PlatinumPamela for your comment. I agree, paying the same price for a mainstream hardback doesn't seem fair.

      Happy to keep it at .99. :)

      ~Red

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  7. Honestly, is think $.99-1.99 is an ideal price point for quick reads. That being said, I've paid the $2.99 for ATHW books after the initial $.99 taste because its a really, really good series. However, Ms Fawkes has also rewarded her fans w $.99 books for limited time AND has posted snippets of minor characters stories on her blog. This says she, too recognizes the pricing issue is real, so you get more bang for your buck.

    Honestly, I "stalk" both you guys' blogs because y'all paint good pictures. I don't feel cheated when authors charge a bit (albeit stay below the $3 mark - it makes a huge difference) AND deliver a massive punch. Especially in this genre, where ppl take readers for granted & treat them as dummies.

    I own just about everything you've published... and every dime has been well spent, imo. If ppl think Brie is good, they need to check out the 9 & Noon books. Then & only then will you see the heart of the Phoenix!

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    1. Unknown, you blessed my heart with the last statement. I love Brie and her spunky character but she is certainly not the only character I hold dear. (I just want to give you a big hug right now!)

      I think Fawkes is not only a fine writer but a good business woman. Fans wouldn't have made her top dog if she wasn't all that and a bag of chips. I just know it isn't right for me. Truly, people reading my work and not having the price get in the way means a lot to me as a writer/reader.

      I appreciate your comments! I believe people would pay more for my books if I forced them. But then those readers who couldn't afford it would be left out and that would make me sad.

      I guess my main concern is that serious readers would ignore my work because of the low price. If they do, I suppose that is just the way it goes. Can't have it both ways. :)

      Thanks again for the comment!

      ~Red

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  8. I really appreciate the lower price. As a working mom of 2 little girls I just can't justify spending much money on myself, but I don't feel guilty spending .99 for a quick escape from reality. Honestly, I probably never would have spent the money if the price was higher. Of course, now that i've gotten to know Brie I LOVE her! I probably would spend the extra money to see what happens next. I hope that doesn't give you any ideas though, it's almost back to school time and the kids are going to be mad if they can't have new cloths because mom spent all her extra money to read porn. :0

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  9. I agree with you on this suject. I want more legnth for three dollars. (I want my three dollars!) However, to compare your books with Anything He Wants isn't fair. Your books are better.

    Also, when I read book one in the Brie series I enjoyed it and because of the price I purchased the remainder of the series all at once. It's difficult for me to justify 2.99 for a short - short story when I can buy a novel from someone like Entangled Publishing for the same price.

    Either way, I'm hooked and cannot wait for more.
    Jen

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