Almost two months ago, I independently published my third book, Then There Was You. It was a steep learning curve from the beginning and I'm still very much a learner when it comes to all things relating to being the publisher, distributor and promoter of my book!
One of the things that I agonised most over was the price. Like most authors, I had received a number of reader emails asking when my other two books would be "free" or "99c". Some readers seemed to consider it a badge to honour to tell me that they didn't believe in paying for books anymore!
Some readers (and other authors) have expressed an interest in how I ended up coming up with my final pricing. So I thought I would share it here with you today :)
- The cost of investment. For Then There Was You this included a developmental editor, copy editor, cover designer, and formatter, as well as a budget for marketing/promotional activities;
- My family's personal finances. I'm currently on maternity leave from my "day job" with our third child so we are on one income. We needed this book to at least earn back the money that we had invested in it in the first three month;
- The length of the book. Then There Was You is a full-length novel at 85,000 words (340 pages);
- What comparable authors (in my instance, people like Melissa Tagg and Jenny B. Jones) were charging for their independently released titles;
- My personal beliefs when it comes to what a book is worth. Put simply, I believe that authors put a lot of time and emotional energy into writing a book and they deserve to be paid fairly for that. Creating a culture where consumers expect that, sooner or later, they are going to be able to get any book they want for free (or under a dollar) devalues that work; and
- A price point (particularly for the eBook) that would seem more than reasonable to my existing readers but also at a level to hopefully attract new ones.
- Whether I was going to initially go exclusively with Amazon for the eBook (who give authors a much higher royalty rate if they do) or "go wide" i.e. list it on other platforms like iBooks, Nook etc.
All of those considerations combined gave me an initial ballpark of somewhere between $4-6 (USD) for the eBook which became $3.99 for preorders and $5.49 as the post release price and gave me some wiggle room if I ever wanted to occasionally put it on sale.
So there you have it. It is far from an exact science but it was the best I could do and (so far!) feedback has been that I've gotten it in the right ballpark :)
How about you? Have you found the price you're willing to pay for an eBook these days impacted by the proliferation of cheap or free titles?
Kara Isaac lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She is the author of Close to You, a RITA Award Double Finalist, and Can't Help Falling, an RT Review Top Pick. Her latest book Then There Was You released on June 22. When she's not chasing three adorable but spirited little people, she spends her time writing horribly bad first drafts and wishing you could get Double Stuf Oreos in New Zealand. She loves to connect on her website, on Facebook at Kara Isaac - Author and Twitter @KaraIsaac