Wednesday, March 2, 2011

e-Book Pricing

I've heard a lot of chatter on e-book pricing. I understand how some of it comes about. For example: I have a hard time spending money for a reader then shelling out trade paperback prices for a NYT bestseller from a NY mammoth publishing house. Lisa Unger for $11.99 Kindle edition? That just seems greedy.

A publisher can’t drop the price of e-books too low because the cost of editing, graphic design, royalties, management and promotion are all still there. The only cost-savings is paper printing and distribution – but then the e-book seller/distributor replaces those with their own costs.

Because I can (I still control the electronic rights to all my books), I lowered the price of my four novels on the Kindle format, from $6.99 to $2.99 (the lowest price Amazon will allow me to use). This is an experiment to see if price really enters into the buying decision.

At that price, I would make a few cents per book. This scenario would be difficult for a publisher to get everyone who has a finger in the per book margin to agree to take pennies, so it can’t happen in a for-profit company, but with me, sure – for a limited time experiment.

March is my birthday month. So, for a few days, I want to extend a price break to readers, and also, test the pricing model. Does a 58% reduction in price increase demand as our economics professors claimed? I’ll let you know.