If you're an indie author, you probably are quite aware, but if you're the average Kindle consumer, you probably don't keep up. But on July 1, Amazon begins paying a 70 percent royalty to authors whose books are priced between $2.99 and $9.99. Right now, $1.99 seems a reasonable price, though I've played with different numbers. Most of my books are 99 cents, though I just moved The Red Church from $1.99 to $2.99. Predictably, the sales tailed off a little.
There will be a lot of experimentation in the next few months, as authors move their prices around and balance things out. Right now, you can get tons of indie authors for 99 cents, and that may very well be the "standard" for indie authors. Most will move to $2.99 because you only have to sell one-sixth of the numbers at the higher price to make the same amount of money. As a pro, you want to earn the most money you can, but as a writer you want to connect with readers and keep prices low so they can buy more books. I will almost certainly be moving Drummer Boy and The Skull Ring to $2.99, though I may launch the new paranormal thriller Speed Dating with the Dead at 99 cents until it builds up a body of reviews. Choices, choices. Fine tuning. Guesswork.
I can easily foresee a summer of frantic price moving, and then indies start moving their prices back down. I may even do it myself, because readers don't really care about royalty rates. All they want is a good read at a fair price. And, today, more than ever, they get to set that price. Viva la revolucion, but no revolution comes without a few heads rolling.