Monday, March 7, 2011

Indie talking

There's been a lot of lofty talk on some blogs about how writers need to price their books at a certain level to make a living. And bizarre predictions of expanding income forever for all writers. Sorry. It doesn't work that way. This e-book market is determined by readers and nothing but readers.

Sure, there's a hangover as people adjust to new buying habits, which is why they kept on paying $15 for their favorite name-brand authors, but it won't last.I don't think 99 cents is the universal standard yet, but it could come as soon as next year, 2013 at the latest. But I suspect the market won't even resemble the current set-up by then. If you want to know my thoughts, follow my blogs at Indie Reader.

Transparent Lovers has been marked down for sale by Amazon for kindle, now only 99 cents (I have no idea how long).At Amazon and BN and Smashwords
A ghost, a dead ex, and a living lover. What could be more fun?


Layton Green said...

I'm a little confused. If Amazon operates under the agency model, then how can they unilaterally set prices?

Stephen T. Harper said...

@ layton, I don't think that's what he means. He means the market will drive the prices down. But I don't know if the trad pubs can ever match 2.99 across the board, let alone .99. It'll be interesting to see what happens. But I agree that it's tough to predict.

Larry Marshall said...

Layton, independent authors don't pay any attention to 'agency models' or any other for that matter. It's the person 'publishing' the book on Amazon that sets the price, not Amazon.

But I disagree with Scott about this 'inevitable' 99cent stuff that's floating around. It's a nifty marketing gizmo and it does get us to 'click' when we may otherwise not do so.

I've just looked at the books I've read on my Kindle since I got it 5 months ago. Only two were 99cent books (though I've bought more than two). Most of the others have been priced between $2.99 and $7.99, with one being a freebie.

So sure, I've downloaded lots of freebies and I've bought some 99cent books. But the books I'm actually reading are mostly in the "sweet spot" for authors when it comes to revenues.

Cheers --- Larry

author Scott Nicholson said...

I agree, Larry--readers will determine the price, but the worst reviews I ever got were for free books. Because then people who don't really want them might end up with them. That's a risk with 99 cents, too, though I mostly use it for story collections and novellas. I suspect many will never be read. But I also do okay at the higher prices, and get better reviews, so that tells me the people that want them will pay more.

Readers are driving this train now.


Nicholas La Salla said...

It's ridiculous to think that e-books are so expensive. They aren't "real" purchases; there's no physical space taken up by these books, no distribution or production costs. There's no overhead.

So why on earth pay more than a couple bucks?

$0.99 is never a bad price, but I don't mind paying a couple bucks for a book. It's silly to charge more than that in my opinion.

One More Day: A Modern Ghost Story

author Scott Nicholson said...

Hundreds of thousands agree with you, Nick. By next year it will be millions. Price and value totally subjective (minus server costs).