99 Cents: The Question Of Life, the Universe, and Marketability

English: Large amount of pennies

Image via Wikipedia

Pending the independent publishing of Jac and the City of 1,000 Worlds, a major question I have with regards to marketing will be this:

What is the optimum price point for an ebook?

I’ve seen tons of ebooks on Amazon that are priced at a mere 99 cents. Not even a dollar. One penny less than a hundred pennies. You get the idea.

I found this article the other day which talks about using math to determine the optimum price point in which to sell an ebook by an independent publisher who at this point is little ol’ me.

After reading that article and this one, I have to be honest: I really don’t get the whole $.99 cent model. At this price point, authors [through Amazon] earn approximately 34 cents per book. And that’s before any promo, marketing, whoring, and other such financial obligations. “To earn $40,000 per year, [an] author would have to sell 333,333 books per year.”

The magazine I worked with, eFiction, charges $1.99 for a monthly subscription and $3.99 for a single issue. I talked with Doug Lance, Editor in Chief of eFiction, and he informed me selling a product under the $2.99 only gives a royalty percentage of 35% whereas the $2.99 price point and above takes the seller into the 70% royalty rate.

NOTE: eFiction went “live” on Amazon back around April of 2011, and they now have 1000 monthly subscribers. That’s 100 subscribers per month. Pretty cool if you ask me. And if you haven’t taken a look-see, hop to their site and check it out. Some great stuff.

So, after reading articles and talking to authors, I’ve decided when I put Jac and the City of 1,000 Worlds on the market, I’ll be selling the ebook version at the $2.99 price point. And that price is still a whole lot cheaper than a new trade paperback ($11.99) and a mass market paperback ($5.99).

Looking at those numbers, I would definitely spend $2.99 on an awesome ebook written by an incredibly talented new author. Plus, if you bring your e-reader to a book signing or other public event, I would be more than happy to autograph a copy of it for you. Then you can show everyone the back of your Kindle or iPad and tell them you met me. And you can’t put a price point on priceless.

What do you think?

Cheers

-SJn

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