Pricing Error In Your Favour

22 Jul

So I’ve made kind of a big decision re: pricing. Previously, I was going by the 99 cent first-in-series $2.99 subsequent-book model, but lately I’ve been thinking, why? And I couldn’t come up with an answer to that. There’s the theory that if someone liked your first book then they’ll pay a little more for others, but I don’t know … it’s logical and I think maybe it works in practise, but do I actually care if I get two dollars or thirty-five cents? Not really! Besides which, especially with the Miya Black books, I wrote the first couple years ago and they don’t represent me at my best–I’m proud of them, don’t get me wrong, but I can almost chart my progress as a writer as I go through them–here’s where I figured out how to pace a book, here’s where I figured out how to better make plot serve story. Around book four the quality increases, and with book five I feel I wrote something really pretty excellent, but who’s going to know that unless people read the earlier ones?

So yes. Back to the point. All of my books are now 99 cents, regardless of length or position-in-series. This will continue until such time as I discover a good reason to increase the price.

(Secret Bonus Reason: When I was young I loved books but they were so expensive. I know there’s not a lot of difference between 99 cents and $2.99, but I can remember a time when two dollars was all the money in the world.)

Oh yes, I’m also going to release books three, four and five of Miya Black this year, pretty much as quickly as I can. Why not? Why not get them out there? They’re already written, they’re just sitting around, there’s no reason not to push them into the world.


Posted by on July 22, 2011 in Of Writing


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2 responses to “Pricing Error In Your Favour

  1. Mark Williams International

    July 22, 2011 at 21:23

    Wonderful news!

    It’s very easy for writers to opt for the bigger royalty and argue 2.99 is a fair price. It may well be. But 0.99 is better for readers. They may well buy three instead of just one for their 2.99 and the push up the charts could gain the author extra exposure.

    Impulse buyers are far more likely to pay out 0.99 than 2.99 for an unknown name, and far more likely to buy more books by that author if they are all priced the same.

    But a question on writing quality. Are you considering re-writing the early books to reflect the experience and expertise accumulated since?

    John Grisham opted not to do that with his first, failed novel A Time To Kill. When he later achieved huge success he insisted ATTK was published as originally written. It sold well on his name, but I doubt anyone found it as enjoyable as his later.more polished works.

    • Ben White

      July 22, 2011 at 22:51

      I think $2.99 is a very fair price for a book, but 99 cents feels like a bargain. And I love bargains 🙂 Actually this doesn’t change much, just Miya Black II right now, but I feel good about the decision. After all, I always say that my target audience is “ten year-old me”, and that guy’d be delighted to only pay 99 cents for all these great books 🙂

      As for rewriting previously published works, my belief is that once something is published, it’s no longer ‘mine’. It doesn’t matter if only a dozen people have read the book apart from me, I made the decision to put it out there–I judged it ‘finished’–and making changes after that point would feel wrong. I’ll correct errors, of course, but I won’t rewrite. Besides, if I started rewriting old books to reflect my current level of skill I’d never finish! And I have too many new projects to think about, no, I just don’t have time. Write, edit, polish, proof, publish and then forget. Move on to the next. And just keep writing!


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