Friday, April 30, 2010

Cheap Sells Better

If you sell your ebook for $1.99, will the world of readers beat a path to your door? I've decided to find out. I reduced the price of The Surest Poison on Smashwords to the magic number. If you're not familiar with Smashwords, it's a website where  you can buy ebooks in various formats. They include .mobi for the Kindle, LRF for the Sony Reader, PDB for Palm reading devices, Epub for Stanza readers and others, HTML and JavaScript for online reading, PDF and RTF for downloads to computers.
You may be familiar with Joe Konrath, the author of the Jack Daniel mystery series, featuring a Chicago female cop. Joe is a promoter par excellence. He has a blog where he talks about book promotion. He contends that with books "cheap sells better." He's done a fabulous job selling his books for the Kindle on Amazon. Some people contend that his success results from the way he has promoted his name. He counters with this:

"When Grand Central released AFRAID as an ebook, they priced it at $1.99 for the first month. Keep in mind that Afraid was written by my pen name, Jack Kilborn, who had no built in fan base. In one month, Afraid sold 10,253 ebooks. Then, in May, they raised the price. Since then, it has sold only 3720 copies. If this were a name-recognition thing, the ebook would have continued to sell well. After all, the bestseller lists are filled with high-priced ebooks by name authors."

In another blog, Joe says his publisher sells about as many ebooks as print books, although statistically ebook sales currently represent only about 10 percent of total book sales. He clearly sees electronic publishing as the wave of the future. You can check out some of his thoughts at this link

His newest book on the blogsite is The Newbie's Guide to Publishing, which sells for for the Kindle at $2.99. He bills it as "over 360,000 words of advice." According to Joe, the 1100-page book is too large for a print copy. And if you don't want to spend the $2.99 for your very own ebook, you can download it to your computer for free at Joe's website.

Let's forget Joe for a moment. This is my little experiment with cut-rate bookselling. At this LINK  you can buy The Surest Poison for only $1.99. And HERE is the Smashwords page for the book, where you can read up to 30 percent for free. (If you read that much, you surely won't be able to wait to find out how it ends.) Tell all your friends and neighbors. This is scientific research, folks. Let's see what the month of May will bring. Heck, I may dance around the Maypole tomorrow if things look good.

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