Finished reading Kristine Kathryn Rusch's posts on pricing (parts 1 and 2) this morning, and decided to take a look at my own plan for pricing in light of that information. Certainly, I've been guilty of giving my books away for free, like I've been doing with Seeker for the last 6-7 months. But has that helped as much as I would have liked? Certainly, when I first started the giveaway, numbers were good (such as the 407 copies it gave away in the first month) and it seemed to boost up sales of my other titles. But as time went on, the number of free copies dwindled, and carry-over to the other titles shrank. So, perhaps there's something to the information that Rusch conveys in her posts...
One of the other bits from those posts is the idea of pricing your titles so low that people start wondering what's wrong with them (with the added bonus of not being differentiated from all the other low-priced material out there). I've done that same thing, all in the name of increasing sales. For example, I've been pricing my novels at $2.99 and anything shorter at $0.99. But honestly, it hasn't really helped all that terribly much (except for some reason, people flock to The Cure on Barnes and Noble when I drop the price to $0.99). So, perhaps there's something to be said for higher prices. Personally, I hate paying $6 or more for an e-book, but I've found that I still do it for a book that I want to read (I still don't find myself trying an author for that much without a recommendation or a really convincing sample). So, maybe everyone else out there is the same way, and I've been doing it wrong all this time.
So, taking Rusch's comments into consideration, I've decided to increase the prices on most of my work, to see if there's something to the "price means value" concept. For my novel-length work, I've increased the price to $2.99 for my entire backlist, and $5.99 for my newest novel. I still don't see anyone paying more than $0.99 for a three-pack of short stories, so I've kept the Triple-Shots where they were.
For the time being, I haven't updated the prices of my print books. I want to try out her statements about bookstores now being able to stock POD books first. If that's true, then I'll need to go out and pound the pavement this year. But feel free to try that out for my titles as well, the next time you're in a Barnes and Noble or independent bookstore.
And I'll check back in a few months to see whether this pricing change has made a difference or not.