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Sunday, June 20, 2021

How Should Authors Price Their Books?

    When I had written my first set of novellas and short stories, I priced my books based on how my competitors priced their books. This approach was fine in the beginning, but as I began to grow and know my worth as an author, I based my pricing on my bottom line. I wanted to make at the very least two bucks per sale after clearing Amazon’s 60-40 split and printing costs. For example, if I wrote a 20,000-word novella, my printing cost would be $2.15 per copy. So, in order to gross a two-dollar profit, I’d have to charge my readers $6.95 per book (6.95 x 0.60) – 2.15 = 4.17 – 2.15 = $2.02.

Author Workspace

    Pricing eBooks are a different story because of the fact that most Amazon customers have Amazon Prime accounts and unlimited access to free downloads. Authors are paid by page views ($0.005 per page) and not the cost of the eBook unless the customer doesn’t have an Amazon Prime account. I always choose the 70% royalty option when I set the eBook price (the eBook price has to be between $2.99 - $9.99 in order for the author to receive a 70-30 split from Amazon), so I charge $2.99 for a 20,000-word novella, for example, and price each book according to word count (a dollar per 10,000-word increment).

    Lastly, I always use ninety-nine cent pricing points for my eBooks and ninety-five cent pricing points for my paperback books instead of even pricing points based on the Basu’s 2006 study that consumers disregard the right-most digits and focus on the solid number to the left of the decimal. This approach has worked well for me, and I’ve never varied from the script in regard to setting a price for each one of my works.

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Should Authors Give Books Away for Free?

    The age-old question is whether or not an author should give books away for free. And my answer is that it depends. I’ve given books away in the past through Amazon KDP in order to establish my brand as a writer in the beginning, but I don’t give books away nowadays (except when I launch a new book). I once made the first book of my series free to draw in readers, and I’d gotten great feedback from them in the process. I also used to make one of my books free each week on Amazon in order to boost sales over a ninety-day period and start the process all over again once the ninety-day period was renewed, and this worked for me as well.

Amazon Kindle eBook

    However, over a long period of time, I’ve given away too many books to people who aren’t fans of my style of writing. The problem with making books free is that it attracts fans who like all genres of books, not just the people who like a particular author’s genre. Authors then get bad book reviews that aren’t warranted because the reviewers didn’t like those type of books in the first place. Brand awareness is great in the beginning of an author’s career, but veteran writers like me don’t want or need feedback from reviewers who rate free books badly just because they’re free. We’ve worked too hard to establish our platform only to have someone who doesn’t respect our grind come along and trash it. People will value something more if they pay for it as opposed to getting it for free.

    Giving books away for free is good in the beginning of one’s writing career, but once an author establishes a loyal following of fans, it isn’t necessary to have free giveaways anymore. My advice to the novice writer is to always value the sweat equity you put in your writing and limit the number of free giveaways you give to readers.   

Five Ways Authors Can Perfect Their Craft in Writing

     The only experience that I had in writing before I wrote my first book was a creative writing course taken in my first year of college ...