I recently wanted to purchase two different books for my Kindle. The first one was a self-help book whose title I can’t remember, and the second was a book I really wanted to read called No Ordinary Joes. The fact that I can’t even remember the title of the first book shows just how easy it is to lose a potential customer if the pricing isn’t right. Since I can’t even remember the title there’s little chance of me going back to this book at a later time. Both books were priced $14.99. I passed on both of them. Had either book been priced at $9.99 or less, I would be reading them right now.
Now five dollars may not seem like a lot, but that represents a 50% price increase in the amount I’m willing to pay for an e-book. Pricing an e-book at $14.99 is like pricing a single song download at $1.50. How many $1.50 music downloads have you seen? Now being an author myself and having a clear understanding of the slim margins in book publishing, I can understand the publisher’s viewpoint. But there is a dividing line between when a book purchase is a no-brainer and when I have to weigh my options. And that dividing line is $9.99.
Think about it. At $9.99 I can read three books compared to just two books at $14.99. My own e-book for 35 Miles From Shore is being offered by Amazon at the discount price of $7.98. That’s not much more than what you would pay for a magazine that’s fifty percent advertisements.
E-books don’t have the physical costs of printing. They don’t have the inventory and distribution costs. Publishers just don’t get it. The marketing of a book is three to six months long in most cases. If I pass on a book when I’m interested in it, there’s little likelihood that I’ll go looking for it six months later when the price is lowered.