Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Secret 8: "$1.99 is a black hole" Mark Coker

"$1.99 is a black hole."

Smashwords creator Mark Coker has a podcast!  Below is a transcript of his thoughts and research when it comes to setting a price for your book.

Listen to the full podcast here

Secret eight; implement smart pricing strategy to maximize readership and earnings. In the last episode, Episode 2, I discussed how as an indie author you set the price and I shared some of the pricing sweet spots for self-published ebooks. In this episode, we're going to dig deeper into pricing strategy, quite a bit deeper.
Pricing strategy is integral to building readership and growing your earnings.  It's a balancing act. If you price too high, readers won't buy; if you price too low, you're going to leave money on the table. Pricing strategy needs to be informed of your objective. What is your objective? Is your objective to build readership, to build sales or both?

There are some indie authors who've written books, maybe let's say about their spiritual awakening, and they don't care about making money, they just want to share their knowledge, their vision with the world, with as many readers as possible. So for those authors, they can price their book at free and they'll reach the maximum number of readers. But most authors want to earn some money and that's where the pricing strategy comes more into play. Each time you sell a book, you derive two benefits, number one, you earn your royalty and number two you gain a reader.

If you write series, you should price the series starter at free. Free turbo charges series.  We've got actual data on this from the Smashwords Survey. We looked at the top 100 bestselling series that have a free series starter, and then we looked at the top 100 bestselling series that don't have a free series starter. And we found on average the group with the free series starter; those series earned 50% more money than the group without the free series starter. Looked at it another way, we found that free series starters are strongly correlated with bestselling series. We looked at our top 10,000 bestselling series.  I should say that you don't want to be the 10,000th bestselling series author at Smashwords because you're probably not selling very much of anything.  You want to be in the top 1,000 and top 2,000.

We found that half of the top 1,000 bestselling series at Smashwords had a free series starter. When we look at the lowest thousand producing series, those that are ranked 9,000 to 10,000, only 22% had a free series starter. So definitely strong correlation here between free series starters and sales; you'll find more data in the 2017 Smashwords Survey on the impact of free with series.

The Definitive Guide to eBook Pricing - Write Hacked

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