|Submitted by Paul Elard Cooley on Tue, 07/24/2012 - 16:10|
I recently ran an experiment for my ebooks to see how pricing affected sales. And no, this is probably not the first rant you've heard regarding this. But I have some interesting data now.
First off, I was told by another author that I was selling myself short on my ebooks. While I won't say which author this was, I will say this person specializes in selling erotica fiction.
At his suggestion, I raised my prices and sold Closet Treats for $5.99, Tattoo, Interlopers, and Lovers for 3.99, Legends for 2.99 and Fiendlettes for 1.99.
What happened? A serious drop in sales across the board. Tattoo, my most popular title, was selling 15-20 copies per month rather steadily. Since the change, it has sold 5 copies. 5. In 2 months.
Closet Treats, not a big seller anyway, sold 1 copy in 2 months.
The Garaaga's Children series? Legends sold 2 copies. Lovers 1, Legends 1, and Fiendlettes 1.
That's in 2 months, folks. That's pathetic. Truly pathetic.
Now this is across all markets. Smashwords, BN, Amazon, iBooks, etc.
What I've realized is that while Amazon is by far the most lucrative marketplace, it is completely flooded by free KDP Select titles and lower priced ebooks. This makes it very difficult to compete, regardless of the quality of your writing.
Couple that with the fact that I'm terrible at marketing and that I write in genres that aren't the most popular, and it's a perfect storm of fail. In other words, the experiment was a complete disaster.
So I'm lowering my prices again and praying I get back to sales. Also, the fact I'm not getting many reviews for the ebooks is further damaging my ability to attract new readers.
Closet Treats is back to $4.99. Lovers, Interlopers, and Tattoo are back to 2.99, Legends at 1.99 and Fiendlettes to .99 cents. When I release Scrolls, I'll price it the same as Lovers, Interlopers, and Tattoo, even though it's a much longer work. Why? Well, because some sales are better than none.
I used to be able to at least pay for some beer at the end of the month with my sales. Now I can't even afford a snickers bar.
One wonders what would happen if I lowered all my book prices to $1.99 (yes, even the novels) and see how fast they would sell. But I'm dubious. I write horror and dark fantasy, and not tropish stuff. No vampires, no zombies, no werewolves, no dashing babe or dude on the cover looking all broodish and buxomy.
I'm in a difficult market. I realize that. And these are the stories I've chosen to tell. They either sell or they don't and they're either good or they aren't.
However, there's a lot of luck involved here as well as marketing expertise that I'm simply inept at cultivating. So I'm still in murky waters. You'd figure that after 2 years I'd be an expert at all these things. But no matter how good of a book I write, or its cover, layout, or quality, there's still something ephemeral that I just can't seem to capture.
Anyway, just thought I'd let that out there and share my experience. If you have ideas on how to improve my marketing or hell, even my stories, please let me know. I appreciate your patronage and know I have a very loyal and wonderful following. I'll keep writing. Y'all keep listening and reading.