Wednesday, May 4, 2011

John Locke Pricing Experiment: Wrap Up

The end of my test week is here and I've changed the price of The Soulkeepers back to $2.99.  I have to admit, it was tempting to leave the 99 cent price tag as it is easier to sell copies, for sure.  But in the end I did lose revenue and with book two in the series coming out in the fall, it's a little early to discount it permanently.  Here's a wrap up of the results.

  • Once I dropped the price on Nook copies as well as Kindle copies, my sales further increased to about 4.5 times there usual rate.  Still short of the six I needed to make up the difference in royalties but significant sales growth.
  • My Amazon rank also improved significantly from approximately 80,000 to a high of 10,000 but it's back in the 30,000s today as the initial spike of 99 cent buyers leveled out.  
  • I am certain that I reached new readers with the price change, both because I sold more in the UK than usual and had some new reviews from people who purchased at the new price, but also the "customers also purchased" section changed significantly.  There are more adult books in the mix.  So that price point may have enticed certain readers out of their usual genre.
The ultimate takeaway? The 99 cent price point is a powerful tool to expand market penetration when used in combination with targeted promotional efforts.  It isn't a magic bullet and those who are succeeding at this price point are doing so for more reasons than price.  It's true, 99 cents might get your foot in the door with some readers but you probably won't make more revenue than you would at $2.99 unless you also increase promotion concurrently.  Plus, the free-99 cent readers are a different group of customers than the $2.99-$4.99 readers.  So, shifting your price around is probably better than remaining static for the simple reason of reaching a varying audience.


I hope this information is helpful to you.  Write-on fellow indies!

12 comments:

  1. I came to the same conclusions when I took Glimpse down to .99 too. I was happy to reach more readers, but it wasn't as effective as I wanted it to be. I think it works best when you are releasing the next in a series-that way people get two books for under $5. Can't beat that!

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  2. This was interesting to follow. I shall keep your experiment in mind should I ever self publish.

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  3. So we are trying the same thing. My wife just released Fair Maiden, a new book in her 2nd series for 2.99. We lowered her first book to 99 cents. We're not sure how long we are going to leave it there but so far she is getting a lot more exposure. We'll probably leave it at 99 for a bit since it's from a different series and she's getting ready to release book #2 from that series.

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  4. Interesting point about their getting a new set of readers at the 99 cent price point. I guess it makes sense a different group of people read books for 99 cents than do for 2.99. I don't know if I'll try a 99 cent experiment. I'll probably just stick to 2.99 for now.

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  5. No matter what the price, your book is worth every penny.

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  6. Thanks everyone for stopping by!

    Cathy, you are awesome! Thanks for being one of my first readers and for being vocal about your love of the book. It helps. It really does. And, I so appreciate it. :)

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  7. Good study. There are a lot of variables when it comes to pricing ebooks. John Wiswell wrote an interesting article on this phenomenon on his website, The Bathroom Monologues. Here's the link: http://johnwiswell.blogspot.com/2011/04/high-book-prices-are-good-for-you.html

    Good luck on the sequel to Soulkeepers.

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  8. Interesting experiment ... thanks for sharing!

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  9. Not to be contrary, but what about trying $1.99. LOL Might be fun sometime.

    But I agree with everything that you took from this experiment in price lowering, Genevieve.

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  10. I'll be curious for the follow-up in the month head. While this is the close, will there be a tail to these sales? Word of mouth and reviews ought to pick up with four or five times the readers. A big incentive for temporary sales, beyond sharing your fiction with a bigger audience, is to stir up more sales later with post-discount buzz.

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  11. Hey everyone! You may have noticed that my book is still 99 cents on Amazon. I did up the price but for some reason Amazon is still "price matching" 48 hours later. So, lucky customers, until Amazon catches up, you are getting an extra-special unintended deal.

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