Saturday, April 30, 2011

Update: The Great John Locke 99 cent Experiment

It's been three days since I lowered the price of The Soulkeepers on Amazon from $2.99 to 99 cents following what I dubbed the John Locke pricing strategy.  Not surprisingly, my sales have increased.  What may surprise you is the other side effects of the price change.  Remember, I've done very little promotion.  In fact I've only tweeted about it maybe two or three times, significantly less than normal in an attempt to isolate the price variable.  Here's a brief recap of how things stand so far.

  • My sales have almost tripled the last three days.  You will recall I would have to sell six times the number to make up the difference in royalties.  So far, that hasn't happened.
  • However, my Amazon rank his improved significantly from approximately 80,000 to a high of 10,000 yesterday.  This is something that fluctuates every day and throughout the day but the movement was significant.
  • I sold books in the UK for the first time this month. (I don't target this market so I was pleasantly surprised to see this)
  • A couple of readers who bought the book on Wednesday night have already read it and entered reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.
  • For the first time, free books have appeared in my "customers also bought" section, meaning I've attracted a new audience, one that also downloads free books.

Bottom line, I'm making less money but entering new markets.  As a new author, that's pretty important.  The question in my mind is if the pool of 99 cent buyers is the same as the pool of $2.99 buyers.  If there are buyers out there that assume the book is of poor quality because it is listed at 99 cents, then I'm missing out on potential customers at this price.  I'm also curious if there will be diminished interest at a stale 99 cent price.

I plan to leave it at this price point for one full week.  Be back Wednesday with the final results.

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