Tuesday, July 5, 2011

How to Pick a Book's Retail Price

Guest post by Cynthia Boles (see end of article for contact info.)  

You can get more people to tell you about their latest sexual antics than to tell you how much they make. This same kind of prissy secrecy prevails when you start talking about pricing your ebook.
No doubt you’ve already read the articles that are out there. The advice ranges from reasonable common sense to the same kind of digitized twaddle that fills far too much of cyberspace. Here’s what we know for sure.
• Your pricing is up to you.
• You can research what others in your business space are doing.
• If you set your price too high, you will have fewer sales.
• If you set your price too low, you are leaving money on the table.
• You can change your pricing strategy if it’s not working.
Your goal is simple – you want to reach that happy balance where the customer believes your book is a good value (and buys it), and where you are making a good return on your investment of time and talent.
How do you do that?
The answer is deceptively simple. You have to determine how valuable your book is to members of your target audience.
Suppose you have written a book that explains something that no one else has been able to figure out. For example, you have finally developed a perpetual motion machine that anyone can build and you are selling the plans. You can count on high demand because of high perceived value, and you can charge a high price.
However, suppose you have written a book that, although delightful, will not be perceived as any better than any other of its type. You’ve written yet another novel that examines what happens when a lonely widow/divorcee moves to the rocky shores of Maine/Northern California, and meets a mysterious/sad carpenter when she hires him to build bookshelves. What you have is probably low demand because it’s easily replaced and (sadly) you cannot charge more than similar books in the space. (Unless the mysterious/sad carpenter is really an alien with an amazingly long…oh, never mind.)
Now, suppose you are a new author, without any other achievements that make you famous (no Olympic gold, no awards for your latest film, no notorious sex tape, no scandalous arrests), and you are looking to sell a book in a crowded space.
Either…you will have to make your book a significant value (or increase it’s perceived value), or you will have to get either famous or notorious very quickly.
Here’s what to do:
  • Do your research. What are other books in your space selling for?
  • Increase your value. Offer your book for a value price, but also offer access to other things you’ve written “for free” with a special website access code. And, consider other “value added” features and benefits you can offer that will set you apart from the pack.
  • Gain higher visibility. Use marketing techniques to bring attention to your book and to yourself. That will drive sales for this book, and increase demand for your next one.
For more information, please contact: Cynthia Boles : 903.705.0876 : Cynthia@pencodebooks.com