I have to say that sometimes it amazes me how the pricing ends up on Amazon’s Kindle store. With Kindle Direct allowing authors to self publish instead of finding a publisher, it’s flooded the ebook stores with more material than ever. (Which is both good and bad.)
On the one hand, it means that authors don’t have to jump and compete with that very small market that is the big publishers line up, and they don’t have to deal with the hassles that can come from trying a small, specifically genre-d press, or bend their genre and style to fit that small press. However it also means that anyone can publish anything, and editors aren’t always used before publishing. (Though I’m starting to get a little off topic here since I wanted to discuss the pricing, aren’t I.)
A lot of the books on the store are $0.99 – especially when it’s a book one of a series, which I personally think is great. It gives you the ability to try a new author without really committing a lot of money at first, and if you like them and want to continue the series it’s usually $2.99. To me? That seems more than fair and more than a little awesome. It’s affordable as the reader, the author gets their stories out there, and while it’s not much they’re also getting at least a little money for the effort they’re putting into it.
What baffles me though, while I was cruising the Kindle store I came across an author who is publishing 4K stories and asking for $2.99 for them. In a see of chapter ebooks and lengthy novellas that are being sold for $0.99, this person wanted more. And I will admit, I haven’t gotten into self publishing my stuff yet, though I do have plans to in the near future, I don’t see how the author thought that would be a good business plan. Especially since said author states the word count in the description on the info of the book so you know you’re getting a massive short.
I won’t say that the author is wrong for charging that much as it’s her work and she has every right to charge as she pleases. What I’m wondering is, do people actually spend that much for such a small short? Am I just a little too wallet tight to spend almost a dollar for every thousand words?
You would be surprise what people will spend period. The best price for e-books actually isn’t $0.99 because it shows a lack of confidence in the work. The best price is around 4 dollars. A graph from smashwords showed tha people buy more when the book is around 3 or 4 than around 1 dollar. I tend to not want to buy books anymore that are 0.99 cents, unless it’s recommended to me because books around that price range haven’t been developed well. But charging 3 bucks for a short story? No thanks. Even the big publishers charge 0.99 for a short story.
I probably would be surprised. I don’t make a lot right now, so I tend to keep a tight watch on my money most days, though I used to spend well over $200 at book stores a month when I had the cash so maybe I wouldn’t. Heh.
Though I didn’t realize that it was better to price them around 3 or 4 too. That’s definitely good to know for the future, thanks. I’ve found a fair few of the 0.99 cent ones I wasn’t too thrilled about continuing after I bought them, but I’ve also found a couple that were interesting enough to buy the next book for 3.
Honestly, I pretty much never consider a short that costs more than £1 or so, particularly when whole novels are available for little more than that (or sometimes less). Maybe that’s just me, though.
I’m alway a little hesitant to pay too much for shorts myself. Especially since, like you say, the longer novels can be a little more or about the same price. I mean, so long as you aren’t looking at a big publisher or a top selling author, you can get nice prices on ebook novels now days.
That’s quite pricey for a short. I think it would be hard for an established author to sell a short at that price let alone any other type of author. Pricing is important.