Thursday, March 31, 2011

High Price/Low Price = Good Book/Bad Book?

Seth Godin had this to say on the subject today (his grammar is not perfect, but his thoughts are right on):

In general marketing, it’s called “perceived value.”


  1. Thanks for adding the link to my blog to your site, Peter!

    From what I've seen, you can get away with charging more for your ebooks once you've built up a fan base, which is often done by first giving away work for free (Nathan Lowell is a great example of this--he originally distributed his novels as free podiobooks and now has no problem selling the ebook versions for $5 while the rest of us struggle at $2.99 or even $0.99).

    I've seen lots of folks on the Kindleboards try listing their ebooks at higher prices, believing people will "perceive" them to be of higher quality than lower priced ebooks, and it just doesn't work. They end up dropping their prices again because they're not selling anything at the higher point.

    Readers want to buy an author they recognize or, in lieu of that, something that has a lot of good reviews. Social proof and all that. If neither of those things are in place, people just aren't going to try the book *unless* it's so cheap it doesn't matter if it's a loser.

    Anyhoo, it's always an interesting debate. :) Good luck with the new blog!

  2. Thank you so much for your kind reply, and for your thoughts on pricing. It is not an easy subject, as shown by the fact that even big corporations (of all kinds, not just publishing) don’t always get it right.

    I will be having more to say about writing in general (and my writing odyssey in particular) as the days go along. Right now, all four of my children are in this weekend’s school play so it is a little hectic here. However, it really was my birthday and I really had wanted to get started for months and finally I just had to say, “Do it!” and… well… do it.

    As for a book being “so cheap it doesn’t matter if it’s a loser,” I direct you (if you haven’t already heard) to BigAl’s blog (and the 309 comments that he received!) about a book that people wouldn’t have at any price.

    Thank you again for dropping by, I will be keeping tabs on your “endeavors,” and I wish you much continued success. (And I hope that you won’t mind if I ask you a question or two as things come up during my efforts. You always give out great advice.)