Thursday, November 17, 2011

Ninety-Nine Cent Ebook Pricing May Turn Out to be Short-Lived

The bloom is off the 99-cent flower already.  I came late to the 99¢ movement.  Until I reduced the price of my Mark Rollins Adventures series mysteries on both Amazon and Barnes and Noble, the ebook prices were $9.99 versus $25–$26 for the hardback editions and $15–$16 for trade paperback.
I reduced the price in support of what appeared to be a general movement by independent authors to illuminate the protective pricing models of legacy publishers who price ebooks artificially high to protect paper sales.  Now a post by Selena Kitt on A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing reports that the bloom is off the flower or as she quotes Joe Konrath:
“The shine is off the new toy, people have stopped loading their Kindles up with freebies and cheapies, and have started getting more discerning about what they download. Many Kindle readers are starting to shy away from the $0.99 price point because they’ve read some stinkers and don’t want to travel down that road again. What was once a huge draw for Kindle readers—oooh, look, cheap books for my new toy!—has now become the opposite.
Before we all jump to increase prices, consider Joe’s next comment: 
“Of course, I could be wrong.”
One of the things that has happened to change perception is that Amazon has jumped into the publishing business.  By rounding up the top performing independents on their imprints, they have provided a base for the fair price for a quality novel, novella, and short story. I will give the $0.99 experiment  another month or so to see what happens, then I may join Kronrath, Kitt, and others by moving prices for ebook editions of Mark Rollins Adventures up to the $2.99–$4.99 range.

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