Let’s All Be Honest–How Should You Price Your Book?

I think this is actually an important topic because everybody wants to sell something, but a lot of people are afraid to buy.  I would fit into this category 🙂

How high (or low) should you price your book?

Obviously, if you’re already doing well on the promotional side of publishing, you can probably make your book cost a bit more…you know, the normal price that a book should cost.  That being said, I see a lot of newbies trying to promote their stories by promoting “freebies”–books that are totally free of charge.

I understand the mentality behind freebies, I really do.  In fact, I’ve done it.  Freebies help you build an audience, get reviews, etc.  The goal is to gain loyal readers.  And, hopefully, if they like your free stuff, they’ll come back to BUY things from you too.

Yeah, that was my mentality.  I made the first book of my series free, hoping that people would eat it up and then come back hungry for the second volume.  Well, it sort of worked…the first book has received over 300 downloads.  But how many has the second book received (when it’s only priced at 99 cents?)? Like 12.

Seriously?

The thing about freebies is that sometimes it doesn’t even WORK.  It’s a waste of effort and can even be a waste of time.  Nowadays, I’m very serious about selling your book for MONEY.

Why?

froggy

Because you worked hard to write something.  You worked hard to edit it, to publish it, and to promote it.  Why should you just give it away?  Your time and talent should be worth something.

To be honest, whenever I see a book that’s free, yes, part of me thinks, “Oh, I’ll just download it because it’s free.”  But another part of me is like, “Will it even be a high-quality book?  It’s free!”

The point is, making your book free can turn some people off.  Because writing that is WORTH something will COST something.

But then, back to the original question:  How much should you price your book?

Yes, I am asking for advice because my book (after a makeover, new name, and more editing) will be coming out soon.

My book is 300+ pages long.  I’ve worked really hard on it.  Do I want to sell it for “free”?  For 99 cents?

No, I don’t.  Because I think my book is worth more than that.

I guess the point of this post is to ask you to be real with yourself and with others.  How much should someone else’s work of art cost?  How much should YOUR work of art cost?  What are you saying by making your book free?

Think about it.

What’s the point of earning “readership” by promoting a freebie, if, in the end, you really haven’t gained any loyal readers?  It’s easy to download a book for free.  But it means so much more when someone actually BUYS your book.  Also, if they buy it, then they’ll be more obliged to READ it.  And that’s what we want as writers.  That’s how we hook readers.  And isn’t that the goal?

I’m coming out and being honest.  When my book comes out, it will not be free.  This is my decision to make.  I hope all of you can respect that and still give my book a chance, if you’re interested.

elithius-cover-official

Don’t be scared though, I’m not going to make my book super pricey either!!  I’m not Shakespeare yet 😉


What do you think?

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23 comments

  1. Matt

    Hey Dominic! I admire your ambition! I definitely agree that you should set a price for your book. Perhaps you should consider how much other books in the same category are selling for. In the free market world we live in, an item is only worth what the buyer is willing pay for it. Worst comes to worst you could always just sell it for 9.99 and hope for the best! : ) Best of luck to you my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jessica Bakkers

    Matt’s advice is great. I’ll remember that when it comes to pricing my own. I admire you (Dom) for standing up for us writers whom the world seems to think we should take a loss on our creativity and charge the measly 99c for our hard work. Let us know how things go!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dominic Sceski

      Thanks…yeah, part of me feels like I’m sticking my neck out here, telling my followers my book will be higher than the typical 99 cents. But I’m glad you appreciate my honesty!
      I will definitely let you know how things go! This is a big learning experience and I intend to share what I’ve learned (or will learn)!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Akaluv

    I don’t have anything against offering books for free, but I totally agree with about freebies! That’s the problem with sites like Wattpad – you work hard to build up a free readership, but it doesn’t get you anywhere. Even if you self-publish your book, more than likely, those few followers you built up won’t buy your book. If people start out getting content for free, then that’s how they want it to stay. People don’t want to pay for stuff anymore, but they want high quality. It blows my mind!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dominic Sceski

      Yeah, Wattpad is frustrating like that! That’s exactly my point though! We need our readers to NOT get used to our stuff being free. We shouldn’t join the cycle, we need to change it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Akaluv

        I agree! Like I said, I don’t mind offering some of my work for free, but long running series, no thanks. Some readers are so entitled these days, they get mad when writers start charging for their work. It’s so…I don’t even know anymore lol

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Nicolle

    The first thing that caught my eyes was; that frog is so cute! ❤

    Frog aside, I agree with you on the pricing. While I get that giving the first book free is a calculated move, there's this expectation of free stuff = low quality. Writers shouldn't have to price their books low in order to get audience! (Where I live, though, people would do almost anything for free stuff…)

    Of course, being a hobby novelist, I'm not exactly at a position to comment about pricing; I write fanfiction (specifically novelisation of games), so it's a given my stories should be free. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dominic Sceski

      Isn’t it a cute frog??? 😀
      Well, I still think that if you WANTED to sell your fanfiction, you could. Even hobbyist novelists can do some publishing on the side.
      I’m glad that you agree with me! Thanks for saying so. It’s nice to get an idea for what people think about the matter…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nicolle

        Yes, it’s really cute, so I’m going to take your frog home! 🐸🐸🐸
        And it’s true, I could publish on the side if I wanted to! While I didn’t think so back then, I’ve finally reached a point where I feel my writing is good enough to be published, hence why I started rewriting my old fantasy novel rather than another game novelisation. Yay for me. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • Dominic Sceski

        Haha, go for it!
        Well yeah, totally go for publishing!! I bet your writing is good enough. And if it’s not, join the club 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • Nicolle

        Nah, I’ve read a bit of your stuff and your writing is pretty good! I’ll show you my semi-old writing when I’m ready to come out of the closet. 😝

        Liked by 1 person

    • Dominic Sceski

      Haha, wouldn’t THAT be great. No, more people download it when it’s free. I understand that, because people like to be cheap. I wish more people bought my books when I raise the price 😀

      Like

  5. wyattandwaltsawday

    Great post as always, and definitely looking forward to getting your book when it comes out.

    The problem as I see it, for new writers, is that you have to get a base of readers before you can ever hope to sell anything. Why? Because no matter what platform you’re selling on, you’re competing against tens of thousands of other writers, many of whom already have an established following. It’s sad, but almost no one is going to pay, say, $8.99 for a book by someone they’ve never heard of. It doesn’t matter how good the book is. Will they pay 5.99? 2.99? I’m not sure. But, outside of “selling” your first book for free, it’s just going to get buried in the depths of an online marketplace, unless you have some sort of social media following, are famous, have had your book extensively reviewed by reviewers, etc.

    For us, the general point we’re operating under now is that a first book should be looked at by a writer as an investment in their future works. It seems like you’ve had some experience with this, so maybe we’re just flat-out wrong; but perhaps a first book can be made free in an effort to gain a readership. And if you get a decent number of downloads/views whatever, then hopefully they’ll buy your subsequent books. At least in theory, I guess.

    Sorry for the rant – this is just something we’ve been thinking about a lot lately, and you raised a lot of good points. Thanks so much for the read

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dominic Sceski

      No need to apologize, you raise good points. I basically agree with everything you said, or at least I see where you’re coming from. I suppose the problem I have with using free stories to gain an audience is that, for me, I wasn’t successful using this trick. I’m not sure why. Maybe I’ll be successful, I don’t know. I’m still trying to decide on the right course of action.
      Thanks for your comment…you’ve really got me thinking!

      Liked by 1 person

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