One of the fabulous things about self-publishing is having the freedom to set your own price. For many, setting the price for their book is quite a conundrum. There are lots of opinions out there, and I am weighing in with my two cents.
I like to take a look at similar self-published e-books in my genre and price accordingly. I don’t price much higher than that. Some publishers are getting hip with their e-books and are pricing them much lower than paperbacks. For example, Harlequin prices most of their e-books under $4. So I try to stay competitive by checking out prices of kindred books.
I'm willing to be flexible with my price. You can often drive sales by lowering your price for a certain period of time and promoting it through social media. I like to do this over the holidays, when readers who might normally think $0.99 = Crap, now think $0.99 = Holiday Deal.
You might want to give away the first story in a series, a short story or some other special treat for your readers. If you want to make it free permanently, list it with an online retailer that allows you to, like Smashwords. Then alert retailers that don’t permit you to list it for free, like Amazon. Eventually, they will match your price. This takes a while, so I wouldn’t do it for a temporary giveaway.
For temporary giveaways, try using coupons with Smashwords. You can set the percentage off or choose 100% to make it free of cost.
Pricing a book for free is a tough call. Many like to load their e-readers with free books and then never get around to reading them. I know I've downloaded free books that I've never read.
If you don’t like the idea of giving away the first book in a series, try setting the price at $0.99. $0.99 books have had their moment in the sun. I wouldn’t price my book at that price point nowadays, unless it is a shorter story or the first book in a complete series. Again, the idea is to let readers know this is a deal, not crap.
For paperbacks, make your book as cheap as competitively possible. Most Indies make the majority of their sales with e-books. So don’t sweat a big royalty with your paperbacks. Again, look at similar self-published books in your genre to get a good idea.
So those are my two cents.
Do you have any ideas that have worked for you?