Friday, 22 August 2014

Are we undervaluing ourselves?

I’ve seen so many debates about this. A lot of different people have voiced their opinions, a lot of it done on forums and message boards, so often it’s hard to know the truth of the matter.
It comes down to this – what is the best price for your ebook?
On one side is the argument that as an indie author you are asking a reader to take a bit of a gamble on you. They may never have heard of you before, they have no big traditional publisher telling them that you’re worth a few bucks of their hard earned cash, and they’ve possibly encountered bad indie works before. By pricing low they are more likely to take a gamble. After all, it’s only .99c or $1.99. If the book is bad then they don’t feel like they have really lost out much.
But on the other side is the argument that by pricing low we might actually be undervaluing ourselves, and by doing so ensuring that others undervalue us too. The argument here is that by pricing more on a level with the traditional publishers we send out the message that we are as good as those books, and readers respond to it.
To be honest I don’t know where I personally stand on this argument yet. I have had my book free, I’ve had it priced at .99c and I’ve had it at its usual price of $2.99. I didn’t see any rise in sales from the book being priced low, and although free promo days always seem to result in a nice bump in sales, I know that most of the 1,000 or so people who download it may never read it.
$2.99 seems to work quite well for me. It keeps me above the really cheap (and possibly trashy?) .99c books, but also doesn’t deter readers from taking a gamble on an unknown author.
But I always wonder if I shouldn’t be valuing myself higher, and in turn readers will value me higher too…
What do you think? Authors – what pricing strategy works for you? Have you ever considered upping or lowering your prices? Readers – what do you think when you see a .99c book – do you think ‘bargain’ or ‘trash’? Does a high priced ebook by an unknown indie author put you off? We’d love to hear what you think!

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