First, I want to address something and I hope that I can get some participation on this. I want to give my blog a catchy title. Something with me in it. It’s all Craig. That way when you get the email you know precisely who it’s from. Here are some of my suggestions and maybe you have some too.
1. Blog Time with Craig (a little lengthy).
2. The Clog with Craig (Catchy and Clog rhymes better with my name. But Clog’s can be gross or very heavy wooden shoes.)
3. Craig Blog (I actually used Craig Log in my military journey way back when. It was based off of Star Trek’s Star Log by Capt. James Tiberius Kirk.)
Feel free to make a suggestion. Now, onto the main topic, Book Pricing.
I want to give you, the reader, a little insider perspective on how books are priced, particularly when we are all dealing the the greatest publisher of all time, Amazon! I’m very grateful for Amazon and you should be too, because if not for them, I wouldn’t have written and you wouldn’t have read any of my books. They made the difference. So, pricing. $2.99 is my price point for my 40,000 word books. Actually, Series 1 of the Darkslayer is $2.99 to, but they are 100k words. More on that in a bit. 2.99 is the lowest point an author can sell his book for and still get full commission. Any price lower then Amazon cuts my commission in half. Do the math and you’ll quickly realize you lose…big. Half! Sounds like a divorce, right? Now, there is another catch to that as well. Amazon has a new subscriber service, Kindle Unlimited. It’s 9.99/month and if you enroll you can read all of the books that you want that are enrolled in the Kindle Unlimited program. In the case of self-published fantasy icon like me, it’s do or die. But I’m not complaining. Next paragraph.
Kindle Unlimited was a major change in publishing. Basically, for 9.99 a month, the buyer/subscriber can read all of my books that they want. Plus everybody else’s, which sucks, but I’m still working on that Patterson-Style monopoly. Heck, they could read all of them in one month. Man, for only $9.99? How in the heck does the author, me, make monet? Now it get’s crazy, but believe it or not, I get paid based off how many of my books pages are read on your reader. Yes, Amazon tracks how many pages you are reading on their subscriber service. Whoa, that sucks! Well, no, actually, it works out about the same, if not better. In the case of my books, it was a little tough at first. Buyers want longer books. But on KU, it’s not costing them more or less anyway. But there still is a longer book preference. With that said, when I combine all of my books into one huge book, take The Darkslayer Omnibus at 3300 pages, and The Chronicles of Dragon, Series 1, Collection, at 2500 pages, well, they end up selling really well. The individual books do good, but the big books do better and it’s more for your money. So, if you are not a KU subscriber, but noticed some changes in other books, this is probably why. I’m still going to write the way I write, see my last blog, because one huge book all at once burns me out. Now let’s break it down.
$2.99 – Craig’s best selling point that keeps him in good with Amazon programs, himself and hopefully the reader. My books are cheap so hopefully people can afford them. I think it’s a great price for a good book. A lot of times people ask me why I don’t charge more. It’s because I want more to read.
$6.99 – This is a box set of 3 or 5 books price. I use different cover and hope to find new readers at a higher pricing point with a longer book. Many readers won’t touch a free book, short book or anything self-published. They don’t think it will be good enough, but hey, it’s good enough for my readers and I’m happy.
$9.99 – In regards to Kindle Unlimited, this is the max price that you can charge. So, KU subscribers get it free, but you, the outsider, get it for $9.99. That’s actually a great deal because in the case of my books you can get one series that would normally be $12.99 to $27.99 for only $9.99. Again, a new cover for this price point.
So, in addition to all of this, if you pay attention, follow my blog, facebook and amazon pages, so on, so on, you could read all of my books for Free. Once every three months, Amazon offers, Kindle Countdown Deals and Kindle Freebook deals. I can lower my $9.99 to $.99, and boost my sales and still keep my 70% commission. Or I can make it free and get a ton of pages read. Usually, these programs give me a boost and gains some new readers and I’ve had a great deal of success with all of them.
Now, some people can afford to pay for books and are more than happy to shell out the dough when their favorite author (me) turns out a new release. But I hear from readers all the time that can’t even spare the .99. That’s why I give out free books all the time. Plus, if you are a voracious reader, it can get pretty expensive! But, the ones that can afford to pay are happy to pay, I know I am, but I want to also help out where I can. So I do.
Okay, this is a pretty long blog and I only glossed over the complicated details, but I hope you found this information helpful, if not interesting. And don’t forget to suggest or pick a name for my Clog, I mean Blog!