Price is what you pay.
“Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.” — Warren Buffett
As I continue my misadventures experimenting in self-publishing, Sell Smarter has been more of a haphazard guinea pig than a case study. I promised myself from day one that I would try anything and everything with this book release. In the four-ish months it has been out, I have changed the price at least a dozen times.
I knew very little when I started and at this point, I have learned a ton, but still feel like I have a lot to learn. There is so much information and misinformation out there, that it truly is a minefield of sorts. Follow every bit of advice out there and you will be walking around in very tight circles getting nowhere. This isn’t necessarily surprising, seeing as there are different types of self-published authors. There are those who are doing it as their full-time career, those that are doing it as a hobby, and more.
Some folks are into Kindle Publishing as a type of get-rich-quick scheme where they outsource poorly written books and try to cash in on the latest craze. These folks shouldn’t be confused with still other folks who outsource everything but aim to put out a high-quality product that will enrich their readers.
As you can see, with so many different types of authors and publishers out there, it should be no surprise that there’d be myriad methods of pricing and marketing.
One of the conundrums I have encountered that really made me think about the “price is what you pay” quote is that I am a rookie author. Sell Smarter is my very first book, period. So many questions arose.
“If I charge $2.99 for my initial fifty-page book, am I taking advantage?”
“If I charge $0.99, am I undervaluing my own work and selling myself short?”
“If I price at $1.99, I am at a lower royalty rate, so isn’t that wasting money?”
In the end, I opted to set my everyday price at $2.99, keeping me at the low end of the higher royalty bracket on Amazon. I have had discounted pricing (it’s actually $0.99 for a limited time now) and even days where it was completely free in order to gain visibility.
Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.
As I launched Sell Even Smarter, I was faced with another dilemma. How can I allow this book to remain higher priced and retain its value. When I launched Sell Smarter, it was a proof of concept of sorts. The next book needed to be an evolution in not only publishing but marketing as well.
I launched this book at $2.99 and kept it there as I bided my time waiting the requisite 30 days before I could do a Kindle Countdown Deal. With a Kindle Countdown, you can temporarily lower the price without giving up your share of the royalty. To me, this seemed like the more savvy move.
After nearly two months, Sell Even Smarter has been lagging behind Sell Smarter in sales. My belief is that not taking advantage of those free days and discounting the book, I have not gotten the visibility needed to have Amazon take notice and put this book into its system. This whole thing is an experiment to me, I am unsure whether or not I should do a pric drop on this second book or not.
Which brings me to book three, Sell Smartest. I am going to follow a more regimented version of what I did for Sell Smarter with this release. My hope is that in doing so, I can build momentum for the first and third book in the series and have book two be sandwiched in between and gaining some momentum through osmosis.