How Much Do You Charge for an EBook?

Close Liaisons features Mylar balloons and science fiction by Barbara Custer

SF involving balloons and war $1.49

How much should you charge for your eBook? Some folks believe that charging $2.99 and less will result in more sales. The 99-cent novellas will make good publicity, an easy way to get to know an author’s style of writing. If nothing else, it will generate balloon money for the author and publisher. But I know of people who started out at $5.25 for their book, and when they lowered it to $2.99, sales tanked. What’s more, the lower price cut into their royalties.

Amazon likes to recommend prices when I upload Kindle books for myself or for NTD authors.  Basically, anything over $7 or under $3 won’t earn much. However, if you’re charging more for your eBook, you might want to run promos and specials where people can get the book for much less, thus meaning a larger audience. Many variables go into pricing and you might want to consider several things when you price your eBook, especially if you’re selling through multiple distributors.

  • The size of your eBook. If you’ve written a 10,000 word novelette, you’d charge much less than you would for your 80,000 opus magnum. It’s a matter of fairness. Why charge $4.99 for an eBook that would only have twenty pages in print form? It would be like charging someone $20.00 (the cost of a balloon bouquet) for one balloon. In tandem, consider your primary goals, that is, education versus entertainment. People will shell out more money for vital information, such as tips on winter driving and survival then they might for tales about Mylar balloon adventures.
  • Consider what other authors charge for the same size and genre. If you’re charging $10 for a 30,000 word zombie tale, but other authors are charging $1.99 for the same type of book, yours won’t sell many copies. If you’re only selling off your own website, you might have more leeway with price. My experience has been that most people prefer shopping through Amazon or Barnes & Noble over a private website. Why? If you shop on the NTD website, you’ll need a PayPal account, which requires a password. For that reason, I always provide links to Amazon, Smashwords, and Barnes & Noble. Most seller websites involve setting up an account and a password. It’s easier to remember one password (Amazon) than tracking different passwords for multiple websites.
  • What are your plans for your book? If your work is a 10,000-word novelette, it can serve as an intro to your larger, more expensive works. Most folks won’t mind shelling out 99 cents for such a story. Your book—and your ideas—will fall into more hands. If they like your work, you’ve got more potential buyers for your larger stories. If you don’t have a 99-cent eBook, you might want to create one. Your entry-level priced eBook will give readers a chance to know your work.
  • How large is your following? If you’re anything like Stephen King or Jonathan Maberry, your publisher might sell your eBooks for $10 each and more. That’s because both authors have dedicated fans who love their writing so much that they’ll gladly pay that to read their fiction. If you’re pitching to total strangers, they’ll balk, especially if they see other books of the same genre sell for $3.99.

You might consider having a list price but discount that price from time to time. This way, you’ll drive more interest in your books. No price is ever set in stone, and because the eBook world is constantly changing, you should evaluate your prices from time to time.

Your thoughts?

Blue Plate Special is zombie novel by Harold Kempka

Tidbits of horror for $2.99

Clutter in my Home, Website, and Writing

I’ve started a campaign to clean out the clutter in my house. Today I mopped floors, changed kitchen curtains, and filed away the atomic piles in my office. In case you’re wondering what “atomic piles” means, I’m referring to the growing piles of folders and NTD material on the floor surrounding my office chair. I’m ditching some of the empty boxes I’ve got as well. You’d be surprised how fast they accumulate if you shop online. I began the job with a balloon acquisition, of course. I never undertake a difficult task without fortifying myself with a balloon.

I’ve attacked my website, about 3 pages/posts a day. Why the website? Well, gremlins crawled into some of the pages, interjecting weird-looking symbols when I upgraded the WordPress software. Also, I had a learning experience about WordPress.org. When you upload photos to the Media Library to use on your pages, you’ve got to keep them forever. If you delete them, as I found out, the respective images will disappear off your pages and posts. That’s what I did, thinking I could conserve memory. Some of the people I interviewed changed publishers, so the images I have are obsolete. Also WordPress provides a thing called SEO, but you gotta type in your key words, summary and title with every blog post and page you do. So I’ll ‘fess up. I’d gotten lazy about doing that, so now I’m playing catch-up SEO installations.

Finally, my writing. While the floors dry and my website digests the changes I’ve made, I spent the next few hours going through When Blood Reigns, the sequel to Steel Rose. I found a lot of padding where words are concerned, so I’m tightening up the story. I’ve caught little inconsistencies which I’m fixing now. I’m missing an entire scene around Chapter 26, so I typed in “Chapter 26” and left a note, “insert a scene with Laurel and Woehar plotting here.” Yep, you’ve got it. Both women are up to no good, and our heroine Alexis is about to get the short end of the stick. I’ve stuck other notes in red here and there, to be addressed after I’ve gone through the whole story. I dread facing the ending; I struggled with it the first draft out. Steel Rose was meant to be a two-part serial, which means Needing A Satisfying Ending. Endings are tough. Coming up with a workable ending for “One Last Favor” (City of Brotherly Death) was a nightmare.

Okay, I’ll have some whine with my cheese, preferably Provolone because I love Italian cheeses. A purebred Italian, Alexis loves Provolone and homemade pastas. Alas, out in Zombie Land, shops that specialize in ethnic food don’t exist. She counts herself lucky to get canned spaghetti.

But here I digress. I’m focusing on cleaning up the clutter, the extraneous sentences and information dumps in my story, and facing the ending when it comes. Do you find yourself struggling with clutter in your WIP? I’d love to hear how you handle the revision process.

Steel Rose features zombie fiction by Barbara Custer.

 

E-Reader or Tablet?

At the beginning of this summer, I made up a bucket list, with “e-reader” written at the top. After going on two trips and lugging around heavy paperbacks and a laptop, I decided it was high time I invested in an eBook reader. With my mind set on Kindle, I worked overtime and saved some of my balloon money.

Alas, purchasing an e-reader or tablet is much more complicated than buying balloons. I started wanting other things, like something that took pictures and enabled me to check email. Although you can check your email on Kindle the virtual keyboard is tiny. For some time now, I’ve had a lot of issues with reading small print. So I started researching the tablet category — a LOT of research, with brands like Samsung. I’ve bought a telephone through Samsung, and that phone lasted me over six years.

One of my work buddies showed me her Samsung Galaxy Player. The photos she took with it were awesome, and in a Wi-Fi area, she can check and send email. The size of the keyboard was an issue with me though. It was too tiny. If I wanted to stay with Samsung, I had a choice between the 7 inch and 10.1 inch tablets. So I headed to Best Buy to check out these tablets. The 7 inch Galaxy called to me, much the same way the butterfly balloons do at the Giant. It was light as a balloon, and all of the apps were right there on the front screen, so I tried getting into Kindle. The keyboard came up, but again the letters were tiny. I tried punching in my password and kept hitting the wrong letters. Grrrrrr!

I moved onto the 10.1 inch display. This tablet was a bit heavier and pricier, but I had to admit, the keyboard was balloon-lady-readable. I so loved the smaller one I couldn’t make up my mind which one to get.  So I took a democratic poll with my writer and work buddies, people who’ve seen me have my trouble reading small print. “Get the 10.1 inch one,” they told me. “Easier on your eyes.”

So I went online with Best Buy and ordered the 10.1 inch Samsung. I have to wait a week until they ship it from their warehouse. It will have the goodies I want. When it comes to my writing, it will never replace my laptop or desktop. But at a Starbucks, doctor’s office, and other places with Wi-Fi, the tablet will come in handy for checking my email and Facebook. And I can use it to photograph family gatherings and my balloons.

Do you have an eBook reader or tablet, or are you thinking about getting one? I’d like to hear about your experiences with them.

 

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