How much would you pay for an e-Book?
In 2012, price is an amorphous concept in digital publishing. I read more than a few books for free. I have rejected a book priced at $4.99 because I didn’t think it was worth it. I have paid more than $10 for a book I really wanted. You can’t nail it down. It all comes back to a concept that I learned in Economics 101; as a seller, the “right” price is highest price that the market will bear for any particular item.
So how much will the market bear to read my short stories? This question has plagued me since I started publishing. At first, I thought that $2.99 would work, then I tried free on Kindle Direct Publishing, then I tried $1.99 and so on. After six months, these experiments have led me to a conclusion; the price of the story doesn’t really matter at this point.
Why? Because I haven’t found the audience interested in my style of crime thrillers and I haven’t proven to those readers that my work is worth reading. With so many self published writers competing with the publishing houses and other forms of entertainment, I can’t try to compete with everyone. I have to find my niche and focus on appealing to them. And since people only have a limited amount of time and attention, I have to prove that my work is worth the effort before my audience will read my stories consistently.
So I have come up with a new plan; I am going to target a very narrow segment of the reading population and offer them several of my stories for free. My theory is that once I find the right readers and expose them to my work without any financial risk, they will be more willing to pay for other books later. My hope is that readers become addicted to my style, like a crackhead who can’t get off the pipe. I don’t think people should spend their rent money to pay me or start stealing TV’s to buy my e-books, but I will take the royalty payment without asking a lot of questions.
I currently have three urban horror stories available for free on Smashwords for Halloween. Other stories will go online for free in the coming months on Amazon.com. Try them and let me know what you think. The first ones are free. After that we’re going to have to work something out…