I conducted a quasi-scientific analysis of the Kindle price points of the Top 100 Bestselling Thrillers on Amazon.com today (08-15-11). Here’s what I found:
Price = Frequency
$0.00 = 29 $5.23 = 1 $9.99 = 5
$0.99 = 26 $5.59 = 1 $11.99 = 1
$1.99 = 1 $7.99 = 5 $12.99 = 16
$2.99 = 6 $8.99 = 1 $13.99 = 1
$4.79 = 1 $9.59 = 1 $14.99 = 5
Observations: (Kindle pricing)
· Out of the top 100 bestselling thrillers on Amazon.com today, 54 are priced at $0.99 or $0.00. (54%)
· There are 34 thrillers charging money and under the $5.00 psychological price point. (34%)
· There are 37 thrillers priced over the $5.00 psychological price point. (37%)
· $12.99 appears to be the legacy publisher price point for most big-name authors.
· $0.99 appears to be the indie publisher price point for most indie/self-published authors.
My (Idiot) Evaluations:
· The majority of average readers/consumers with a Kindle, purchasing from Amazon.com are choosing from three basic price point categories:
A. A free eBook (29%)
B. A $0.99 eBook (26%)
C. A Best-selling author’s eBook priced at $12.99, $7.99, or $9.99 (26%)
Those three categories account for 81% of the Top 100 Bestselling Thrillers, as of today.
Now, I’ve been a devotee of Dean Wesley Smith and I do agree with his arguments regarding the reasonable price points of full length novels. The last time I checked Sensei Dean was making a rational argument for $4.99 full-length novels.
On the other hand, authors like Joe Konrath, John Locke and Scott Nicholson like the $2.99 to $0.99 price points. Nicholson even has at least one of his novels priced at $0.00.
As for me, I originally priced my eBook editions of my debut thriller, _THE WATCHMAN OF EPHRAIM_ at $4.99. I then reduced the price to $2.99.
Factoring in such things as time of year, initial spike from the book being published, etc... I’d say that there was NO DIFFERENCE in my sales at either the $4.99 or $2.99 price points.
My wife, who is an avid buyer of Kindle books, thinks I’m crazy for selling my books at such a low price. When I show her this type of analysis and tell her about the rationale of successful authors like Konrath, Locke, and Nicholson … she replies with her South Philly swagger, “… Just because they’re nuts, doesn’t mean you have to be!”
Her points are:
1. If she likes an author or book, she buys it – period, regardless of the price.
2. She actually holds it against a book/author if she sees a price point under the normal legacy publisher prices.
My (Idiot) Conclusions:
· People are buying books for a bunch of different reasons. But with that said, right now …
· A slight majority of readers/consumers of Kindle eBooks are mostly buying $0.99 or free.
· BUT … there still seems to be over 1/3 of Kindle readers/buyers that will pay whatever price for their favorite legacy author’s works.
One final thought and request … In September, I’m about to release my second novel, the sequel to _THE WATCHMAN OF EPHRAIM_ titled, _SIGNS of WAR_.
QUESTION: At what price do YOU think I should sell the eBOOK editions??? (and follow-up question … Should I keep _THE WATCHMAN OF EPHRAIM_ at $2.99 or drop it to $0.99 or free. Keep in mind, both books are part of the CRIS DE NIRO series - _TWOE_ is Book I.)
I'd sincerely appreciate your feedback!
p.s. ... Something I believe, ""I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours." — Henry David Thoreau
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