Saturday, March 05, 2011

The List Experiment Update

Eighteen days ago, I dropped the price of my ebook, The List, from $2.99 to 99 cents on Amazon. I was selling 40 copies a day prior to that.

Currently, The List is #37 in the Top 100 Bestsellers on the Kindle. It's selling 620 copies a day on Amazon.

126 comments:

yuzuru said...

Impressive. Why don´t you raise it up to 6,99 and see the results?

Basil Sands said...

That's a pretty good jump. I tried the same recently with my novel Faithful Warrior, but did not see nearly that percentage jump. Going from 2-3 per day, to 3-4 per day.

As you can see though, my numbers in general are a whole lot smaller. I am thinking this means I need to keep getting more and more books out there, until my name is better known then stuff will happen.

But when I did give a free coupon in a comment here and at a few other blogs for Faithful Warrior and my short Geeks Rule 'sales' jumped exponentially. So I guess I can say my new experiment is simply to discover if exposure to my stuff for free will lead to sales of my other stuff. I guess we'll see eh?

Here's that coupon again by the way if folks are interested in free stuff. (by the way Joe, if you don't want me posting this here let me know and I'll drop it quick...don't wanna trespass uninvited)


"Geeks Rule" Free eBook
Coupon: ZK43X

"Faithful Warrior" Free eBook
Coupon: NE49S

Sarah Woodbury said...

Wow.

So what does it mean? Do you lower the prices on your other books? Have you seen an increase in sales for them?


www.sarahwoodbury.com

A.P. Fuchs said...

620 per day?

That's pretty substantial.

A suggestion would be to try it for other titles and see what happens.

Also to increase the price back to $2.99 and see if you make more now that you're up the list and learn how much the rank fluctuates as a result.

The reason? I've done the .99 cent thing (with a fair time trial) and it didn't do anything other than lose me money. Which only feeds a theory I plan on proving come month's end in another experiment.

Regardless, that's awesome.

Speaking of experiments, I've extended my cover experiment to my zombie trilogy, Undead World, of which the first two books are out.

The new covers and details are on my blog here.

scott neumyer said...

Surprisingly I just raised the price of Jimmy Stone's Ghost Town from 99¢ to $4.95 just to shake things up and see what happened.

Well, sales have actually increased AND I'm making more money from them. Go figure. I have no idea why this is happening. LOL

Scott Neumyer
Jimmy Stone's Ghost Town

evilphilip said...

"The new covers and details are on my blog here."

The new covers are great.

Thrilling Covers said...

At this rate, Wall Street III will be about Gekko trying to corner the market on the IPO of JAK, Inc. Way to go!

Mark said...

I really appreciate you sharing all of this info. I would, however, raise the point that the experiment should be adjusted a bit. When you blog that you're lowering the price (especially with a platform as famous as yours) you're adding a huge advertising effect into the mix. Perhaps you could lower a price without mentioning it and plug one of your books without changing the price?

Stephen Knight said...

Way to go, Joe! 620 a day? Dayum!

Alexander said...

so, from $80 a day to $120 a day,and a 15 fold increase in customer impressions and thus word of mouth recomendations? woot!

Levi Montgomery said...

Here's hoping that works for all of us! As an experiment, I have dropped the prices on all six of my novellas to 99 cents each, both on Amazon and on B&N. This pricing may not last, because Lulu (who only has four of the six) pays literally nothing on a 99 cent sale.

Then again, if sales take off, I may simply give up on Lulu and let the pricing stand.

(And I'd be pretty happy to see forty sales a day, Joe!)

German Reader said...

so, from $80 a day to $120 a day,and a 15 fold increase in customer impressions and thus word of mouth recomendations? woot!

Sorry, you have a typo:

620 x 0,99 x 35% are app.$214 not $120

Tara Maya said...

I've also put Initiate on sale for $.99. It's actually something I've been planning a while, because book 2 of The Unfinished Song, Taboo, comes out later this month. It dovetails nicely with Joe's experiment. I'd be happy to sell 15 times as many books, or even the minimum 6 times as many I need to not lose money at this price, but right now I don't expect that.

Tara Maya
Initiate

Ellen Fisher said...

Awesome!

Gary Ponzo said...

Congrats Joe. Marketing at its finest.

Buddy Gott said...

That's awesome, Joe. I'm glad it's been such a success for you!

Tara Maya said...

@ A.P. Fuchs,

I've also had poor success with the .99 price before, and although I'm pricing Initiate there for the month, I expect to lose money. I'd be interested in your theory.

Tara Maya
Initiate

h lynn said...

When I go to amazon.com ebooks, I see _The List_ selling for $2.99. Time: 23.05 UTC, 05 March 2011

Jude Hardin said...

I just sent an email to my publisher with a link to this post. I'm trying to get them to price Pocket-47 at $2.99 right out of the gate instead of $9.99. I doubt they'll go for it, but I'm trying.

Actually, I mentioned it during a conference call a couple of weeks ago, and they shot the idea down immediately. So this will be my second plea. It just baffles me they can't see that dropping the price will actually earn more money.

I'll report back when I hear from them.

Deadly by the Dozen

Pocket-47 Book Trailer

Robert said...

As Jon Lovitz said to Geena Davis in "A League of Their Own": "Well. That would be more."

Congratulations, Joe!

I do agree with Mark, however: Your experiment doesn't eliminate other possible variables, especially the publicity that you've given to it. It's been a lot of free advertising for that title.

Yet, I take seriously the fact that others here have dropped their book prices without such a bump in sales. Meanwhile, some have raised their prices with no appreciable decline in sales.

A truly valid experiment would try to control for such variables as advertising/publicity/fan base/etc. To find out what factors affect sales one way or the other, you might try these things:

* Unannounced price shifts, one title at a time. Try setting one book's 99-cent price at $2.99. Then try setting a $2.99 title lower, without telling anyone.

* Same price, but different cover, and no publicity about it.

* How much does writing quality matter? This would be relevant to us newbies here. Release a book at $0.99 under a pen name, without fanfare, so that your fans don't know it's you. Track sales for a month or two. Will its sheer quality generate word of mouth recommendations and translate into decent sales?

I'm not saying you should do potentially money-losing experiments just to satisfy OUR curiosity. But they might give you insights that could help your own sales in the future, and validate or refute whatever advice you offer others.

Again, congratulations!

-- Robert Bidinotto
RobertTheWriter.com

Lada Ray said...

Wow, this is great! You can now call this experiment a success. It appears, price point does matter. Good to know for someone like me, who's about to take a plunge and upload my first novel on Kindle. Wish me luck.

V. Furnas said...

Very exciting results! What will you do next? Are you going to eventually bring the price back up or let it ride and see how high it can go?

Selena Kitt said...

I'm trying to get them to price Pocket-47 at $2.99 right out of the gate instead of $9.99. I doubt they'll go for it, but I'm trying.

Good luck. I'm pretty sure they can't afford it. That's one of the good things about self-pubbing. So much less in overhead. :x

Jussi Keinonen said...

This price fixing and evalueating is getting interesting. Could we see the next price point at 0,09 cents? For what kind of stuff? I'd guess it would be something really short and addictive.

Jude Hardin said...

Good luck. I'm pretty sure they can't afford it.

That's the thing, Selena. I'm pretty sure they would make more money by pricing the book cheaper. Isn't it worth a try? Surely they're not going to sell many by an unknown author (moi) at $9.99.

Selena Kitt said...

If you can get them do it, Jude, and they finally understand the basic concept you're trying to teach them... you may put all the self-pubbed authors out of business. ;)

Anonymous said...

"Surprisingly I just raised the price of Jimmy Stone's Ghost Town from 99¢ to $4.95 just to shake things up and see what happened."

Amazon still has it at $0.99. Did they price match it because it's $0.99 on another site?

Faith said...

That's an amazing jump in a short period of time.

thebuckedoff2 said...

Very impressive. I would love to see how this turns out when you are done with the experiment. specifically when you raise it back to the 2.99 price.

Scott Marlowe said...

That's a pretty big difference. At what point do you put it back to the original price, if ever?

I've been considering trying a similar experiment with my fantasy novel, The Five Elements, though I'm not seeing anywhere near the numbers you're putting up. I figure it can't hurt in terms of building audience.

Jason said...

Honestly I don't see Joe putting the price back up to $2.99 for quite a while. Wouldn't make financial sense...

A.P. Fuchs said...

It appears, price point does matter.

I politely disagree, as it would be relative to the book. Some authors have great success at .99--and I know plenty--and for others, .99 didn't do anything other than lose me money, and I know and have seen others in that boat as well.

That's publishing: You need to find what works for YOU, and not what works for someone else. Hit your stride and run with it.

Robert said...

FWIW, I got this from a friend, concerning how Amazon determines rankings on its bestseller lists.

The list seems to be based upon a series of weighted averages:

"I'm not sure the exact number," Kessler says of the weightings, "but my guess is 40 percent hour, 30 percent day, 20 percent week, and 10 percent month. So if you have a huge spike in sales, you don't completely dislodge books that have been in the top 10 or top 100 for months and months. Though you might pass them for a very fun hour."

An Amazon spokeswoman essentially confirms his hunch when she says, "We base rankings on all-time sales, as well as recent sales that are weighted more heavily than older sales, so that our lists are timely and aren't always dominated by all-time best-sellers like Harry Potter."

This is from here.

--Robert Bidinotto
RobertTheWriter.com

David Wood said...

@anon

Yes, Amazon matches it to the lowest available price, so if you want to raise your price on Kindle, you have to raise it through your other outlets as well.

Lisa Nowak said...

Okay, that's impressive. :)

Jude Hardin said...

you may put all the self-pubbed authors out of business.

Wouldn't want to do that, because I'll be one eventually. ;)

Tom Stedham said...

Joe,
Thanks to your posts, last week I downloaded SERIAL, for free. It was great!

Today I purchased THE LIST, and SERIAL (UNCUT). I'm looking forward to reading them. You hooked me with SERIAL...

Your blog is greatly motivating my own writing. A sincere thanks from me!

wannabuy said...

Alexander has it right, more viewer impressions and more money? Woot!

Once your in the top ten for a week, then consider $2.99. If the list drops out of the top 100, then it is time to cycle another book through at $0.99. :) Otherwise, it makes no sense to change what is working.

@yuzuru: "Why don´t you raise it up to 6,99 and see the results?"
You're new here I see...

Or were you being sarcastic? Few authors sell well at that pricey an e-book. The goal was 6X the sales:
Same money
More exposure

Joe has done a wee bit better than that...

15.5X sales is amazing!

Neil

European said...

@ h lynn

The price for international customers is 3 times higher on Amazon.
Joe's book costs 0.99 $ for US customers, and 2.99 $ for the rest of the world...
Amazon wants to rip off the international customers, but it's actually just generating a huge number of pirates from the potential customers located abroad!
It's discrimination, and I'm boycotting Amazon for it.

Tara Maya said...

I understand your frustration, European, but it gets even worse for some people, who live in countries where the book is not even for sale. And I can't buy ebooks from Amazon.uk, though I have no idea why. It's clearly not a policy set by the publisher.

Tara Maya
Initiate

Thomas Finan Promotions said...

Well done, Joe! At this point, the question doesn't seem to be whether this experiment is a success or not---it's how much of a success it will be.

The #1 Police Procedural is #16 in the Kindle store, so it seems very, very plausible that this title could have a few more rungs ahead of it. Top 10? Why not?

The Other Side

John Ling said...

The price for international customers is 3 times higher on Amazon.
Joe's book costs 0.99 $ for US customers, and 2.99 $ for the rest of the world...
Amazon wants to rip off the international customers, but it's actually just generating a huge number of pirates from the potential customers located abroad!
It's discrimination, and I'm boycotting Amazon for it.


I'm residing in New Zealand, and the price for The List is 99 cents.

S.J. Harris said...

Congrats, Joe!

At .$99 my book finally broke the 10K barrier a while ago. Woohoo!

Cover Art Review

Journey Into Darkness: A Kim Journey Thriller

Kendall Swan said...

Joe- congrats to your continued success. You took a risk and let us in on it so we could watch. It makes it that much more gratifying to see it work out so well.
Thanks for sharing.

Kendall Swan

Simon Haynes said...

Damn, I just tried to submit a comment and blogger ate it.

In brief, my publisher has just given me the go-ahead to sell ebooks of my own novels via my website. It's taken me three years, but I finally wore them down with reasoned arguments (along with the promise of offsetting ebook income against royalties payable...)

Anyway, being a computer programmer I decided to set up a realtime sales counter page which updates every time an ebook sale goes through:

http://spacejock.iinet.net.au/livesales/

I've been reading your blog for years, and I've followed your journey into ebooks with interest. (Quoted you to my publisher many times, too.) I just thought my figures might answer the questions I see in your comment trail from time to time. To whit: "Great numbers Joe, but how many ebooks can an unknown author expect to sell?"

(My publisher is getting the books prepped for an Amazon Kindle launch as well. Be interesting to compare those stats vs mine.)

Anonymous said...

sj harris:

if you don't mind sharing, how many of the 10k were sold before you lowered your price?

- z

Anonymous said...

also, when did you publish your book?

thanks again.

- z

Robin Sullivan said...

Congratz Joe - in other news John Locke has hit #1 with Saving Rachel (I'm pretty sure this is the first time an indie hit #1). Between him and Amazda they have 13of the 77 fiction spots on the top 100.

As of my analysis earlier today indies held the following spots:
#1, #4, #8, #12, #14, #17, #18, #19, #31, #34, #35, #38, #41, #43, #46, #50, #54, #56, #58, #59, #61, #67, #73, #75, #76, #77, #82, #93, #95

A complete analsysis can be found on my blog:

Robin | Write2Publish | Michael J. Sullivan's Writings

jack said...

Having read all of the comments and such from your blog. I still have to wonder what would happen if you were to raise a novel up to $12.99. I am just curious what would happen at that price point. Do you have any novels self published on kindle? I see allot of them for that price. love your blog BTW.

Robin Sullivan said...

A few weeks ago,there wre many traditional publishers who had lowered their pirices (most to $5 although a few to $0.99) They all discountinued those price and are now at $7.99, $9.99 and $11.99 and are still in the top 100 so it seems as though there is some precedent for using $0.99 to get on the list then adjust your price to maximize profit.

Robin | Write2Publish | Michael J. Sullivan's Writings

bowerbird said...

robin said:
> so it seems as though
> there is some precedent
> for using $0.99
> to get on the list
> then adjust your price
> to maximize profit.

i have a few thoughts on that.


> so it seems as though
> there is some precedent

except i would not be looking
to those legacy publishers for
any "precedent" for us to follow.


> for using $0.99
> to get on the list
> then adjust your price
> to maximize profit.

ok, first of all, joe has found
the way "to maximize profit".

if you are under an illusion
that "the list" will _stay_ on
the top-seller lists for _any_
appreciable length of time
if he raises the price back up,
then i would like him to try...

and if you think this is some
yo-yo, that you can continually
bob up and down, at will, then
i'd need to see even more data.

this tactic strikes me as the very
_essence_ of a slash-and-burn,
where your relationship with
customers means almost zilch,
because you are (1) desperate,
and (2) halfway out the door...

that's why it doesn't surprise me
that the legacy guys tried it...

i can't think of many things that
would piss off a customer more
than to let them get the feeling
you're jerking them around with
price to squeeze 'em maximally.

we're getting way too much of
that at gas pumps these days;
we don't need it at a bookstore.

-bowerbird

S.J. Harris said...

@z--Sorry about the confusion. I meant the book fell below 10,000 in the rankings, not that it sold 10,000 copies. I wish!

Journey Into Darkness: A Kim Journey Thriller

Cover Art Review

Shelia A. Huggins said...

This new territory is engaging and frustrating at the same time. I published my novel on Amazon last month at .99. I got a few sales. Now it's available on B&N too. I have a novella that I plan to release later this month. The sticker is that I plan to release it also at 0.99. It will be the first release of a three-part series. So, yes, it's 0.99 for a novella or a novel. Frustrating.


I'm thinking, though, that when I release the second part, I'm going to increase the price of the novel to either 1.99 or 2.99. That would be late summer/early fall. Then I would have two novellas at 0.99 and one novel at 1.99 or 2.99. That's the plan right now. It could change or not. But that would give me 6 months or so to see how things are going.

Like I said, frustrating.

I thought one of the comments was interesting. Just the announcement itself of the price reduction may have helped increase sales. True. And yes, most of us don't have that kind of following. But with the following we do have (not me), we'd also experience an increased number of sales proportional to our following.

What about a non-annoucement price drop?

Karen Cantwell said...

I've seen a couple comments here suggesting that it was more than just the price change that might have affected the increase in sales, but I have to say that I know at least one of those Indie books up there in the Top 100 priced at .99 cents has had very little promotion and yet it sells like mad - great cover, great description, great title, great price. These elements seem to work.

Tara Maya said...

Which book do you mean, Karen?

Disgruntled European said...

Too bad it still sells for $2.99 here in Europe.

Way to go Amazon, putting a tax of $2 for "free" delivery, even for people who only have a WiFi Kindle!

Robin Sullivan said...

@bowerbird...Yes we are talking about maximizing profit. Once you hit the list and the Amazon machine starts recommending you etc why not maximize the revenue? Neither you or I know for certain if a rise in price will make him fall off the list. Let's Look at Julianne MacLean's The Color of Heaven - which is very similar in that it is from a once traditionally published author that went self-pub. She put her book at $0.99 and got on the list at spot #45. She now has raised her price to $2.99 and yet has gone up in ranking (Now #18). It seems to me she did a nice job maximizing her profit.

Robin | Write2Publish | Michael J. Sullivan's Writings

Anonymous said...

John Ling,

As for the Amazon rising the price for readers abroad, what's really happening is that whispernet download aren't free in some countries, because of bad deals with local mobile companies among other things. So they charge two bucks for enabling international whispernet download of each title.
It may limit the overseas market for .99 ebooks. But i'm not convinced it is intentional.

Anonymous said...

I'm gonna throw this out there, it relates to Guido's comment about the mobile gaming market and turning a profit as a professional there:

http://bit.ly/ieN61z

It also has some lessons about the "race to the bottom" pricing, "market noise" issues of ebooks.

Here's a secret: some "hit" video games that grab a lot of headlines and press, fail to make a profit. For a specific reason: development costs are insanely high. Dev studios shell out a huge amount of cash up front, then have a 3 week retail window to try and make that money back - many do not. The movie industry is in the same place.

Most importantly, the article shows how indie writers are actively contributing to the downfall of big publishers. Bear with me.

In the AAA mobile games market, budgets to make a professional quality game are 7-8 figures. Think about how much it costs to pay 5-10 IT professionals for 6-12 months, not to mention office space, hardware, healthcare etc. costs.

If the market is fragmented by small dev studio apps with much lower operating costs that are competing on a level playing field, it will go through the familiar "sure fire hit" and "sequelitis" phases (that Hollywood has been stuck in for some time), then the big corporate players will amalgamate, move on or die. No new big-budget innovative games will ever be green-lit because the risk is high and profit potential isn't there. Strangled in the cradle.

Extend that scenario to the book world, with editing, marketing, printing, payroll costs, and see where it takes you.

If you eliminated all book production except the Dan Browns and Danielle Steels of the world, do you think the remaining yearly output would be sufficient to keep a bricks and mortar book store empire afloat?

Tara Maya said...

I doubt very much Amazon sat down and said, "Let's piss off European and other overseas customers." There are a lot of out of date laws that make it difficult to have a single global book market, even though, to me, that would make much more sense.

Tara Maya
Initiate

David Wisehart said...

bowerbird said, "i can't think of many things that
would piss off a customer more
than to let them get the feeling
you're jerking them around with
price to squeeze 'em maximally."

I don't think price changes piss off the average customer. Most customers don't track prices of books they intend to buy. They discover a book and buy it. Or they don't buy it.

Is the average customer who buys Alone by Lisa Gardner at $7.99 today even aware that they missed their chance to get it for $0.99 a couple of weeks ago? I seriously doubt it. The price history of specific ebooks is very inside-baseball.

Readers make their buying decisions based on current price, not its relationship to historical price, which they're unlikely to be aware of in any case.

And as for customers feeling "squeezed" by prices, readers seem comfortable paying anything under $10 for an ebook, and don't seem to regret it unless the book sucks.

But a sucky book isn't a pricing issue.

David

bowerbird said...

robin said:
> Once you hit the list a
> and the Amazon machine
> starts recommending you etc
> why not
> maximize the revenue?

as i said, the lower price is
precisely the thing that _is_
"maximizing the revenue"...

so you want joe to change
the very aspect that is doing
what you're saying you want.

you seem to presume that
the sales will remain static,
even if he raises his price,
but that's the same kind of
thinking that _ruined_ the
business of legacy publishing.

they thought that demand
was inelastic, so they could
charge higher prices and still
get the same number of sales,
so they kept raising the price
until the bubble burst on them.

now they cannot retrieve those
buyers that they'd chased away.

based on their e-book prices,
they don't even seem to have
noticed that the bubble burst!

and you want us to make
that very same mistake?


> Neither you or I know
> for certain if a rise in price
> will make him fall off the list.

your capacity for denial is
certainly quite tenacious...

but let me play along, ok?

no, neither you nor i "know"
that will happen "for certain".

but my best reasoning says
that it would, and i am quite
confident that that reasoning
is accurate in this case... so
i would make a _prediction_
to that effect, and also a bet.

but let us examine the caveat.

as i have said, repeatedly now,
it is the long-term effects that
really matter, not short-term.

in 3 weeks, joe has made out.

but who knows what'll happen
if he keeps $.99 for 3 months?

that's the _real_ question here.

the book might drop to #100.
or #200. or even go up to #9.

whatever it does after 3 months,
_that_ is the result of this little
"experiment", and not what has
happened at the 3-week mark,
just like joe was premature to
worry about it all after 3 days.

after letting it be for 3 months,
if joe were to raise it to $2.99,
after _another_ 3 months, we
would see the results of _that_.

remember that these e-books
are long-term products, _not_
things that are on the shelves
for 2 months and have to make
a mark in that time or vanish...
we're new-school, not old-time.

***

all of this is _not_, by the way,
to say that i expect the effect
of raising the price would take
very long to manifest itself...

on the contrary, i would say
that the trend would start to
appear within a week, and be
extremely clear within 3 weeks,
just like that of the price-drop.

so, do you wanna bet, robin?

i'd consider it a sucker-bet, but
heck, i will take your money...

come on, you're a poker player!

but you're the one who has to
persuade joe to raise his price.
try "in the name of science..."


> Let's Look at
> Julianne MacLean's
> The Color of Heaven

got dates and time-frames?

because short-term stuff
won't give us any answers.

the $.99 price might've taken
that particular book to #1,
and kept it there for a year,
and got her a big movie deal.

and she gave all of that up,
just to get $2 more per book,
even though that meant that
she made _less_ total profit!

and you cannot _deny_ that,
robin, since neither you nor i
_know_for_certain_. do we?

-bowerbird

bowerbird said...

david said:
> I don't think price changes
> piss off the average customer.

one price change, certainly not.
two, probably not, or not much.

but if they get the feeling that
you're continually experimenting
on them by changing the price,
and thus removing that variable
from the range of their control,
on book after book, _look_out_.

but i do not care if you agree
or not. because you're the one
who'll suffer the consequences.
so believe whatever you like...


> Most customers don't
> track prices of books
> they intend to buy.
> They discover a book and
> buy it. Or they don't buy it.

i might know more "shoppers"
than you do, david, or maybe
more poor people, or perhaps
just more "frugal" people, but
i think if we ask around here,
we'll find that people generally
visit a book's page on amazon
a couple times before buying it,
where they might read reviews,
then grab the sample to read
-- maybe days or weeks later --
and only _then_ come to buy...

also, i distinctly remember,
when this experiment was
announced and discussed,
quite a few people here said
"i've been meaning to buy it,
but hadn't gotten around to it,
so i took advantage of $.99",
which gives some indication
that people do indeed devote
attention to their purchases,
and are observant on prices.

especially once they have built
a backlog of unread e-books...

i don't even think $.99 e-books
are "impulse purchases", which
seems to be the common belief
around here. i believe they are
considered purchases, albeit not
so seriously. but again, maybe
it's just the people who i know.

-bowerbird

Anonymous said...

Bowerbird,

Are you an independent author? Or an author or editor with the Big 6?

You seem to know alot about this industry yet, you aren't pushing your books because you don't identify yourself.

One more thing - please use proper capitalization. I know some peopel use all small letters when they type on phones, but it is more difficult to read. In fact, I used to just skip over your responses because I've found that usually people who don't write and captialize properly add little to a discussion, especially a literary one.

One day, I did take the time to read one of your lengthy responses and found it intelligent and well-argued. You are fdoing yourself a disservice by not presenting your responses with proper capitalization.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of well-written....of course, I meant "a lot" not "alot."

Matthew W. Grant said...

Sheila,

I have the same concern/observation you have. I dropped the price of my 97K words novel to .99 which means that is now for sale at the same price as short stories of only a few thousand words I have for sale.

Anybody looking at both would think the pricing makes no sense and would be correct in thinking so.

Matthew W. Grant

Discover the Secrets Of Slaters Falls - now for only .99!

Dustin Wilson said...

I went for the list at 99 cents.

It's a certainty that I would have bought one of Joe's books at some point, anyway, as I've been trying to read through a large swath of the better performing indie published authors.

The List being 99 cents insured that I picked it up and read it sooner, rather than later. It also made sure that this was the Konrath book I read first, which is probably a good thing, seeing as so far it's a pretty great read.

elisamichelle said...

I guess less is more when it comes to ebooks that aren't selling well? Would dropping the price permanently help or will you eventually raise the price again?

bowerbird said...

"anonymous" said:
> Are you an
> independent author?

i've written books, yes.

but call it a mere hobby.


> Or an author or editor
> with the Big 6?

i have edited books, yes.
and copy-edited them...
desktop-published them,
and magazines, catalogs,
and the entire gamut...

i have rolled my share of
output from a linotronic.

i've done some work for
well-known houses that
were probably owned by
big6 parents, i'm not sure,
but i am mostly a slacker
(and a performance poet!)
who doesn't want any job
and hates corporations...

i'm lucky. angels love me.


> You seem to know alot
> about this industry

you can learn many things
if you merely pay attention.

i started following e-books
in _1985_ (when we had to
define what an e-book was),
when i saw how valuable it'd
be to store all of the books
in the world "on the computer"
so they could be accessed by
everyone at virtually no cost.

(and all of the music and all
of the movies and all of the
photos and all of the art and...)

unfortunately, the capitalists
let their greed get in the way.

but i'm a computer guy too, so
i've programmed e-book apps
ever since those days in 1987,
and nudged e-books all along.

that was why i paid attention...


> yet you aren't pushing
> your books

i have been exposed to
so much self-promotion
in my life that i've come to
hate it with a pure passion.

so i never do it myself...

instead, i speak against it.

so i'd ruin my credibility
if i did any of it myself...

besides, i've found that it
often doesn't work anyway.
and sometimes backfires...

in my old age, i now believe
i know how i coulda done it
in a way that woulda worked,
and taken me farther, that i
coulda felt comfortable with;
but i can't be sure... besides,
i got "far enough" anyway...
my legacy is secure for the
next ~500 years, assuming
that humans survive so long,
without a break dividing us
from 20th-century culture...


> yet you aren't pushing
> your books because you
> don't identify yourself.

well, you have it backwards.
you didn't "identify yourself".

but i sign every post i make,
and make them all under the
same identification log-in...

"bowerbird intelligentleman"
started as my poetry name,
but i quickly came to use it
for all my creative purposes.
(so for just about everything.)

people know me across a
wide range of cyberspace;
some love me, some hate me.
it all comes with the territory.


> One more thing - please
> use proper capitalization.

no thanks. :+)


> I know some peopel use
> all small letters when
> they type on phones

i've been using all-lowercase
since before people had even
thought of "typing on phones".

before there even was "a web".


> In fact, I used to just
> skip over your responses

that's perfectly ok with me...
doesn't bother me one bit...
i understand it quite well,
and wouldn't want you to do
anything else if you dislike it.


> because I've found that
> usually people who don't
> write and captialize properly
> add little to a discussion,
> especially a literary one.

again, that's perfectly ok...

i've found that people who
spell it as "alot" and who
spell it as "peopel" and who
spell it as "captialize" and
even a mistaken "fdoing"
often cause me some upset,
since i hate me the typos, but
i try not to make it personal.

but yes, i'm quite astounded
that so many "writers" here
don't seem to know how to
spell, or craft a sentence...

-bowerbird

evilphilip said...

"based on their e-book prices, they don't even seem to have noticed that the bubble burst!

and you want us to make that very same mistake?"


Who is this "us" you are speaking about? If you aren't an indie author, you don't have a horse in this race.

Andy Conway said...

I bought The List on Amazon.UK for 71p and it's still listed at that price. Not sure why people are saying it's trading at full price in Europe.

bowerbird said...

evilphilip said:
> Who is this "us"
> you are speaking about?

the people reading robin's post.


> If you aren't an indie author,
> you don't have
> a horse in this race.

oh please. take it and shove it.
then shove it up even farther...

i have been working hard for
the cause of electronic-books
for over 25 years now, my son.

but even if i didn't have that,
do you believe this is some
thing that was handed to you,
and you alone? think again...

the miracle of cyberspace is
a gift for all the human race.

it ain't just your handy-dandy
little personal cash-register...

and any one of us might well
become "an indie author" at
any time, or the _customer_
for one of the "indie authors."

now, shove it up even farther.

-bowerbird

John Ling said...

I bought The List on Amazon.UK for 71p and it's still listed at that price. Not sure why people are saying it's trading at full price in Europe.

Out of curiosity, perhaps we could do a quick survey? Do let us all know where you're from and what the Amazon pricing for The List happens to be for your specific location.

So far as I can tell, The List is US$0.99 in the US, UK and NZ. Someone said earlier that it's $2.99 in Europe, but where exactly in Europe?

Cheers and thank you.

evilphilip said...

"now, shove it up even farther.

-bowerbird"


You seem a little sensitive to the idea that you aren't an author and thus have no real investment in the issue of eBook pricing.

I get you -- your real hobby is hanging around forums pretending to be an expert in everything.

Break out of your shell and challenge yourself to accomplish something like the rest of us.

Robin Sullivan said...

@bowerbirdthe said $.99 price might've taken that particular book to #1,and kept it there for a year,and got her a big movie deal.


No she doesn't have a movie deal and the book has only been on the list for 19 days. When I first saw it it was in the 50's and the highest I ever saw it was #20 until today where it has been vacilating between #16 and #18. But since that conflicts with your lower must be better you'll close your eyes and ears to it just as you did when I presented my own figures during my $99 experiement.

Robin | Write2Publish | Michael J. Sullivan's Writings

bowerbird said...

robin said:
> But since that conflicts with
> your lower must be better
> you'll close your eyes and ears
> to it just as you did when I
> presented my own figures
> during my $99 experiement.

i noticed you failed to say
if you want to take the bet.

i will pay close attention to
the book at which you point,
i will, for the next 3 months,
and report back frequently...

but any "effects" that surface
within the first few days of a
change are super-short-term,
and deserve to be ignored...

-bowerbird

p.s. by the way, here is a
comment which i cannot get
to "stick" over in the thread
on sam torode's "dirty parts":

> http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2011/01/guest-post-by-sam-torode.html

here's another update...

in mid-february, sam said:
> After raising the price
> to $2.99, it gradually
> dropped from #50 to #200
> over the course of 2 weeks.
> The income for a $2.99 book
> at #200 was still greater than
> for a 99 cent book at #50

today -- march 6th -- the rank
for "dirty parts" is now at #471.
(it was at #378 on march 4th.)

i'm not sure how the profit on
a $2.99 unit at #471 compares
to a $.99 unit at #50, but i'd be
extremely worried by the trend.

you're either moving up or down,
and only one direction is good...

-bowerbird

wannabuy said...

I'm excited at how well this experiment has turned out for Joe. I do not want all indie in the top 100 to be $0.99, but it looks like the obvious way to get into the top 100...

@Browerbird:"in 3 weeks, joe has made out."

And will benefit from long term readership gain. As you note, some people who were considering buying did. Pulling customers forward is bad with durable goods. Books, in particular paperbacks and ebooks, are consumables. It makes them that much more likely to buy another of Joe's books.

I look at it this way, I have 50+ books I'm considering buying. I might buy 25 out of 100 books I'll buy this year. The reality is that other newer books earn the click.

The hardest decision for most 'intense readers' is what new authors to try. I expect the type of reader who was lulled into clicking a $0.99 book will take 3 to 6 weeks to finish the book.

So let's see how this helped Joe's other sales in six weeks. 15.5X sales is far beyond any noise or market growth. ;)

Neil

bowerbird said...

evilphilip said:
> You seem a little sensitive
> to the idea that
> you aren't an author

"sensitive" is telling you
to shove it?

you must come from
a different part of the
world than i do... :+)

besides, i'm a poet, dude.
we're superior to authors.
which is why it's called
"poets and authors"...

you do know what
"top billing" means,
don't you?


> Break out of your shell
> and challenge yourself
> to accomplish something
> like the rest of us.

i'm happy with what
i have accomplished.

and i hope you are too.

so please, mr. evil,
have a nice day, ok?

-bowerbird

evilphilip said...

"you do know what "top billing" means, don't you?"

Yes, it is that spot that will forever be out of your reach.

bowerbird said...

evilphilip said:
> Yes, it is that spot that will
> forever be out of your reach.

says the "indie author"
whose own 99-center
now ranks #383,214...

-bowerbird

evilphilip said...

"says the "indie author" whose own 99-center now ranks #383,214..."

If you aren't on the ladder, it is impossible to climb to the top.

chris said...

@Bowerbird

I'm get the impression that you support a $0.99 price point as opposed to $2.99 - and the sales figures would support adapting the lower sale price - but is this perhaps missing one variable, namely the public reaction to the book?

I'm thinking that a Da Vinci Code could ride the bestseller list at whatever price point.

Also, if there was a new Stieg Larsson title surely a $0.99 price point would be crazy?

So, my question is: how do we factor in reader desire or cultural phenomenon into a sale price?

Personally, I'm keen on the $0.99 pricing. I'm not happy about the precedent it sets for royalties though.

Keen to hear your thoughts.

Cheers

chris said...

^^^ WOW, some great spelling in there!! ^^^

Gotta learn to write gooder!

European said...

@John Ling

I have no idea about Northern and Western Europe, but in Eastern, Central and Southern Europe the price is 2.99!
And I'm not talking about just a particular book, but all the books in general...

Joe Konrath said...

It's best to ignore bowerbird. He's in love with the sound of his own voice. Which he wouldn't be, if he listened to it.

evilphilip said...

"It's best to ignore bowerbird. He's in love with the sound of his own voice. Which he wouldn't be, if he listened to it."

You are a wise, wise man.

Joe Konrath said...

You are a wise, wise man.

Just bought your book. Looking forward to it.

Perhaps, in the past, I may have bought bowerbird's book...

But, oh yeah, he's an armchair quarterback.

bowerbird said...

kevin said:
> I get the impression that you
> support a $0.99 price point
> as opposed to $2.99

ok, i've said this a lot of times,
but maybe you're new here, so
i'll say it one more time, kevin.

i don't support any price-point.

i don't care what price you use,
your neighbor uses, or anyone
else uses. do whatever you like.
it's your life; you gotta live it...

i am also not under the illusion
anybody, let alone the market,
cares what price-point i desire,
even if i had any preferences...

i also can't change the weather.

i firmly believe that the "royalty"
percentage that amazon pays on
sub-$2.99 books is very unfair...
there's no way it deserves 65%.

there are several reasons why
amazon might have decided on
that rate, and kept it even when
it matched apple's 70% "royalty"
on prices from $2.99 to $9.99.

but at this time, it is unfair, so
i beseech amazon to change it.

i asked joe to speak to amazon
about changing its rate when he
did a deal with amazon encore,
but i never heard anything back.

if i was amanda hocking's agent,
you can bet i would be swinging
some big bats at amazon to give
that young lady a better share...
it is criminal how much money
amazon makes at her expense...

but like i said, i cannot change
the weather, either, you know...

so, what do i recommend?

i recommend that authors _not_
use $.99, to inform amazon that
you _object_ to that unfair rate.

since the bottom-line, however,
is often better when using $.99,
and the readership is increased,
i think it's inevitable that prices
ultimate-gravitate to that place.

authors like money and readers,
and if $.99 gives them _both_,
then that's how they will decide.

so i can whistle in the wind with
a boycott-unfair-rate campaign,
but it ain't gonna make a dent...


> I'm thinking that
> a Da Vinci Code
> could ride the bestseller list
> at whatever price point.

i'd think you're right about that.

yet p-bookstores nonetheless
gave the book a steep discount.

just like harry potter p-books.

and the twilight series as well...

the used 'em as loss-leaders...

strange, isn't it?


> Also, if there was
> a new Stieg Larsson title
> surely a $0.99 price point
> would be crazy?

if a dead man wrote a book,
i would think that you could
charge a _lot_ of money for
that thing. a _lot_... :+)


> So, my question is:
> how do we factor in
> reader desire or
> cultural phenomenon
> into a sale price?

but seriously, even a steig
_might_ get a 16-fold jump
in sales from a price-drop
to $.99. it's not impossible.
we don't know until we try.

it's certainly possible, too,
that demand for some books
is so high that there really is
no elasticity, and thus a drop
in the price will not cause any
more sales... we don't know.

one more thing that i've said
often is that you should never
drop a price to less than half.

(the $2.99 to $.99 drop is
the exception, because of
the weird "royalty" situation,
but generally avoid a cut of
greater than 50%, because
that creates befuddlement
in the customer's mindset.)

conversely, you should never
raise a price more than 100%.

in general, cutting a price
in half should give you
4 times as many sales...
if you don't get 4x, then
you should raise it back...

likewise, raising a price to
_double_ should result in
4 times fewer sales, so if
the fall-off is less than that,
consider keeping that price.

(yes, of course we should
do experiments with raises,
because it's all brand new,
and we need to _explore_.)

but of course, the important
thing is the bottom-line, so
pay that the greatest heed...

-bowerbird

bowerbird said...

joe said:
> It's best to ignore bowerbird.

it's best to listen to joe...


> He's in love with
> the sound of his own voice.

it's best to listen to joe...

because he's not in love with
the sound of his own voice...

-bowerbird

evilphilip said...

"Just bought your book. Looking forward to it."

Thanks. The one I linked to with the 300k+ rank is a short story. It is pretty short, but I had a ton of fun writing it and it was something that I couldn't find a market for even though a ton of editors loved it.

Up on the Kindle it may only sell 10 copies a month, but that means 50+ people have read it so far who never would have had a chance to enjoy it in the past.

That is the magic of the independent movement.

chris said...

@Bowerbird: thanks for the reply.

It's best to ignore bowerbird.

@Joe: Nah, it's all good, JK. The more views on this stuff the better.

It's nice to trawl through the comment section and find stuff that challenges my own uninformed opinions.

I'm embracing Keynes: “When someone persuades me that I am wrong, I change my mind.”

cheers

Joe Konrath said...

because he's not in love with
the sound of his own voice...


Ah, but people want to listen to me. Hence the million hits a year.

I talk the talk because I walk the walk.

Victorine said...

Since you're higher than I am in rank, I wonder if The List will hit the NYT's best seller list next week. :)

Joe Konrath said...

I wonder if The List will hit the NYT's best seller list next week. :)

It won't. NY hates me, and justifiably so.

Douglas Dorow said...

Joe, you have some great ideas, comments, challenges for others, and definitely some strong opinions.

But I don't keep coming back just to read your ideas and comments. What I love is the audience that gathers in this space you've created.

Thank you for keeping it going with fresh topics and ideas. But also thanks to all those who participate in the debate. That's why I keep coming back.

A lot of us are on this journey together. Good luck!

Tara Maya said...

I wonder if The List will hit the NYT's best seller list next week. :)

It won't. NY hates me, and justifiably so.


I know I'm naive, but I can't get over my incredulity and outrage that this list is manipulated so baldly.

Tara Maya
Initiate

Victorine said...

I must be totally naive, because I have no idea how those things work.

Stephanie Laurens said...

International pricing - just did a quick scoot around the 10 Kindle stores for JAK's The List, and Victorine's books prices in USD

US, Australia, Canada - 0.99 both books
UK - 1.14/1.13
Africa, Asia Pacific, India, LatAm & Carrib, Middle East - 2.99 both books
Europe - JAK 2.99, VL 3.44

Surprised you all don't know how to check - but you do need a computer that has never been used to purchase from Amazon to do it.

Robin Sullivan said...

Joe said...Currently, The List is #37 in the Top 100 Bestsellers on the Kindle. It's selling 620 copies a day on Amazon.

Hmmmm...are sales slowing down on Amazon? Earlier in the year Victorine was reporting a pretty steady 1,000 a day at ranks in the 50's I would have thought a rank at #37 would bea about twice what Joe is reporting. Maybe this shows the buying differences between pre and post holiday?

Robin | Write2Publish | Michael J. Sullivan's Writings

Disgruntled European said...

John Ling,

"Out of curiosity, perhaps we could do a quick survey? Do let us all know where you're from and what the Amazon pricing for The List happens to be for your specific location.

So far as I can tell, The List is US$0.99 in the US, UK and NZ. Someone said earlier that it's $2.99 in Europe, but where exactly in Europe?"

Switzerland, but I know people in other EU countries where this happens too. UK doensn't count because they can use the Amazon UK store, where rules are different. I *cannot* use the UK store, and *must* use the US store with the $2 surcharge.

If you Google just a bit - try amazon kindle $2 surcharge - you will find a lot of results about this.

I dont buy the VAT argument - highest VAT rate in Switzerland is 8%. I don't buy the "mobile operator charges" argument either - I have a Kindle WiFi with *no* 3G.

Anonymous said...

$ 2.99 in The Netherlands.
No Amazon.co.uk kindlebooks for me, and the only way to get a DX was ordering from the US.

ezbeanz said...

I don't think this is really a good experiment for a newbie. You are established and have a good following. You have multiple books available.

I think this just proves that if you are doing good now, you can do even better (if you are established).

Burritoclock said...

I had purchased "Truck stop" back upon it's release and while I liked it it didn't really "grab me" whatever that means. As soon as you dropped "The List" down I thought what the hell and bought it. I read this blog every day, so if nothing else it's a purchase.

I have to say, I'm less than half way through but this one has grabbed me. I was already thinking "I'll have to try some of Konrath's more horror oriented stuff"

So I think the .99 will work from more than just the straight up revenue from "The List".

In just two weeks and change that's 9,000 people, how many convert into fans? Into life long fans?

Victorine said...

I was adding in my B&N and UK sales to that 1,000 sales per day in Feb. I was also higher in rank for most of Feb, sitting around #35, which meant around 750 sales each day on Amazon US.

Michael said...

Even if Joe's experiment won't work for anyone, the information about how it is working for Joe is gold.

Joe, so I see your coherent argument for why I should ignore the NY interest in my latest book. My other books--the ones that came close and failed--are doing just fine on their own, even though I've only been live for seven weeks.

My new book is my best yet and I'm 95% convinced that I can make more self-pubbing than taking an advance for around 10K. So why am I still considering the NY offer? It's not Stockholm Syndrome, since I've never had a NY contract. Battered wife syndrome?

Renee Pinzon said...

@Michael "So why am I still considering the NY offer? It's not Stockholm Syndrome, since I've never had a NY contract."

I wonder about this too. Stockholm Syndrome? Yes, some writers are struggling with that. But there is something else going on here, at least for some of us.

It reminds me of toys that I desperately wanted when I was a child but my parents could not afford them. Now that I'm an adult I can afford those toys but I know that I won't enjoy them in the same way.

It would be SO COOL to walk into a store and see my book. Yessir-ee world! Gaze upon it's awesomeness!

But then I would have to come back to reality and morn the loss of artistic control... and maybe watch moths come flying out of my wallet.

Sigh.

Letting go of a dream is hard, but the situation has dramatically changed. Barbie dolls just can't deliver the same charm anymore.

Alexander said...

German Reader, 30 percent, not 35. i rounded down to 600, and was estimating 20 cents a copy.

Renee, my dream was always to be at the Hugo awards ceremony, and to loose to Harlan Ellison. So thats still doable for me.

German Reader said...

@Alexander

My understanding is that Amazon pays 35% on 99 cent books not 30%. And even 30% of 99 cents is still 29.7 cents, not 20. (math is my passion and as an accountant you don't round numbers up or down when doing a balance.

@Stephanie Laurens

You don't need an Amazon-virginal computer to check the international prices - you just need to log out. Then you go to Kindle Store and can select the region.

Europe is Mainland Europe without UK.

What drives me nuts is that there seems to be no rule to the international pricing.
The List is 0.99 US and 2.99 Europe
but Joe's book Origin is 2.99 both in US and Europe.
Sometimes books are most expensive in Europe but I also came across a book, that was cheaper than the US price. Grrrhhh...

Ty Hutchinson said...

The List is at 31 on Monday.

Just might have a shot at #1 if things keep going this way.

Nice job Joe.

bowerbird said...

"the color of heaven" was #17
yesterday afternoon, march 6th.

it is #26 today, march 7th...

-bowerbird

bowerbird said...

and now, 1:52pm pacific,
on tuesday, march 8th,
"the color of heaven" is #37.

coincidentally -- or not --
"the list" is right now #36.

the irony will be apparent.

-bowerbird

Ecommerce Website Developer said...

It reminds me of toys that I desperately wanted when I was a child but my parents could not afford them. Now that I'm an adult I can afford those toys but I know that I won't enjoy them in the same way.

bowerbird said...

after it rattled around the #30s
for the last 5 days, here today,
wednesday, march 9th, "the list"
made a big leap into the 20s...

it started at 29, but notched it
one number better at an hourly
pace, or it seems, now sitting
at #24, at 2:16pm on march 9th.
recall that exactly 1 month ago,
it was stuck in mud at #1078...

that's right, it wasn't even in the
top-1000 list. and now it's #24...

konrath is selling 720+ a day,
which is _18-times_ as many,
for _3_times_ as much profit.

and as far as we can tell, yes,
this book is _still_climbing_...

watch out.

***

but "the color of heaven"...
well, gee, not quite so good.

it's now ranked at #42...

(funny, with #24 and #42.)

not good.

from #17 to #42 in a few days.

a big fall down the mountain...

***

one of these books is priced
at $.99, the other at $2.99...

one is rising, the other falling.

can you guess which is which?

-bowerbird

bowerbird said...

our "color of heaven" watch
has a report today registering
a highly symbolic moment...

just now, noon pacific time,
on thursday, march 10th,
"the color of heaven"
dropped down to #46.

that might not _seem_
like a "symbolic" number,
until you also learn that
the book now occupying
#45 is "follow the stone",
which just happens to be
the _worst_ ranking for
_any_ of the 7 k-books by
john locke, including the
one he released last week.
(which now sits at #30!)

that's right, john locke
now has all 7 of his books
in the top #45, all of 'em
now ranking better than
"the color of heaven"...

of course, the notable fact
about john locke's 7 books
is that each costs just $.99.

but "the color of heaven",
at $2.99, continues falling.

so this symbolic leapfrog of
all _7_ john locke k-books
over "the color of heaven"
dramatically represents the
_dynamic_takeover_ of the
kindle top-100 bestseller list
by low-priced $.99 e-books,
even against the $2.99 price.

adding to this symbolic moment,
"the list" has just hit the top-20,
and now sits at position #19...

i'd like to thank robin for
exhorting us to focus on
this interesting interplay...

-bowerbird

p.s. also, in related news,
sam torode had raised the
$.99 price for his e-book
"the dirty parts of the bible"
to $2.99, so as to cash in on
its #50 status in the top-100,
only to see it fall out of that,
dropping under rank #200,
then #300, then #400, and
ultimately lower than #500.
(it sunk to #592 on march 6.)
it was a spectacular free-fall.
however, he's put the price
back at $.99, and the book
is rebounding, up to #368...
however, i wonder how long
authors can manipulate the
rankings is such a manner
before customers catch on
and punish such behavior...
no customer wants to be the
guinea pig in an experiment.

Cosmetic surgery said...

I have enjoyed reading. .Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic.

bowerbird said...

more symbolic events today,
as of noon, friday, march 11th.

first, "the list" is dancing around
the #20 mark, right now at #20.

recall that just four weeks ago,
at $2.99, it was at rank #1078.

now, at $.99, it's in the top-20.
so a bestseller was languishing,
because it was "overpriced" at
$2.99... who woulda thunk it?

now it probably sells 840 copies
every day, which is _21_times_
what it was selling before, and
it brings in 3.5 times the profit.

so much for the often-unstated
assumption that the 70% royalty
automatically gives more profit.

it's making _more_money_ at
$.99, despite that unfair 35%,
_because_more_people_buy_it._
that means more readers, and
-- if the book is worth its salt --
that means _more_fans_too_...

more money, readers, fans,
and attention from the world;
that's something to attend to.

but there's _more_ symbolism!

because that newest k-book by
john locke, the one which has
only been out for about a week,
just yesterday hitting rank #30?

it is now sitting at rank #16...

that's right, it positively vaulted
over "the list"... john locke now
has _4_ books in the top-16...
(and 3 of 'em are in the top-9.)

so konrath moved his one book
to the top-20 with a $.99 price,
but john locke has moved _4_
books to the top-16 using $.99.

so while konrath was trying to
use one $.99-inexpensive book
to sway buyers to purchase his
other $2.99-inexpensive books,
a tactic that didn't really work,
at least not like he'd expected,
john locke was pricing all of his
7 books as $.99-inexpensive and
they're all pushing one another,
in a brilliant cross-selling move.

oh yeah, "heaven" is now at #45,
below #44 "follow the stone" --
john locke's worst-ranked book.

-bowerbird

bowerbird said...

and... bingo!

as of 9pm pacific,
on friday march 11,
john locke now has
4 books in the top-10.

amazing. just amazing.

-bowerbird

bowerbird said...

here's your update report for
monday, march 14th, at 9am.

"the color of heaven" has now
fallen from the top-50, at #53,
continuing its downward trek...

"follow the stone" is now #45,
meaning john locke now has
all 7 of his books in the top-45.

his newest has jumped to #5,
and he has 4 books in the top-9.

"the list" is standing at #17,
and joe informs us that it is
selling 36 times as many units
as it sold a month ago at $2.99,
making 6 times as much profit.
that's right. six times as much.

the message seems very clear...

$.99 books move up the list,
and $2.99 books move down.

again, i thank robin for pointing
this little experiment out to us.

-bowerbird

bowerbird said...

it's tuesday, march 15th, 11am,
another highly symbolic day...

"the color of heaven" is #71,
continuing its gradual decay.

but that's not what's "symbolic".

no, that would be the fact that
amazon is now including games
in the best-seller list, and they
are infesting the list big-time...

7 of the entities on the top-14
are games -- scrabble, sudoku,
crosswords -- rather than books.

i would think they'd want to do
two different lists, but i am not
running the place, obviously...

meanwhile, "the list" (the book)
is still holding on at rank #20...

-bowerbird

bowerbird said...

as of march 16th at 1pm,
"the color of heaven" has
continued to fall, at #78...

"the list" is still bouncing
around the top-20, at #23.

-bowerbird

bowerbird said...

as of march 17th at 1pm,
"the color of heaven" has
surged back to rank #68...

"the list" is now priced at
$2.99, so we'll mark the
transition at this point...

"the list" now sits at #31,
down 8 from yesterday...

-bowerbird

bowerbird said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bowerbird said...

as of march 18th at 4pm,
"the color of heaven" is #79,
down 11 ranks from yesterday.

and "the list" is now at #38,
down 7 ranks from yesterday.

-bowerbird

bowerbird said...

as of now, march 20th, at noon,
two days since our last report,
"the color of heaven" is at #83,
down 4 spots in the last 2 days.

"the list" is at #39, down just
one spot in the last 2 days,
meaning joe is getting _rich_.

pay attention, folks, time to
price your books at $.99 and
move them up the rankings,
so you can then switch back
to $2.99 and get rich like joe!

-bowerbird

bowerbird said...

as of now, march 20th, at noon,
two days since our last report,
"the color of heaven" is at #83,
down 4 spots in the last 2 days.

"the list" is at #39, down just
one spot in the last 2 days,
meaning joe is getting _rich_.

pay attention, folks, time to
price your books at $.99 and
move them up the rankings,
so you can then switch back
to $2.99 and get rich like joe!

-bowerbird

Patti Roberts said...

I am currently trying to change the price of my ebook from the introductory price of 99c to $2.99 but whatever I do the price stays the same 99c. what am i doing wrong. I have gone through the bookshelf actions page and it says that it is $2.99 but on the actual page to buy it, it has a line through the digital list price of $2.99 and says that it is priced at 99c?