I ran a brief experiment–for about 32 hours, part of July 3rd and all of July 4th–where I let buyers choose the amount they wanted to spend on a bundle of Women and Other Constructs ebooks (ePub, mobi, PDF). I suggested the price of $3.99 but allowed the buyer to put in whatever amount they wanted, even $0. I advertised it around, got it listed on SF Signal under the day’s “Free Fiction” (they noted that it was a pay-what-you-want deal, so no one would feel tricked about having a suggested price), and waited.
The average price readers paid? $2.90
Some paid $0, one reader paid $1, and some the suggested price. A few others paid more: I got $4, a couple at $4.99, one at $5 and one at $5.99.
After looking at this data, my sales so far, and deciding that using this book to get me readers was more important to me than the individual price paid, I went back and lowered the prices on all of the buying options (except print*). You can now get the book for:
Bundle: Signed print book + instant download of all ebook formats $12.99
Bundle: all ebook formats $2.99
Signed print book $10.00
I think that sales have been good, especially considering that I am not a well-known author, and most of what’s in this collection can be found for free on my website, in a different format. I appreciate that my fans want to support my work, and that there are readers who have been waiting for a book to come out before reading the individual stories. I’ve heard from people who never read the fiction they can get here for free, because it was one story at a time. Some readers still hold on to the idea of a “book”, even when they’re digital.
I hope these production notes are useful. I’ve already learned a lot: I have now set up an online shop to host all the different formats, instead of individual Paypal buttons; I added PDFs because a reader requested it. After 30 days, I will post the full stats–total sales, pricing, costs, etc–for this collection, for anyone interested in self-publishing their own work.
Please note: I don’t want anyone to feel as if they lost out on a better deal because they bought early. If you paid a higher price for any of these items, and would like an additional ebook format–for example, you bought the $2.99 epub and would also like the PDF–email me, and I’ll send it to you for free.
* Because I’m using Amazon’s PoD, I’m limited to a certain minimum price. I can raise it, but can’t lower it.