Do 99-Cent E-books attract the wrong kind of reader?

News, trends, and the future of publishing
User avatar
Posts: 1354
Joined: December 7th, 2009, 9:59 am

Re: Do 99-Cent E-books attract the wrong kind of reader?

Post by Mira » March 20th, 2011, 8:13 pm

Margo wrote:
Mira wrote:But I have no problem with Wal-mart, and other discount stores, carrying books.
I wasn't refering to whether or not Wal-Mart carried books but the fostering of the consumer attitude that we are all entitled to whatever we want for nothing, or certainly less than it really should cost. When we actually receive something for less than it should cost, it loses value in our eyes, and we treat it as being of less value.
Well, like I said. If you have an issue with authors pricing their books at 99 cents, take it up with them. I don't see any consumer advocacy groups demanding that e-books be priced at 99 cents.

I think many are afraid of the I-tunes model, where a song costs 99 cents. But I think that the I-tunes model doesn't quite work here. I-tunes doesn't allow musicians to set their own prices. They are currently controlling the market. I bet if musicians could set their own prices, they would not all sell their songs for 99 cents.

And in the case where there is more freedom, like with authors, it's more likely that a tier system will come into play. Debut or certain types of books will run for 99 cents, while more established authors, certain types of other books will be priced higher.

Regardless, we currently have the freedom to price our books the way we want. And if our books are good, people will buy them.

Posts: 33
Joined: January 6th, 2011, 3:28 pm

Re: Do 99-Cent E-books attract the wrong kind of reader?

Post by mnaylor3 » March 25th, 2011, 6:09 pm

Then there was the fact that I wanted to cultivate a loyal following and most people who expect ebooks to be 99 cents aren’t that loyal. They’re shopping by price as their main deciding factor. I just don’t want those readers. Anybody that price sensitive just isn’t the demographic I’m going after. (And there are plenty of readers who pay 99 cents who would gladly pay more, but when you’re priced at 99 cents, there is no way to separate that demographic out.)
I want people willing to invest in my work and in me because I work hard at what I do. And I want readers who respect that. I made my novellas all $2.99 because I felt that was a reasonable price point. I raised Blood Lust to 3.95 in the effort to slowly ease it up to it’s final price point of $4.95. Eventually it went up to $4.95 as did Save My Soul. With my novels I intend to do a $2.99 intro price for the fans/newsletter subscribers, but raise up to the full price as soon as possible with each book.

What do you think? Do low prices condition readers to shop on price instead of loyalty?

Sure it can, but it can cultivate and kick start loyalty.

Price point can make someone loyal. A person can be loyal to a bookstore because they sell cheap, used books that are good reads. A person can be loyal to a restaurant because the food is cheap and good.

Low price can kick start loyalty too. Readers may wind up loyal to an author because they made a low-risk investment when they bought the book. Later on, a low price might be less important.

One last thing about 99 cent price points.

Most people who expect ebooks to be 99 cents are loyal, recognize how hard authors work, respect it, and invest in them. It’s easy to picture a person who expects cell phones to be $99 dollars when they sign a contract with a provider, except when it comes to iPhones. They respect Steve Jobs and see how hard he works . They’ll pay Apple’s higher price points. A lot of people are that way about all sorts of products: shoes, televisions, handbags, sports equipment. I don’t see why those that expect ebooks to be 99 cents are an exception here.

User avatar
Posts: 10
Joined: April 15th, 2011, 12:48 am
Location: Utah

Re: Do 99-Cent E-books attract the wrong kind of reader?

Post by authorgirl1485 » April 15th, 2011, 1:29 pm

I think that while the idea of a 99 cent book is an okay one, it makes it more hard on writers. Though we are 'starving artists' more often than not, I think that the time spent to write and produce a novel is worth more than a 99 cent rate. Of course, I do understand that it's great to have more people to appreciate the written word, but if you are after a large amount of readers that will get a book for basically nothing, then why not put the chapters on a blog?
Failure teaches success.

Posts: 9
Joined: April 20th, 2011, 2:43 pm

Re: Do 99-Cent E-books attract the wrong kind of reader?

Post by ClaudeNougat » April 21st, 2011, 5:19 am

lvcabbie wrote:I think the Harry Potter series shows something along this line.

When they first came out, I read of a whole lot of "experts" who said it was horrible, badly written and would never go anywhere.
But, they took off and - most important of all - it got a lot of kids to turn off the television and READ a book! So, it expanded the field and gave us a generation of youngsters who returned to the written page.

Perhaps the 99 centers are doing something similar? To me, if ANYONE takes the time to READ a book, regardless of its cost, it means one more person who appreciates the written word. It may not be professional but that individual will eventually move on to other works that cost more and are better written.
I completely agree with you! I believe the $0.99 is nothing more than a marketing gimmick: it appeals to "impulse" buyers. And I think it also attracts YA readers, all those teen-agers who received a Kindle or a nook for Christmas and want to load it up with books but have limited pocket money!

That means the 0.99 price EXPANDS the market and hopefully will have the same effect you mention for the Harry Potter series!

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests