Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Viridis is Up & a Word on Pricing

I'm excited to announce that Viridis is now available through Amazon and Smashwords (why oh why are you taking so long, B&N?  Update:  Finally up at B&N!! And now it's FREE!).

It's currently FREE on Smashwords, though it's still .99 on Amazon.  If you're not familiar with Amazon's pricing policy, I'll try my best to explain it as I understand it.  See, you can't actually price an ebook for free on Amazon, even though there are plenty of free books on their site.  If you want your book to be free, you need to price it free elsewhere, and then hope Amazon "decides" to make your book free in an effort to match the lower price.  There's no guarantee it'll happen though.

I thought long and hard about how to approach pricing.  There are many schools of thought on pricing an ebook.  Some feel that writing the book took time and effort, and should be priced accordingly, even if it's a selfpub'd ebook.  Others feel that price is a marketing tool, and use it to their advantage.

As an unknown author, I don't expect someone to pay a price equivalent to that of traditionally published books.  It's just too great a risk for someone to take with their hard earned cash.  Does it mean the book isn't worth that price?  Of course not, but I think it's a realistic view about people's buying habits.

Then there's pricing the book for under $5.  I think this is a good option if you have a huge audience to market to, and have the time to really market it hardcore.

Instead, I'm taking the drug dealer approach.  I'm giving the reader a sample of my writing by offering the first book for free, and hoping they'll like it enough to buy the second book in the series, and then the third, etc.  I debated putting it out there for .99 (and did for about 24 hours), to see if there would be a perceived value or incentive in getting the reader to actually read the book if they paid a small amount for it.  However, after talking to Ruth Cardello about her success with offering the first book for free, and then charging for the second book, I decided to offer Viridis for free.  Since May, Ruth has had over 200,000 downloads of her free book, and is averaging approximately 200 purchases of her second book a DAY since she published it just a few weeks ago.  Can't argue with those numbers, though I'd be happy to just do a percentage of those figures.

So there you have it! Viridis is now published and available for your entertainment pleasure.  And with luck, it will soon be available on Amazon for free.  If you do take the time to download and read it, I hope you'll enjoy it.