Ebook price experiment

Tue 6 Apr 2010 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , , | 3 Comments | Posted by: Gavin

Just added a new DRM-free PDF ebook: Sean Stewart’s Mockingbird here and on Weightless for an introductory price of $5.95.

Once it goes live on other sites the price will have to rise to $9.95—otherwise they will drop the price to match ours and the author would get a pittance*. So get it cheap while you can! We also dropped the pb price on it (and a few other titles—including the Working Writer’s Daily Calendar which has dropped at least 25% in price as the year is 25% over!).

At $5.95 (call it $6) the author gets $3 a pop (yay!) from here/Weightless which is actually more than from Fictionwise or on the iPad/Kindle, etc., where the split goes:

Price: $10
Seller: 50% = $5
Publisher: 50% of 50% = $2.50
Author: 50% of 50% = $2.50

So the experiment is to see whether we can sell a decent number at $6 and maybe see if we should drop our prices on other ebooks. (Because after all, isn’t demand price elastic? So that demand should increase with lower prices? Well, so we are told and so we will experiment and see!)

* OK, that pittance would pretty much match the p-book rate! So maybe we will drop the price later. There’s always later, right?


3 Responses to “Ebook price experiment”

  1. KS Augustin on April 6th, 2010 9:15 pm

    Great idea but you lost me with the format. I’m just being honest here. No way would I read PDF on either my Ipaq or Iliad. Too painful.

    Welcome to the epub world. One format isn’t enough. If you’re actually thinking about what I’m saying, may I suggest MOBI, which is my utter favourite? 🙂 Others are PRC and EPUB. And you gotta go Kindle and that new-fangled iPad thingy. SBP, may I introduce you to Can O’ Worms?

  2. Gavin on April 7th, 2010 7:29 am

    Hey KS, thanks for the comment—we’re listening! We’ve been deep into formats and readers and so on for the last couple of years—we’ve been selling our multiformat books on Fictionwise since 2005 (and started talking to authors in 2003 and Fictionwise in 2004) and Mobipocket (and then the Kindle) since 2008. We also send ebooks to Follett, Google, and others and I’ve added and deleted titles from Smashwords as I try and get the books to look good.

    For Ginn Hale’s Wicked Gentlemen we made a few formats available (and PDF is still most popular but all the others are being bought, too) and we’ll slowly do that for the Small Beer + Big Mouth House list.

    One of the reasons we started with PDFs is that we like our page designs and for those who read ebooks on their computers (still ~50% of ebook readers), PDFs are a decent choice. Also, PDF accounted for almost double any other format download on our Creative Commons titles—which I encourage you to check out!

    More formats will come, but at the moment epub conversions are expensive either in terms of time or money, both of which are hard to come by! We are in it for the long run, though, and I hope you’ll keep us on your radar and keep checking it out.

  3. KS Augustin on April 7th, 2010 7:41 pm

    Hey Gavin. No, my bad. It was only after I pressed “Submit” (ain’t that always the way?) that I realised that I was commenting on a very narrow and unrepresentative segment of SBP. Apologies.

    And of course I’ll keep checking you out! Love your press!


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