Today, I read an article about small business owners who undervalue their services, because they want to attract new clients. The idea is that they need to build their portfolio of work in the beginning, with the goal of becoming more selective when they have a client base. Unfortunately, the strategy usually backfires. Some clients do not appreciate the value of the work. With other clients, the business owner could compromise his or her vision and work on projects that he or she would normally avoid. The work is not reflective of the owner’s vision.
The article made me think about the price of my own books. I purposely priced the first book, “Through the Mist: Restoration,” at a very affordable 99 cents for the ebook. It was my debut novel. I wanted it to be accessible to a large number of people and felt more people would give it a chance if it was priced low.
When I released the novella, “Through the Mist: Adrift,” I also priced that book at 99 cents. It is much smaller in page count, so I did not feel it was appropriate to charge a “big price.”
Then, when I released the sequel, “Through the Mist: Reunion,” I first priced it at $2.99. The loyal fans of the first book snapped it up. Then, sales slowed. I lowered the price to $1.99, where it remains today. Sales have flat-lined.
I am beginning to wonder if that article applies to me. Do people think the books are not good because of the low price? Well, I just don’t know. You see, that’s the problem with self-publishing. I don’t have anyone looking at focus groups, taking surveys, or producing earnings forecasts who can tell me why sales have dropped. The second novel has not sold anywhere close to the levels I saw with the first book. Why???
I still believe self-publishing is a great vehicle to produce books. By sharing my experiences, I hope to help the next person who is considering this route. Most likely, you will not make enough money to quit your day job. And, it can be frustrating when you do not know WHY that is. You know your book is good - why isn’t anyone buying it??
As I end most posts, I would greatly appreciate feedback - positive or negative.