It’s time once again for my monthly guest post over at Janice Hardy’s Fiction University. We’ve been walking through the process of making choices for what path we want to follow in our indie publishing career.
My series about Indie Publishing Paths at Fiction University has been highlighting some of the choices we have to make and giving us a few guidelines for figuring out how to make the best decisions for us.
We started off talking about knowing our goals. There’s no end to the conflicting advice out there about self-publishing, and to add confusion, the “rules” from retailers and others change frequently. So we need to have an understanding of why we’re choosing certain paths so that we can adapt as the industry changes.
Once we know our priorities, we might make different choices about distribution, release schedules, or pricing. I’ve been focusing on each of those areas in the next segment of the series, calling them the where, when, and how much of our decision process.
Over the past two months, we’ve identified three options for the pricing strategy of our books—the how much. We can…:
- price high,
- price in the middle, or
- price low.
As we mentioned last time, there are many good reasons we might (or might not) want to price our books below the typical $2.99-$4.99 “sweet spot” (for novels). But before deciding whether that strategy would work for us, we need to understand more about how or why the advice is supposed to work so we can see if it applies to our situation.
A big part of our decision for choosing the best pricing strategy for us comes down to understanding what we want to accomplish and investigating whether a strategy could meet that goal.
For example, some of the possible reasons we might want to price our book low include:
- using our low-priced book as a “loss leader” for our other books (introducing our work to more readers, with a potential for more income down the road),
- hoping our low price leads to more sales (maximizing income), or
- hoping our low price leads to more exposure and/or better rankings (an amplifier that can lead to more readers or more income).
However, the concept of “maximizing income” doesn’t apply if we price our books really low…as in free. So some goals can’t be met with a freebie.
The choice to go free also brings up different considerations that we might not have thought of. Before jumping on the freebie bandwagon, we want to think through how our freebie connects to our other books and how a free book might affect reader psychology.
So this month we’re taking a look at the benefits and risks that apply specifically to the option of pricing our book for free. We want to ensure that our free-book strategy won’t end up being short-sighted.
In the post, I cover the only business reason for offering a free book, how a free book can help (or when it wouldn’t help), and why “free” might affect our reviews.
I hope you’ll join me at Fiction University for this month’s post!
Have you seen advice for authors to offer a freebie? Do you agree that it can be a good strategy for some situations? Have you considered offering (or do you already offer) a freebie? If not, why not? How does a freebie fit into your long-term plans?Pin It