Free versus 99 cents



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  1. #1
    Mr. Darcy
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    Default Free versus 99 cents

    I’m curious, readers, how much of an impediment is a 99 cent book price?

    I had posted my novel, Ladies and Gentlemen…The Redeemers, free for the Nook and it received hundreds of “purchases” and several great reviews. I then moved it to 99 cents and sales have slowed to a crawl.

    Is anyone able to explain this phenomenon? I wouldn’t have thought this price point would have had such an effect.

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  3. #2
    Mowgli
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    Dec 2010
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    Default Re: Free versus 99 cents

    As discussed in another thread, with a free book you're going to get those that grab everything that is free just because or those that maybe want to take a chance without having any sort of investment. I've found several new authors by picking up freebies that I probably would have overlooked had they not been free.

    I don't have a problem with spending .99 on a book on an unknown author. I am a bit cautious though because I feel I have been ripped off. Recently I spent .89 on a book for it to only be 9 pages long.
    Sarah

  4. #3
    Mowgli
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    Mar 2011
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    Default Re: Free versus 99 cents

    I know that in the past (before the economy crashed and I had more disposable income) I've bought paper books for full price by a new author. Sometimes I've read a new author that blew me away and others that I couldn't stand. Yeah, I used to be a risk taker when it came to books. Nowadays I look for the freebies by new authors, because if I don't happen to like a particular one then I don't feel cheated, because the book was free and I can completely delete it if I didn't like it. But I do also spend the 99 cents on new authors as well. I can still justify it to myself that if the author was one that I didn't like then I really didn't spend that much money on him/her.
    Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers. ~Charles W. Eliot

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  6. #4
    Tiny Tim
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    Apr 2011
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    Default Re: Free versus 99 cents

    Being as I am relatively new to the world of the Nook I find myself applying the same prejudices I aquired browsing through used paperbacks at book shops to the purchase of eBooks. Whereas the $.99 price tag on a beat up paperback will draw me to it be it a Cordwainer Smith, Vonnegutt, Brunner, or (someone who at the time I had never heard of) Haldeman, I find it turns me off when the work is pristine or brand spanking new.

    It seams an absurd value judgement but I will not spend $.99 on a contemporary work with as much ease as I will spend $5.00 or even $10.00. I simply expect to spend more for something new, less when it's older, so I suppose when a new work is priced low initially I equate it simply with low worth, rather than high value. It's less to do with the actual price than what the price tells me about the value placed on the work.

    Does any of this make sense? Sorry, I've been drinking...
    It was one tedious round of scrawling and jargon ; a tissue made up of the shreds and remnants of barbarous antiquity polluted with the rust of ages, and patched by the stupidity of modern workmen into new deformity. -C. B. Brown

  7. #5
    Mr. Darcy
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    Apr 2011
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    Default Re: Free versus 99 cents

    I will pick up anything that's free because it won't adversely effect me in anyway. If it's terrible, I won't feel bad deleting it, and I have found many many AWESOME free ebooks out there. I love to find great stuff for free, because a) I feel like I really got a great bargain and b) if it was good I will always check out the author further. So, if you have something out there as free and it was great, I would be willing to buy more stuff from you in the future. I feel like it gives people a chance to check out your writing.

    Great example: I picked up Outlander by Diana Gabaldon for free. And I LOVED it. I bought the rest of the series (most of them were $5 at the time, but a couple of them were more). So glad I did. But had I not seen it for free, I probably never would have been introduced to the awesomeness that is Outlander.

    With a .99 book though, I'm a little different. I will read up on it more. I will read the reviews more. I'm more likely to pull a sample. Now, I have picked up some great stuff for .99, but I've also seen a lot of couple pagers, and I'm NOT willing to spend a buck on that.

    So it's a gamble. I think if you're really wanting to get your work out there, free is a good way to start. Once you've got some reviews it will help people make a decision if you bump it up to .99. I mean, I understand the feel-good of people liking your work, but I also see how you may want to get paid for it. I think if you have more than one book out there, leaving one as free will lead people to your other stuff and may help boost your sales overall...just MHO

    Just finished: Kiss in Time - Alex Flinn
    Currently reading: By Royal Decree
    Next up: To your scattered bodies go ?

  8. #6
    Mowgli Lisa Maliga's Avatar
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    Default Re: Free versus 99 cents

    As a reader, I will download a free book without reading the sample.

    If a book is 99 cents I usually download the sample.
    http://www.LisaMaliga.com
    Author of books for discerning readers

  9. #7
    Mr. Darcy
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    Default Re: Free versus 99 cents

    Thanks for the feedback everyone. I sort of get it now. I'm sensing that it's less about the 99 cents and more about the feeling of being "taken" if the book ends up being terrible.

  10. #8
    Tom Sawyer
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    Mar 2011
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    Default Re: Free versus 99 cents

    IMHO it would help greatly if B&N would put a word count with the book instead of just a file size. Because of graphics it is hard to judge the size of a book by file size period. That would help with peoples fears of getting a book for .99 and it only being 2 pages long. I know that word count can not point to how good the content is, but that is what reviews help with. B&N needs word counts. Other places do it.

    But during a week special I had my children's book listed for free. It got a lot of downloads. Then like the OP after it went back to .99 *poof*

    But with in a few months I will be releasing a two book fantasy series. Book 1 is a loo loo of a cliff hanger. So I am torn as to listing Book 1 for free and Book 2 for .99. Or just starting out with Book 1 at .99.

    I just don't know as I am still an unknown. (sigh)
    Author of 'It Waits' (free), 'Dragons Fire and the Brave Little Prince' (.99), 'Rashnar' (free), 'Krae' (.99)
    http://robertyelverton.info
    http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/RMY
    http://www.feedbooks.com/user/127425/profile

  11. #9
    d'Artagnan
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    Sep 2010
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    686

    Default Re: Free versus 99 cents

    Quote Originally Posted by RobertY
    IMHO it would help greatly if B&N would put a word count with the book instead of just a file size. Because of graphics it is hard to judge the size of a book by file size period. That would help with peoples fears of getting a book for .99 and it only being 2 pages long. I know that word count can not point to how good the content is, but that is what reviews help with. B&N needs word counts. Other places do it.

    But during a week special I had my children's book listed for free. It got a lot of downloads. Then like the OP after it went back to .99 *poof*

    But with in a few months I will be releasing a two book fantasy series. Book 1 is a loo loo of a cliff hanger. So I am torn as to listing Book 1 for free and Book 2 for .99. Or just starting out with Book 1 at .99.

    I just don't know as I am still an unknown. (sigh)
    I'm not too picky of reviews with a 99 cent book, but I do need a decent description of what I am about to read. I don't know who writes them, but some of the descriptions are pretty lame. It makes me assume the book will be equally useless.

    I do know that I'll take a chance on almost anything if it's free. If it is obviously religious or obviously porn I'll skip it. Other than that, it's probably worth a glance.

    I think you should offer your first book to us at nookboards for free and make everyone else pay 99 cents

  12. #10
    Mr. Darcy
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    Default Re: Free versus 99 cents

    Quote Originally Posted by nookreader654
    I'm not too picky of reviews with a 99 cent book, but I do need a decent description of what I am about to read. I don't know who writes them, but some of the descriptions are pretty lame. It makes me assume the book will be equally useless.

    I think you should offer your first book to us at nookboards for free and make everyone else pay 99 cents
    Actually, I did offer it free for a while and a bunch of nookboard folks read and reviewed it. Hopefully my description gives a good sense of the book, but I'd certainly welcome any feedback there.

    By the way, for the others out there, the book is the equivalent of 286 paperback pages. I'm stunned that anyone out there would post a 2-page or 10-page book and not identify it as such. Kind of kills it for the rest of us.

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