Monday, January 09, 2012

Pricing Problems

I've mentioned on here before that I put Lyon's Legacy on sale for $0.99 for the month of December. I did this for Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords. Between the drop in price and increased promotion, I had my best sales last month, though I'm still light-years away from anything vaguely resembling a bestseller list. On New Year's Day, I raised all my prices again. (I don't want to sell my work too cheaply, as Kristine Kathryn Rusch advises writers not to do that. If you haven't read her essay from last week, you need to, no matter what type of publishing you're pursuing.)

Last Thursday, I was on Amazon and happened to notice that the price of my novella had been discounted back to $0.99, even though I knew the price had been higher. What had happened? It turned out that two of the stores Smashwords distributes to, Kobo and Diesel, update their catalogs less frequently than the Apple or Sony stores. Kobo and Diesel were still showing the $0.99 price for my book, so Amazon dropped the price to match them. As of Sunday night, however, both Kobo and Diesel were showing the new price. I republished my novella on Amazon last night, so we'll see if that raises the price--and keeps it there.

I hope other self-published authors take note of my experiences and plan accordingly. If I do decide to lower the price of one of my stories again, I may only do it on Amazon and B&N in the future. Smashwords is a very valuable site for self-publishers, but the complications with different distributors make it tricky to adjust the price there, especially for temporary promotions.


Grumpy Bulldog, Secret Agent said...

Yeah I've had that problem too. For the longest time I kept wondering why Amazon wasn't raising the price like I wanted. Then I realized I still had it for 99 cents on Smashwords. Oy.

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

Well, I've checked Smashwords and all the channels it supports, and the price is right on those sites. I've messaged Amazon; let's see how quickly they respond.

Rusty Webb said...

I'm not sure I will ever do sales on any future releases for that exact reason. I try to read Kathyrn's blog as much as I can. She's as insightful as anyone about publishing in general.

Good luck getting your price right.

Juli D. Revezzo said...

I only just ran across your post, but this happened to me in October. I did lower it again for December, at Amazon and Barnes and Noble only, yet it seems Smashwords still found it and dropped the price of their own accord. I'm waiting to see what happens when I end the special.

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