Sunday, September 30, 2018

Tinkering With Novella Price Points

Last year thanks to my regular listening to The Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing Podcast, I became acquainted with Lindsay Buroker, in particular the Kindle Worlds program for her Fallen Empire science fiction universe. I helped codify/solidify some of the background material for the primary series and the next-generation spinoff A Sky Full of Stars and wrote two military-SF novellas set during the rebellion. Those were Ten Davids, Two Goliaths and Discovery and Flight, the latter of which is explicitly tied in with her short story "Remnants." I even put together the TVTropes page.

I was planning on writing more novellas, including a straight-up zombie story (a biological weapon that gets out of control) and a Starseer story inspired by the Star Wars Darth Maul fan film Apprentice. However, Amazon shut down the Kindle Worlds program, even though based on the royalties I was getting it seemed to be doing pretty well. Fortunately Ms. Buroker let me re-publish the novellas via KDP and other KW authors are doing the same.

Of course, as an independent writer, I'm responsible for all the decisions, including how to price it. Initially I priced both novellas at $2.99 in order to get 70% royalties, but in the original KW program novellas were $1.99. In addition, many more successful authors price their novellas at $1.99--Marko Kloos' novella Measures of Absolution is $1.99, while Delilah S. Dawson's Peculiar Pets of Miss Pleasance is $1.99. James R. Tuck's Deacon Chalk novellas are only available in audio now, but I believe they were $1.99 in e-book as well. Some novellas are priced even less.

I did make some sales at the higher price point, but I would obviously like to make more even if that means a 35% royalty instead of a 70% one. Three sales at $1.99 generates a little over the same royalties as one sale at $2.99, so if I quadruple my sales, I'm ahead. The fact I've created an Amazon AMS ad for Ten Davids, Two Goliaths will surely help.

To that end, I have set the price for both novellas to $1.99. If this proves successful, I'll leave them there. If not, back to $2.99 they go. I'll give it a week. If you come across this blog post after October 7, 2018 and the price is $1.99, you'll know that reducing the price did increase the quantity demanded.

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