Register Guidelines E-Books Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Go Back   MobileRead Forums > E-Book General > General Discussions

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 06-28-2010, 02:33 PM   #1
ficbot
Wizard
ficbot ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ficbot ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ficbot ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ficbot ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ficbot ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ficbot ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ficbot ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ficbot ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ficbot ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ficbot ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ficbot ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 2,390
Karma: 4115574
Join Date: Sep 2008
Device: Kindle Paperwhite/iOS Kindle App
Should the availability of a sample affect the price of a book?

I received an email from an indie author whose book I reviewed, questioning a remark I made about the book's fairly high (for an indie book) sticker price. She was curious, polite, and wanted further feedback. She explained that she had based the book's price on what she felt a book in a store would go for, because she figured that since Smashwords let her offer a substantial portion of it for free sampling, the reader could decide: either they would get partway through it and not buy it at all, or they would be enjoying it enough to want to finish, in which case, why not charge the higher price at that point and let them decide for themselves?

I admit, I had not thought of this argument before. It had not occurred to me that the availability of a sample should have an impact on the price of the book. Before I write back to her, I would love to get some further feedback. I am not interested in debating other factors that may go into pricing a book here But I would like to know specifically about this sample issue. Should the availability of a sample have any bearing at all on the price a book is offered for?
ficbot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2010, 03:23 PM   #2
Worldwalker
Curmudgeon
Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 3,087
Karma: 722357
Join Date: Feb 2010
Device: PRS-505
That depends on the book.

For example, I will pay up to $5 for a book by an author I know to be excellent, which is DRM-free, and from a publisher I know sells well-formatted ebooks. Even $6 for favorite authors. Only $4 for "am I really sure I want this?" books under those conditions.

However, if the book (or sometimes the publisher) does not meet the above criteria, it's a different story. If there is no sample available, I'm unlikely to pay more than a dollar for it, which is also my price point for trying new flavors of my favorite brand of pseudo-fruitoid-drink. If there's a substantial sample (maybe 25% of the book's content) I might go as high as half the above-listed prices, maybe even 2/3 if the book really, really grabs me. But a sample can only go so far; a lousy ending can really kill a good story.

Basing an ebook's price (especially an indie ebook, which does not have the overhead of a publishing house) on what a pbook might sell for in a store is going to cost the author sales. Even if they know very little about the publishing industry, most people know that an author's percentage of the sale price of a pbook is very small, and that of an indie ebook is very large. So when they see the two priced similarly, and the latter priced significantly higher than similar books, the author appears greedy. Image matters. Consumers' perception of the character traits of whoever/whatever they are buying from can make or break a deal. Looking like a greedy son of a beast does not make for a positive image.

Also, pricing yourself out of the market is rarely a good strategy.
Worldwalker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2010, 03:28 PM   #3
Mike L
Wizard
Mike L ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Mike L ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Mike L ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Mike L ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Mike L ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Mike L ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Mike L ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Mike L ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Mike L ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Mike L ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Mike L ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Mike L's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,441
Karma: 3818575
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Device: Kindle 3, Samsung Galaxy
I think the author has a sound strategy. If I was planning to self-publish a novel in e-book format, I'd probably do exactly the same.
Mike L is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2010, 03:39 PM   #4
mr ploppy
Feral Underclass
mr ploppy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mr ploppy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mr ploppy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mr ploppy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mr ploppy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mr ploppy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mr ploppy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mr ploppy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mr ploppy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mr ploppy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mr ploppy ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
mr ploppy's Avatar
 
Posts: 3,541
Karma: 26555555
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Yorkshire, tha noz
Device: 2nd hand paperback
Her book, her choice. A high price would put me off reading the sample, unless it was someone I was already familiar with. It's not as if there isn't thousands of other samples to read instead.
mr ploppy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2010, 03:41 PM   #5
HamsterRage
Evangelist
HamsterRage can name that song in three notesHamsterRage can name that song in three notesHamsterRage can name that song in three notesHamsterRage can name that song in three notesHamsterRage can name that song in three notesHamsterRage can name that song in three notesHamsterRage can name that song in three notesHamsterRage can name that song in three notesHamsterRage can name that song in three notesHamsterRage can name that song in three notesHamsterRage can name that song in three notes
 
HamsterRage's Avatar
 
Posts: 435
Karma: 24326
Join Date: Jun 2010
Device: Kobo
Having a sample does take some of the risk out of purchasing an ebook. That should be worth something. How much though? That's the tricky bit.
HamsterRage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2010, 04:24 PM   #6
Worldwalker
Curmudgeon
Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 3,087
Karma: 722357
Join Date: Feb 2010
Device: PRS-505
Quote:
Originally Posted by mr ploppy View Post
Her book, her choice. A high price would put me off reading the sample, unless it was someone I was already familiar with. It's not as if there isn't thousands of other samples to read instead.
Good point.

A big part of the problem indie authors are facing now is that there are not only more books out there than we can read, there are more books than we can even realistically evaluate. We readers are drowning in riches. Not that it's a bad thing for us, of course, but it's a struggle for the writers to get any given one of us to look at their book instead of the next one on the list of hundreds. The $2x book in a sea of $x books probably isn't even going to get a second glance.
Worldwalker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2010, 04:54 PM   #7
dickon25
Groupie
dickon25 has learned how to read e-booksdickon25 has learned how to read e-booksdickon25 has learned how to read e-booksdickon25 has learned how to read e-booksdickon25 has learned how to read e-booksdickon25 has learned how to read e-booksdickon25 has learned how to read e-books
 
dickon25's Avatar
 
Posts: 194
Karma: 818
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: UK
Device: Sony PRS-505
Hmm, interesting point. I can see the author's reasoning but it almost seems as if she's decided to hold the reader hostage - if they like the sample then she'll fleece them on the price, knowing they're sucked in by then and will pay the higher price to get to the end of the book! I suppose that's a valid view though - if someone's had a big sample for free, why not charge full whack if the book is good enough? If it's not, they reader won't buy it at all!
But then, if the price was lower, with no sample, how many more copies would she sell?? How can she ever know the difference between the two? It'll be interesting to see the outcome of this one.

Out of interest Ficbot, how much is she actually charging?
dickon25 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2010, 05:10 PM   #8
rhadin
Literacy = Understanding
rhadin ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.rhadin ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.rhadin ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.rhadin ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.rhadin ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.rhadin ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.rhadin ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.rhadin ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.rhadin ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.rhadin ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.rhadin ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
rhadin's Avatar
 
Posts: 3,179
Karma: 15413180
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: The World of Books
Device: Sony PRS-950, Nook Tablet
I do not think having a sample available should lead to a higher price. I don't know how many people read more than a couple of pages of a sample at Smashwords; I know that I do not have the patience to do so. I read the story synopsis and if it interests me, I read some of the sample. I usually read the first 2-3 pages then skip 50 or so pages to check out another page or two, and then do it once more. I want to be done checking the sample in less than 5 minutes.

What I'm looking for in the sample is whether or not the author can put 2 sentences together correctly and for spelling/grammar errors. If I found the synopsis interesting and the pages I sampled in good shape, I then consider purchasing the book. Here price comes into play. If I am familiar with the author, I'll pay more, but lacking that familiarity, I really am reluctant to pay more than $1.99, possibly $2.99, for the book.

What would probably be helpful to authors at Smashwords is if Smashwords could tell authors that a reader read x number of sample pages and spent y amount of time doing so. I suspect (but obviously do not know) that few readers devote much time to reading the free sample.
rhadin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2010, 05:15 PM   #9
ficbot
Wizard
ficbot ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ficbot ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ficbot ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ficbot ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ficbot ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ficbot ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ficbot ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ficbot ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ficbot ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ficbot ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ficbot ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 2,390
Karma: 4115574
Join Date: Sep 2008
Device: Kindle Paperwhite/iOS Kindle App
She's charging $7.99. I felt this was too high, given that it was obvious it was a self-published book (e.g. there were some grammatical issues that gave her away as a non-English speaker) and most comparable books go in the $2.99 or so range. She told me she based the price in part on how 'regular' books sell for about $14 (which imho is also a wrong assumption) so she felt that hers was a bargain, and then she raised the sample issue.
ficbot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2010, 05:24 PM   #10
AnemicOak
Bookaholic
AnemicOak ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnemicOak ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnemicOak ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnemicOak ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnemicOak ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnemicOak ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnemicOak ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnemicOak ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnemicOak ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnemicOak ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnemicOak ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
AnemicOak's Avatar
 
Posts: 10,429
Karma: 28936355
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Minnesota
Device: HDX 8.9, AuraHD, Nook HD+, Kindle 2,3,T , Opus, Nexus7, iPhone5, etc
Personally the only thing a sample is really going to do is get me to look at a book that I might otherwise have skipped. If I like the sample, which I'll only read if something else (cover, title, synopsis) grabs me, and the book is priced reasonably then I might buy it.

$7.99 is quite a bit for a self pubbed title IMO, but it's up to the author what they want to charge. I have no idea where the $14 is what a regular book sells for comes from. What's a "regular book"? Something edited and published by an actual publisher? A pbook copy of something? I can get plenty of books from well know authors I like for less than $7.99 so I'd be likely to pass right by a self pubbed title at that price unless it had a lot of good recommendations.

Last edited by AnemicOak; 06-28-2010 at 05:50 PM.
AnemicOak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2010, 05:49 PM   #11
dickon25
Groupie
dickon25 has learned how to read e-booksdickon25 has learned how to read e-booksdickon25 has learned how to read e-booksdickon25 has learned how to read e-booksdickon25 has learned how to read e-booksdickon25 has learned how to read e-booksdickon25 has learned how to read e-books
 
dickon25's Avatar
 
Posts: 194
Karma: 818
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: UK
Device: Sony PRS-505
Personally, I wouldn't pay $7.99 for a self pub ebook from a new author, but then, I tend to rely on the synopsis and ignore samples altogether....so what do I know?!
dickon25 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2010, 06:07 PM   #12
Worldwalker
Curmudgeon
Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Worldwalker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 3,087
Karma: 722357
Join Date: Feb 2010
Device: PRS-505
Well, she's a bit greedy, what?

I just bought Mission of Honor from Baen: a professionally published book, in an ongoing series, by a bestselling author. Price? $6.00

(that's another thing I like about Baen: no $x.99 weaseling)

Frankly, I can't envision any circumstances in which I would buy a self-published book, with or without a sample, from some random newbie for 25% more than I'd pay for a book from an author I know I'll like. And any author who thinks a substantial number of people will do so is delusional.
Worldwalker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2010, 08:00 PM   #13
fjtorres
Grand Sorcerer
fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fjtorres ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 8,059
Karma: 61732902
Join Date: May 2009
Location: 26 kly from Sgr A*
Device: PRS-T1, KT, PB701/IQ, K2, PB360, BeBook One, Axim51v, TC1000
There's so many factors involved in the buy/no buy decision...

My decision tree, for what it's worth, starts with the title; I tend to just skim the shelves (real or virtual). If the title catches my eye, I'll look to the author, the promo blurb, and *then* the price. Samples don't really factor in it for me 'cause I've run into too many "three-chapter rip-offs" to give samples much credit.

That said, I don't see an inherent issue at US$7.99, regardless of pedigree.
(I'm assuming the story is fiction--cause for current affairs/non-fiction pedigree really matters. But that's a matter of authority not quality.)

Me, if a story intrigues me enough to read, I'm not going to sweat the difference between $4 or $8 or even $20.
The way I see it: I'm not a speed reader so when you get down to it, the biggest investment I put into reading a book is my *time*.
(My personal boycott of the price-fix five is not over the price but the principle. I've bought $16 ebooks before, I'll do it again. But not at gunpoint.)

So, as far as I'm concerned, the availability of a sample (large or small) has no valid linkage to the price.

I do see a linkage, however, between sample size and the publisher's (or author's, in the case of self-published works) confidence in the product's worth. A big sample suggests *to me* they're not sure the story will grab you with a smaller sample. And if the sample is a significant chunk of the total product it would lead me to think it probably needs work.

Add-in a price out of line with the retailer and/or genre and I'd guess the author/publisher doesn't understand the business. Doesn't mean they're greedy (that word gets used waaayyy too much on forums the 'net over) just inexperienced/misinformed.

Fair'nough?
fjtorres is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2010, 08:32 PM   #14
ATDrake
Wizzard
ATDrake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ATDrake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ATDrake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ATDrake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ATDrake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ATDrake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ATDrake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ATDrake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ATDrake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ATDrake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ATDrake ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 7,282
Karma: 20065712
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Roundworld
Device: Kindle 2 International & Sony PRS-T1 & BlackBerry PlayBook
I don't see any particular reason to correlate the mere availability of a sample to the final paying price.

However, a generous sample does provide a valuable service by acting as an extra filter that helps me to determine whether or not I'm truly interested in reading the author's writing.

But the value the sample provides will be reflected in whether or not I end up buying the book based upon it, not how high the book can be priced to begin with.
ATDrake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2010, 09:58 PM   #15
Clancy_s
Zealot
Clancy_s ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Clancy_s ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Clancy_s ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Clancy_s ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Clancy_s ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Clancy_s ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Clancy_s ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Clancy_s ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Clancy_s ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Clancy_s ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Clancy_s ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Clancy_s's Avatar
 
Posts: 134
Karma: 1010308
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Newcastle, NSW
Device: Sony PRS-505
I don't think the sample adds to the value of the book as such, but if I like the sample a lot I'd pay more for the book than I would if I didn't know anything about the book / author.

Her choice - anyone who buys it really likes it, but her overall sales will probably drop.

She could try something equivalent to Baen's "ARC" whereby one can get the ebook for $15 a few months before it's released for it's regular price ($6 in the case of the one book I've done it for).
Clancy_s is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Macmillan CEO John Sargent on the agency model, availability and price anurag News 67 03-04-2010 07:12 PM
Price/Availability Comparison Site...does it exist? Badandy Reading Recommendations 7 09-28-2009 06:42 AM
Price and Availability of Ebooks - UK DerbyBoy Sony Reader 6 06-24-2009 01:32 PM
Interesting price and availability observation rmeister0 Sony Reader 1 12-07-2007 02:05 PM
Sample book for EB-1150 DaleDe Fictionwise eBookwise 5 08-18-2007 12:34 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:29 AM.


MobileRead.com is a privately owned, operated and funded community.