Ok, I’ll admit it. I am often just a few cards short of a deck and can wander off into ‘pixie land’ with my crazy ideas and off the wall notions of reality. But in recent months I have become underwhelmed by the treatment independent authors are receiving from online publishers and retailers. Many a gripe can be found in my previous posts on this subject, but I really thought it was about time to stop complaining and do something.
So, I have. I have decided to act against the tide of the 99 cent model. Why should I be locked in to pricing my books at 99 cents, $2.99 or $3.99? Why can’t I price my books at $1.63 or 76 cents? Well, because that would be acting outside the market norms that we have been trained to accept.
‘Don’t be stupid, everyone knows you have to have a 99 at the end of a price to make that one cent less than a dollar an attraction for people to buy.’
Well I don’t buy it. So after deciding that I much prefer even numbers and then doing a lot of hard work in building an online store, I can now offer my ebooks at 88 cents, or whatever price I like, on my own ’88 cent Ebook Store’. Why 88? Well, I just happen to like this number. Curly, symmetric and well, even beautifully divisible.
Just for a bit of background, when I list a book for 99 cents on an online retailer, I receive 35 cents royalty. This is then reduced by 30% because of withholding tax because I don’t live in the US and when I do get paid, I get paid by a useless check that costs me $25 to cash. So in my calculations, I average about 18 cents per book sold.
But if you think about this the other way round, as an ebook buyer you are paying over 80% of a 99c ebook price to corporations and governments. Nice donation.
But I’ll leave the choices open. My books are still available on Amazon, Kindle, Apple, Sony, Kobo, Nook and Smashwords etc, all with neat 99s on the end, but at least there is an alternative now. Online corporate retailers, or a true ‘indie’ route. Will it work? Who knows.
So take a look at my 88 cent Ebook Store, and tell me what you think.