The 99¢ Experiment

I’ve decided to try an experiment with the pricing of my book Despair and drop the price to 99¢ for one month.

This isn’t a desperate move. It shouldn’t be a surprise that I read a lot of blogs written by successful indie, self-published authors. One who has a lot of good advice for the likes of myself is J. A. Konrath and his blog: This guy is literally making tens of thousands of dollars a month from his ebook novels. The fact that they’re good reads certainly doesn’t hurt.

In several of his posts he’s talked about pricing of his books. Naturally there are different royalty payments depending on the price of your book. Sometimes dropping the price of a book and taking a smaller royalty payment you can actually make more money.Konrath had an interesting post about dropping the price of his book The List from $2.99 down to a bargain 99¢.

You can read his post but I’ll give you some of the highlights here.

“At $2.99, I was earning $2.03 per download. And I was selling an average of 43 ebooks a day.”

“At 99 cents, I only earn 35 cents per download. I’m now averaging 205 sales a day.”

“At $2.99, I made $87 a day.”

“At 99 cents, I’m making $71 a day.”

“But in the last few days, The List has been selling stronger, averaging about 250 sales a day. If it can hold that number, or do even better, that’s $87 a day–matching what it made at $2.99.”

It’s not that the book hasn’t been selling. It has and I’ve been surprised to discover that people in Canada, Great Britain and Australia have bought it. Not only that, it’s being translated into Spanish by a couple of students here in Panama who are working on their Master’s degrees in English. Despair has been selling at $2.99 but my short story Sailing Alone To Isla priced at 99¢ has been moving off the rack at a pretty decent pace. I certainly don’t ever expect to match Konrath’s numbers but it should be interesting to see what happens.

All school children in the western hemisphere know that “in 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” Other than that ditty few people know that the Admiral of the Ocean Sea made three subsequent voyages to what was to become known as “The New World.” It was probably the most interesting of the four. It was the stuff of fiction: battling fierce storms, contrary currents and hurricanes. Pitched battles with hostile natives and former companions. Ship wrecks, marooning, mutiny, trickery, deceit, greed, dashed dreams, despair, extraordinary heroism and rescue. But truth is stranger than fiction. All of it is documented. The only license I’ve taken with the story is to create the fictional narrator of the events.

The book is available at: I just made the change and it may take a day or two for the change to appear on their site. If you don’t want to wait you can get it at: where it’s available for download to a Kindle or Nook reader.







1 Comment

Filed under Christopher Columbus, digital books, digital publishing, e-publishing, ebook, indie authors, indie writers, self publishing, writing

One response to “The 99¢ Experiment

  1. Jeff Philbrick (Richard's younger brother and 4th son of James S. Philbrick)


    When I took over Philbrick’s Snack Shack from my dad 32 years ago he gave me some very simple but sound advice about doing business.
    To the best of my recollection these are the very first lessons he gave me as he handed me the keys.

    Lesson #1:

    “Son, your customers are like a flock of sheep.

    It’s alright to go out and take some of the fleece.
    You can trim the wool on a steady basis without guilt.
    A little here a little there…everything calm and pleasant.
    The sheering does no harm to the sheep and they always comes back and let you do it again.

    Then there’s the other kind of guy.
    He’s a fool that goes out and cuts the sheep’ s throat!
    That kind of guy thinks he’s real smart ’cause he’s getting everything all at once…the wool and the meat too!
    But he only gets the whole thing ONCE and the other sheep see what he did and avoid him.
    He might trick a few more sheep once in a while but in the long run he gets less than if he calmly…patiently sheered the sheep.

    Son, don’t EVER slaughter the sheep!!

    Lesson #2:

    Son, there are two ways to make money: A fast nickel or a slow dime.

    A fast nickel is a good low price but a thin margin.
    The fast nickel makes money through high volume because the customer sees he’s getting a good deal and takes it.
    But you have to watch your expenses very closely if you want to make money with a fast nickel.

    A slow dime is a high price with a fat margin but reduced volume because the customer doesn’t see he’s getting a good deal.
    He usually walks away from a slow dime unless he has no other choice or is ignorant.
    Only a sucker willingly falls for a slow dime!
    That’s what the greedy guy depends on to make his money.
    He’s always waiting for the big pay off and thinks he’s pretty smart when he can get one over on the customer.

    But it’s a foolish way to do business…the truth is the fast nickel can always make you more money in the long run.
    Because the customer is getting a fair deal…it’s good for him and it’s good for you.

    Son, don’t EVER get greedy waiting for a slow dime!!

    I see dad must have given you the same lessons.
    Good luck to you,

    Wish I could say the fast nickle has been working with my book sales. Hasn’t yet but there’s another three weeks to go before I put the price back where it was.