Many writers struggle to find the best price point as they enter the crowded and confusing digital book marketplace.
Movable Type Management president Jason Allen Ashlock helped found the The Rogue Reader imprint this month, a new “digital publishing channel for outstanding suspense fiction.”
We caught up with Ashlock (one of our many Media App Summit guests) to get some advice about how to price a digital book. His long and thoughtful answer follows below. UPDATE: Ashlock also shared his thoughts about the PressBooks platform and publishing online.
Because The Rogue Reader publishes only one breakout author a month, we have the time to really drill down on the data we’re compiling and make the most of it by experimenting often. And we have great analytics partners helping us read the data we’re getting. Pricing is, of course, a major factor for readers who are considering whether to take a chance on a new author, and when you’re just starting to build an author brand, and the author is really good and the work is really good, the most important thing is that readers actually read the books. You have to price to make that as likely as possible. But pricing as low as possible isn’t always the right way to do that. It used to be that pricing really low was a distinctive. It separated you from the big publishers’ high priced ebooks and gave you a competitive advantage. Those days may be over. Because now pricing too low just places you in an even more competitive segment. And if you follow that strategy to its natural conclusion–pricing lower and lower to distinguish yourself–you end up giving away your book for free.